Lake Macquarie Running Festival runner retraces steps

Lake Macquarie Running Festival participant Janice Davis holds the Herald article published when she won the half marathon in 1985.

Lake Macquarie Running Festival participant Janice Davis holds the Herald article published when she won the half marathon in 1985.

Janice Davis Lake Macquarie Running Festival half marathon Herald article 1985.

Janice Davis Lake Macquarie Running Festival half marathon Herald article 1985.

IT was a sunny day along a scenic route from Speers Point to Valentine.

So reads runner Janice Davis' diary entry on September 28, 1985 - the day she won the female half-marathon at the inaugural Lake Macquarie Running Festival.

The diary is among piles of other memorabilia from her athletic career, including an article published in The Herald on her 1985 win.

But the Dudley runner didn't stop there.

Mrs Davis ran in the festival's half-marathon for another nine years.

She won in 1988, beating her 95-minute debut record by four minutes, and again in 1989, finishing in 88 minutes and 22 seconds.

Mrs Davis' passion for running started when she was 29.

She and a work colleague would run from their Hunter Street office to Newcastle beach and back in their lunch breaks.

In 1982 Mrs Davis joined the Newcastle Veterans Athletic Club and Newcastle Cross Country's committees.

Eighteen years later she joined Maitland Triathlon Club.

Mrs Davis still belongs to all three clubs.

"[Exercising] is like cleaning your teeth: you know it's good for you so you just do it," she said.

However, she has traded the half-marathon for a 10.5-kilometre fun run, which was introduced to the running festival in 1994.

Mrs Davis has entered and won her age group every year except the last, when she tore a tendon in her quadricep.

She is hoping to make a comeback this year when the festival returns to Lake Macquarie foreshore for its 30th year.

The festival, taken on by the Griffith family in 2000, includes a 4km kids' scamper as well as the 21.1km half-marathon and 10.5km fun run.

■ The 2014 Lake Macquarie Running Festival will be held on Sunday, August 31, from 8am. Events follow the Lake Macquarie foreshore between Speers Point and Warners Bay. Go to lakehalf.com fo rmore information or to enter.

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