One Eyre Peninsula town is putting another feather in its cap, hosting its inaugural running festival next year. Known for its active agricultural community and the Eyre Peninsula Field Days, the running festival was born from another thriving sector of town - its parkrun community - which event organiser Tina Traeger affectionately calls a family. More than four years ago, Tina and a group of other running enthusiasts from the region brought exercise juggernaut parkrun to the town, and it's popularity has grown each year. "My favorite thing is the community and how encouraging runners and walkers and joggers are," Tina said. "It's not a competition against each other, and that's what I found really lacking in the community. "When we've got sport it's very competitive but with running, especially parkrun, it's very inclusive. "There are families who have multiple generations taking part in parkrun, so it's really for every age and ability." From there, the idea of a running festival was born as there are currently no officially registered running events on Eyre Peninsula. After months of planning, the decision was made to host the running festival on September 22, 2024, to fit between the end of football and netball season and the start of harvest and summer sports. Entrants can choose to run a an officially registered half marathon, a 10km course or a 5km, with kids events also held on the day. The course will take runners from the intersection of Mount Desperate Road and Mangalo Road to the sporting club in Cleve, a distance of 22.1km. Runners who choose to complete the 10km or 5km course will join at different intervals along the track. Tina said the appeal of the Cleve course was its scenery and smooth track. "It's mostly downhill and on a bitumised road which was important," she said. "The course is getting verified and it'll be timed as well, so it'll be just like all the big events they do over in Adelaide." In addition to being a positive community event, Tina said the festival would likely boost the town's tourism numbers, with parkrun enthusiasts from across the state already pledging to make the trip. "We've crunched the numbers on parkrun just out of interest to see what our tourist levels are and we're sitting at 20 per cent of participants are tourists," Tins said. "They're people that have specifically come to Cleve to do parkrun which is phenomenal. "There are people that travel Australia and the world collecting parkruns and pretty much one comes every week and they buy food and accommodation which all goes into the economy. "We'll hopefully have the same interest for the running festival, and I already have friends from Adelaide putting it in their calendars now, so we're hoping for a really strong turn out." Looking ahead, Tina said the committee's focus was now on securing sponsorship, before entrants started their rigorous training programs. "I'll be running the 10km, which I'll slowly work up to, but for people that do the half marathon they'll be training for months in advance," she said. "You can be at any stage - you can walk, you can run in your everyday trainers or you can go all out and buy professional shoes and give the half a go. "The beauty is everyone's welcome and we're excited to see our regular parkrun faces there as well as hopefully a lot of new ones."