Pete Loveridge is back to where it all started – the Gunnedah Gallop.
The veteran distance runner, international triathlete and family farmer, will lace up for another tilt at the coveted title on Sunday.
“Yeah, I will be having a trot,” Loveridge said.
“I’m more than happy to have a run and support the event.”
The long-running Gunnedah fun run – now in its 45th year – will be staged over two distances – an 8km ‘community fitness run’ and a 2km family run/walk.
Loveridge remembers one of his first starts in the Gallop during the mid-1990s as a high-school teenager.
Dozens of races and a “handful of wins” later, the Gunnedah competitor is ready for his next start in the historic event which has spanned generations since its inception in 1977.
“It’s great for the community,” he said.
“It’s fantastic an event like this is still running in this day and age.”
Loveridge, who competed at the Hawaiian Ironman less than a decade ago, won one of the last Gallop events in 2019 during pre-COVID times. Josh McGrae and Wade Ryan were not that far behind.
But Loveridge warns not to expect any star-studded performances this time around.
“I’m forever on a mission to beat myself,” he said.
“But since COVID, I’ve been out of a routine, have found it hard to set goals and exercising just when I get the chance.”
He has plans to compete in a couple of triathlons next year but believes it may be a long road back.
Nevertheless, he hoped others will join him in this Gunnedah Gallop – all in the spirit of fun, friendship and fitness.
“I hope anyone who is able to, will get out, give it a go and help show the kids how to stay active,” he said.
This year’s event is being hosted by Gunnedah Rotary.
Rotary president Mike Silver said it is important to continue the Gallop tradition in Gunnedah.
Additionally, all money raised from the Gallop will go towards Australian Rotary Health which this year is narrowing its focus to supporting the mental health of children aged 0-12 years.
Pre-event registrations are available online for those seeking to skip the queue but registrations will also be available on the day from 8am.
The main race (8km) starts at 9.30am from Longmuir Playing Fields followed by the 2km walk/run shortly afterwards.
A barbecue will also be available after the run.
In the event of wet weather, organsiers will make a call on Saturday and advise the community via the Gunnedah Rotary Facebook pageTo order photos from this page click here