Mountain to Mountain Challenge adds new 7km short course to be accessible for varying abilities

FUN RUN:  Chris Christodoulou, Ethan Arnold, Goktug Yasar, Tony Davis and Neil Newman will all be able to take part in this year's M2M Challenge with the addition of a 7km accessible short course. Picture: Robert Peet
FUN RUN: Chris Christodoulou, Ethan Arnold, Goktug Yasar, Tony Davis and Neil Newman will all be able to take part in this year's M2M Challenge with the addition of a 7km accessible short course. Picture: Robert Peet

For three years Goktug Yasar has cheered on from the sidelines the hundreds participants in the Mountain to Mountain Challenge. But 2018 will finally be the year the Greenacres Supported Employee puts on his running shoes for a purpose.

The fourth annual fun run/walk around the Illawarra’s picturesque – and steep – Mount Keira has added a seven kilometre short course to make the event accessible to a broader public.

“Every year I go to the M2M Challenge and I cheer people on and I give out ribbons at the end,” Mr Yasar said.

“I am so excited that this year, I will be able to go in the M2M Challenge and my friends can cheer me on at the end instead.”

Everybody should have the opportunity to enjoy it regardless of their age or fitness level.

Chris Christodoulou

A charter bus will also be available to take participants of the easier  walk from the start line at Edmond Rice College to where the mostly downhill short course begins.

Greenacres CEO Chris Christodoulou said that while the event is already popular with serious runners, it was important that people from a range of ages and abilities had the chance to enjoy it.

“The M2M Challenge is a rare opportunity to really experience our spectacular escarpment and everybody should have the opportunity to enjoy it regardless of their age or fitness level,” Mr Christodoulou said.

Neil Newman, 77, was one of the guinea pigs asked to test the new short course last year to help determine whether it would be suitable for people of varying abilities.

The IRT Howard Court resident said the experiment proved a “nice morning out” and he looked forward to entering the event this year and “contribute” to the cause.

“My wife and I regularly walk and like the exercise,” Mr Newman said.

“It’s for a good cause so it’s always good to get behind something like that, but a run would be too strenuous but the short course would be ok.”

Starting at the base of Mount Keira at Edmund Rice College and finishing at the heights of Mount Kembla, the Mountain to Mountain Challenge will be a 13.6 kilometre run or walk up steep ascents, down deep dips and past some of our region’s most stunning scenery.

After finishing the challenge, participants take a free bus shuttle service back to the starting line.

Registrations now open: www.m2mchallenge.com.au