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Airlie Beach Running Fest Is Back

By Mark Beale

Running: A desire to run with her school mates has led to one lucky youngster scoring the trip of a lifetime to see the Great Barrier Reef “from above and below”.

Mia Vique, 8, from Strathdickie, is the winner of the Airlie Beach Running Festival Early Bird competition. The Bendigo Bank Primary School Challenge is a 2km “Fun Run” for primary school-aged children, on Saturday, July 16, in Airlie Beach, which last year attracted almost 200 school children in its first year.

Mia’s prize includes a scenic plane trip over Heart Reef, thanks to GSL Aviation, and an exhilarating ride out to Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet with Ocean Rafting. Mia’s mum Jenny Vique, who moved to the Whitsundays 18 months ago with her two daughters and husband Marty, from Central Coast, NSW, said Mia was very excited about running with her school friends.

“They have all been talking about it at school a fair bit and Mia wanted to do it and be fit, so she registered, and her sister Emily, who is 9, said she wanted to do it too,” Mrs Vique said.

Schools from across the region participated last year.

Now in its fourth year, the Airlie Beach Running Festival draws runners from all over Australia with more than 600 people taking to the streets and beaches last year.

For more information go to or to register your school’s interest for the 2016 Primary School Challenge email


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