M7 Westlink Cities Marathon on track to continue

Blacktown Council’s long running association with the M7 Westlink Cities Marathon will continue in the new year.

Councillors recently voted to continue the marathon to coincide with the annual Blacktown Fun Run to boost local participation.

Labor Councillor Stephen Bali has be pushing for a solution to continue the marathon after the council originally recommended to end its long agreement and sponsorship.

‘‘We have a unique product that’s a internationally recognised event,’’ Cr Bali said.

‘‘By consolidating both events, it will revitalise the Blacktown Fun Run and save hiring the same venue twice. Most running events have fun runs the same day.’’

It’s proposed Blacktown International Sportspark be used to host both events.

Cr Bali hopes raising money for cause such as the Mount Druitt Hospital children’s ward to generate more interest

‘‘We need to get more community involvement,’’ he said.

The Cities Marathon has been an annual event since 1981.

The original route was between Broadway and Francis Park, Blacktown and became the M7 Cities Marathon along the M7 from Prestons to Rooty Hill in 2006.

Until now, Blacktown Fun Run coincided with the Blacktown City Festival.

The report had support from both sides of the chamber.

‘‘It look like a good proposal if it’s run efficiently,’’ Liberal Cr Isabelle White said.

‘‘A great deal of thought has gone into it. I enjoy marathons and fun runs. I think it could be something quite positive for the area and a lot of young people around here. I have friends who are marathon enthusiasts who have to go to the city to events.’’

As a member of the council’s sport and recreation advisory committee, Cr Karlo Siljeg hopes to establish a working party in the next few weeks.

‘‘We need to look at how to market it and make it a key event in western Sydney.’’

‘‘It needs to have something special about it and stick out from the crowd as there are a lot of fun runs. It needs to be a bit quirky but serious as it to put Blacktown on the running map.’’

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