First up is the Bankstown Hidden Half-Marathon on Sunday 16th. This is hosted by the very friendly folk of the Western Districts Joggers and Harriers, or 'Westies' as they are better known. I really enjoyed this race last year. The course is in a lovely parkland setting, part bike paths and part dirt trails, and includes what the organizers like to call some 'honest' hills thrown in.
The following weekend, on Saturday 22nd, is the 35km Willy to Billy, a bush trail run from Mt Wilson to Bilpin in the Blue Mountains. A major attraction of this race is the promise of freshly baked scones prior to the start of the race ! The course winds through some beautiful country, although it is another event with some honest hills, very honest in fact. I had a quick look at the elevation profile of the course on the race web site, but decided it was best not to think about it. This is also a qualifying event for the Six Foot Track and I secretly harbour a dream of finishing within the cut-off time of four and a half hours, though my main objectives are simply to enjoy the race and eat lots of scones.
Topping off the triple is the Sutherland Half-Marathon on Saturday 29th. It's hosted by the Sutherland District Athletics Club, who rival the Westies for friendliness and their ability to put on a great event, and are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. The race is held in Royal National Park with most of the course being on Lady Carrington Drive, a wonderful place for running. I did this event for the first time last year and wouldn't miss it for quids.