FINISH LINE: Nick Hortle with members of the Cruise Whitsundays team Emily Liu, Riana Young, Andrea Scharnech, Lauren Scarcella, Merri Kirkham, Alya Palmer and Stephen Fitzpatrick at last year's successful Airlie Beach Running Festival.
FINISH LINE: Nick Hortle with members of the Cruise Whitsundays team Emily Liu, Riana Young, Andrea Scharnech, Lauren Scarcella, Merri Kirkham, Alya Palmer and Stephen Fitzpatrick at last year's successful Airlie Beach Running Festival. Peter Carruthers

Cruising for a bigger festival

RUNNING: Cruise Whitsundays is proud to announce its continuing partnership with the Airlie Beach Running Festival.

This year's event on July16 will be the fifth annual Cruise Whitsundays Airlie Beach Running Festival.

Gaining a reputation as one of the most scenic races in Australia, the running festival has become a drawcard for domestic and international tourists.

Cruise Whitsundays chief executive officer Nick Hortle said the business was proud to support the festival once again.

"This event has had significant growth and continues to increase visitors to the region each year,” Mr Hortle said.

Race director Tim Oberg, said last year's festival attracted a record 637 participants, which made it the largest onshore mass participation event in the Whitsunday region.

"This year we will be including two new events - the 42.2km Heart of the Reef Marathon (that will also be the North Queensland Marathon Championships) and the Turtle Club 1km Family Fun Walk,” he said.

"The latter will be a free event open to the whole community.”

Other events include the 2km Junior Dash, The Coffee Club 5km Fun Run, Mantra 10km Fun Run and the Cruise Whitsundays Half Marathon.

"We are thrilled to welcome back Cruise Whitsundays as the naming rights sponsor of the 2017 Cruise Whitsundays Airlie Beach Running Festival,” MrOberg said.

"In particular we are excited with their support of our new Turtle Club 1km Family Fun Walk - a free event for all members of the community.”

Organised by the Whitsunday Running Club, Mr Oberg said he was keen to see new participants join the runners of 2016, who came mainly from the Whitsunday region, Mackay and Townsville.

To register for the Airlie Beach Running Festival, visit www.runairlie.com.au.