Kangaroo Island Oats Running Festival returns to Flinders Chase National Park for 2022

KI MARATHON< Runners make their way through Flinders Chase National Park in the Kangaroo Island marathon of 2017. File photo
KI MARATHON< Runners make their way through Flinders Chase National Park in the Kangaroo Island marathon of 2017. File photo

The 2022 Kangaroo Island Oats Running Festival will be held this month, despite the challenges and uncertainty caused by COVID,

The event on Saturday, May 21 will consist of a marathon, half marathon and 10km race distances and and will again be held in the Flinders Chase National Park.

The running festival was introduced to the Island's event calendar eight years ago and has always been held annually with the exception of a sabbatical in 2020 due to the significant impact of COVID restrictions and aftermath of the fires.

The re-emergence of the event in 2021 saw a record 500 runners and spectators participate.

KI Tourism Alliance deputy chairman Pierre Gregor said the race's return was testament to the "commitment and vision" of founder and director Nathan Godfrey.

He also credited Department for Environment and Water, the alliance and KI business community, who "understood the beneficial flow-on effects of conducting major events outside of the traditional peak tourism periods".

"Many of the visiting runners are staying on the Island for multiple nights, and often travel with partners or families which generates additional economic activity that benefits multiple sectors of the visitor economy," Mr Gregor said.

Mr Godfrey meanwhile is forecasting an even greater rebound in high-value travellers in 2023.

"Confidence is slowly returning; evident in 28 per cent of our runners travelling from interstate, and we're also welcoming five international runners from Ireland, Singapore and the USA," he said.

Organisers says there is still more work to do to improve the event's accessibility.

This includes lobbying the local football and netball clubs to align their bye round on the weekend of the running festival, allowing more local residents to participate.

There are also calls to subsidise ferry and bus transfers for registered runners.

"Both of these initiatives would be game changers in terms of growing the running festival," Mr Godfrey said..

Registrations remain open and can be completed via www.kangarooislandmarathon.com