Warrnambool Athletic Club president John Keats times junior runners Alistair Artz, 9, and Magen Keats, 9, ahead of the Winter Series. 120326DW34 Picture: DAMIAN WHITEFAMILIES, tie your shoelaces.
Nanjing Night Net

The 2012 Warrnambool Athletic Club (WAC) Winter Series will cater for all ages, with the committee introducing junior races into this year’s program.

Club president John Keats hopes the schedule will appeal to youngsters.

“We’re adding a junior component to our program where we’re having four junior races spread throughout the year,” he said. “They’ll be three-kilometre runs, which are free for anyone who is under 16.”

The president said the junior races were part of a broader initiative to attract families to the club.

“We had great numbers over the Summer Series and we had quite a lot of kids in that,” he said.

“What we’re trying to do is make the club more family-oriented, so mum and dad can come along and have a run, then we’re catering for the kids too.”

The WAC Winter Series will start on Saturday with a five-kilometre race from the Jetty Flat clubrooms.

Keats urged newcomers to participate in the series.

“It’s not just for the seasoned runner, it’s for all types,” he said.

“We really want to encourage beginners, novices and the social runner.

“With our handicap system, it means that anyone can get up and win and that’s the beauty of it.”

The president believes there is a running boom, not only in Warrnambool but across the world.

“Our membership has been growing, which is fantastic,” he said.

“We’ve got around 80 and it would be great to get over 100.

“Given we had over 200 people in each individual race for our Summer Series, we would love to increase our membership.”

Families can join the club for $140, while an individual membership costs $80.

It includes entry to races and being eligible for prizemoney, plus other benefits.

Keats encouraged anyone who was interested to look at the club’s website.

The headline events of the Winter Series are the 5km Flaggy on June 24, which is a charity run, and the Crater2Coast Marathon Challenge.

The latter, on August 26, features the Koroit to Warrnambool Half-Marathon (21km), a marathon (42km) and an ultra marathon (50km).

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