TWELVE months of planning will frantically be put into place in the next three days as more than 2500 runners and walkers prepare for the 2014 edition of the Dubbo Stampede.
The running festival will take place at Taronga Western Plains Zoo on Sunday, with competitors taking part in a range of events stretching from the 5km Dingo Dash right through to the Rhino Ramble, which will be held over the marathon distance of 42.2km.
Last-minute entries for the Stampede are still being taken, however they will close at midnight on Friday in order for organisers to prepare bibs for all the competitors.
That will be just one of many jobs organisers complete over the next couple of days, however Stampede president Tim Ferraro said he’s confident everything will go off without a hitch.
“We’ve been planning the event almost since the last one finished, and even now we’re starting to think about next year,” Ferraro said.
“Registrations have been left until as late as possible in the hope we might get some families keen to come out for Father’s Day, especially if it’s a nice day like we’ve been getting.
“At this stage our numbers look like being a bit over what we had last year, which is pleasing because our event is on the same weekend as the Edgell Jog in Bathurst so a lot of runners from Orange are going to Bathurst, and our numbers from Sydney are also down a bit because it’s a much shorter drive for those people.
“We’ll be ramping up our promotion on social media in the next couple of days as well to try and get people involved.”
The introduction of a marathon to the schedule has turned the event into a comprehensive running festival, and Ferraro said at last count there were 75 entrants for the gruelling event.
“We allocated for about double that because we weren’t sure how it would go, but realistically 75 isn’t a bad number because it’s the first time we’ve had a marathon and it’s not something a whole lot of people actually do,” Ferraro said.
“When I did my first marathon I trained for about 10 months prior to it so it’s also not something you can just decide to do a few weeks out from the event.”
Gates at the zoo will open at 6am on Sunday, with competitors encouraged to get to the venue early.
The Rhino Ramble will start at 7am, the Dingo Dash at 7.30am, the Zebra Zoom (21.1km) at 7.45am and the Cheetah Chase (10km) at 8.15am.
More information on the Stampede can be found at the website www.dubbostampede.com.au.