On September 2, 2012, 1,500 runners and walkers competed in the first annual Dubbo Stampede, taking part in what is still dubbed 'a running festival for everyone'.
After just one event ultra-marathon athlete and former politician Pat Farmer said he "believed the stampeded has a real chance of becoming a world-class event in the next few years."
And he was right, even with a pandemic hitting the world in the ninth and tenth year of the festival.
With a virtual Stampede last year, with participants from around the world, this year committee members are keen to get runners and walkers back to the zoo.
And with a few restrictions in place, that's exactly what's going to happen in just over five weeks.
With lockdown restrictions in place for Greater Sydney and even some parts of regional NSW, the committee made the hard decision to ban those from the city in taking part in this year's run.
And as numbers in Sydney continue to grow, it's a decision that for the betterment of the community.
"If we have 1000 participants or more who all became close contacts and had to isolate for 14 days that would be devastating for the local community, and all that could happen from just a single case of COVID attending the event," Stampede committee president Nathan Weeks told the Daily Liberal.
"We want to give participants and the local community confidence that the event will be safe and we are doing all the planning we can to ensure the best event possible."
With a reassurance to participants and the community that the committee is constantly looking at restrictions and case numbers, and making decisions that are in the best interests of Dubbo and the community, it will be great to see the event supported just as well as it has been in the past.
And as we did last year virtually, we're looking forward to it again this year.
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