Famous faces out front for festival

SIX of Orange’s most prominent sporting identities will act as ambassadors for the Orange Colour City Running Festival (CCRF) on February 22 and 23.

Daniel Mortimer (rugby league), Jason Belmonte (tenpin), Tahnee Norris (rugby league), Marianne McCormick (netball), Anna Windsor (swimming) and James Grant (rugby league and rugby union) all accepted the invitation, and will play a role in promoting a healthy lifestyle, increasing local participation and helping to raise money for the Rural Fire Service and 2nd Orange Scouts.

“It’s all for a great cause, and sends a great message,” Belmonte said.

“Unfortunately my travel arrangements don’t let me be present, which I’m bummed about. But I’ll do my best to promote the festival’s aims in the lead up.”

Mortimer is also unable to attend, as he and his Sydney Roosters will play the Wigan Warriors in the World Club Challenge that weekend.

“I’m filthy. They wouldn’t move the World Club Challenge for me,” he joked.

“Hopefully I can do it next year and maybe I can get the whole team to come and do it. It seemed like a good, healthy promotion, so I was happy to be involved. It’s good to get behind something in Orange too. I’m more than happy to be involved.”

“Like other years, the definite entries are about 60 per cent out of towners,” CCRF coordinator Kim Roweth said.

“We’re hoping using a team of ambassadors will help promote the event in town, and convince more locals to participate.”

Currently the CCRF has approximately 1100 entries. In 2013, there was 1701.

“I guess the total is still an unknown, but the way it’s been going we can estimate around the same as last year,” she said.

“I’m hearing plenty of people talking about it. There is a triathlon the same day, but more people seem to be worried about the heat. The forecast says it won’t be too hot, but I guess people can’t see past today.”

The 10km race is set to be the fastest field ever, Roweth said.

“We have Olympian Martin Dent running,” she explained.

“Sydney athletes Victoria Mitchell and Harry Summers have also entered. Hopefully it doesn’t deter anyone, but I think most people would see it as a chance to learn from the elite, and see the way they go about it, rather than a negative.”

Online entries close on Friday February 21, but entries are accepted on the day.

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