FAMILIES from the ACT and as far as Western Australia turned out for the 37th Dubbo New Year's Open Athletics Carnival this weekend.
The two-day event had 318 registered competitors and was open to athletes young and old.
Held at Barden Park and organised by the Dubbo Athletics Club, the carnival's main attractions were the two races on Saturday, which saw Kyle Connelly (Orange) and Jenna Heath (Blue Mountains) take out the male and female races. The races were valued at $500, with the winners receiving $225 each, the runners-up $125 and third place $100.
Athletics club president David Williams said the carnival was carefully planned to allow participants to come and go as they pleased throughout the sweltering hot weekend.
"We gave competitors wristbands so they could come and go as they pleased, also allowing them to use the outdoor pool for just $1," he said.
He said the park would be redeveloped between June 2013 and 2014 to include the installation of a synthetic track, a 500-seat grandstand, change room and canteen facilities.
With people pouring in from all parts of NSW as well as Australia, the visitor numbers were up in Dubbo and many were expected to visit attractions like the Taronga Western Plains Zoo and the Old Dubbo Gaol.
The Hynes family came from WA to visit family and took part in the carnival, with the four children competing in a number of events.
Sarah Hynes, 13, found out about the carnival on the internet and her mother quickly registered them.
"I've competed in the long jump, the 1500 (to which she came first) and three kilometre races and the 4x1 (100m) relay," she said.
Her brother Lachlan, 10, who competed and came third in the 1500 metre, as well as the high jump and long jump, said he had enjoyed his stay in Dubbo, despite the 40 degree weather.
Their two brothers Rohan (7) and Connor (9) also competed in the carnival.
The Davis family from Cooma in the ACT had two members taking part, with 10-year-old Jordan and six-year-old Stephen competing in mainly the running, throwing and jumping events.
"I came equal first in the high jump, second in the relay and discus and third in shot put," Jordan said.
Younger brother Stephen, according to his mother, achieved a personal best in long jump and enjoyed competing in shot put and the 50 metre sprint.
"The boys have done really well but it has been very hot," she said.
She said the family travelled all the way to Dubbo especially for the carnival.
Dubbo resident Mavis Gibbs, at 87 years old, competed in shot put, discus and javelin.
Attending the carnival has been a yearly ritual for she and her son Graeme since the carnival began in 1976.
"I've been to 37 carnivals and I'm looking forward to going to the next one," she said.
More in depth results will appear in editions of the Daily Liberal this week.