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Running Festival continues support for Children's Hospital

The iconic Lake Macquarie event again threw its support behind babies and parents in the care of John Hunter Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Friday, 1 September, 2017.

About 1,750 runners of all ages and abilities, and from all over Australia, took part in the iconic Lake Macquarie Running Festival on Sunday 27 August.

The run from Warners Bay to Speers Point was in its 33rd year, and, apart from being a fun and healthy event in a beautiful location, it helps raise money for the John Hunter Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  

Event coordinators Chad and Kate Griffith have had a special affinity with the NICU after their triplets Ayla, Kalan and Ryder were born nine weeks premature and the family spent six weeks in the neonatal unit.

"Since its association with the neonatal ward about 10 years ago, I’d say we’ve raised about $50,000 for the ward," Mr Griffith said. "That’s just a ballpark figure. The Lake Macquarie Running Festival organisation itself fundraises and we encourage the runners to fundraise as well.   

"I think participants raised about $1,700 this year and when we pay the bills and do the sums, we’re hoping about $10,000 will be going to the ward this year.  The hospital spends that on a range of things, from breast pumps for mums to express milk, vision monitors for parents who can’t always be with their child, to things like blankets and clothing, because obviously the babies are outside of normal sizes."

Mr Griffith said the NCIU staff did an incredible job in what were the toughest of circumstances for their young patients and their families.

"We spent six weeks in there with our three children and the staff just make you feel so comfortable with what’s going on," he said. "They have a certain nature about them that is calm and caring and they have great expertise and it just makes you feel so confident in them."

Mr Griffith said runners could expect a new course next year. He said race organisers would consult with the region’s top runners and running organisations to develop a one-lap half marathon course along the lake in the Warners Bay and Speers Point area. 

Congratulations to all the winners of the Lake Macquarie Running Festival 2017 events. 

Lake Macquarie Half Marathon

Male: Vlad Shatrov 
Female: Bronwyn Hager 

Lake Macquarie 10.5km Fun Run

Male: Brock Taylor 
Female: Hayley Gustard

Supporting Running Festivals is one way we support our community and help to promote healthy, active lifestyles. 

The running season is not quite over, with Forster and Port Macquarie Running Festival approaching fast.

A single runner waves to people.

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