“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”

Rousing words for us, and especially for those taking part in next month’s Mudgee Running Festival – as the jubilee celebrates its 20th anniversary in the region.

The fun run festivities of the day will include a marathon, half marathon - a 42km and 21km run respectively - as well as a 5km and a 10km run for the less experienced - oh and you can walk if you want to. But most of all it’s a day where friends and family can get together, and be healthy simultaneously. Regular exercise can not only increase energy levels, and improve sleep, but doing it with others can combat the pangs of loneliness. Plus it can distract us from unhelpful things like rumination - the repetitive and excessive thinking of the same event – and also from being dogged with worry, according to the Black Dog Institute.

In taking an active role in our wellbeing, it promotes a further sense of control and self-regard, so there’s not a lot to lose to take part in the festival.
Locals and tourists alike can enjoy the longer courses as they weave through the picturesque Mudgee valley. The festival website said these participants will pass by vineyards, farmyards, wineries, cattle and some local cheering support. All marathon and half marathon runners will get a commemorative Mudgee Running Festival t-shirt, so long as they register before the end of July, according to the festival website. Extra shirts are available online for other contestants, and dedicated cohorts.

Each partaker will receive a 20th anniversary finishers’ medal, so just make sure you register by 19th August – only online registrations will be processed. Fancy a personalised racing bib? No problem, just register yourself earlier, by 1st August.

Along with the main event there will be food, drinks, good coffee, a kids’ jumping castle and a massage service for competitors.

Keen to visit other parts of Mudgee during that weekend? You can take in the local wineries, bars and cafes, as well as the Mudgee Reading Festival, the day before the running event. For more information on places to stay, visit the Mudgee Running Festival website Q and A section.

So if you want to lighten your stress or melancholic mood, mingle with others and get the heart pumping, give the running event a go, and take part in its history. The festival starts at 7:00am on 22nd August, check out the organisers’ website for more information. Please see updates on the Reading, and Running Festival websites concerning NSW restrictions.

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