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Active Melburnians challenged to step up their fitness training
Wednesday 16 May, 2012
New purpose-built fitness steps running parallel to Melbourne’s famous “1000 Steps” in the Dandenong Ranges National Park are set to meet the training needs of more than half a million visitors annually with the completion this week of the first section of the bluestone steps on the Lyrebird track.
Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty joined leading Australian sports scientist Dr Dick Telford and Olympic marathon runner Lisa Weightman today to test-run the new workout destination being built by Parks Victoria, which is due to be open to the public in August.
The $400,000 Victorian Government project to build the new bluestone steps commenced last week and is designed to double the fitness training opportunities in the popular park, take pressure off the congested 1000 Steps and better protect the surrounding natural environment.
Parks Victoria designed the steps and three new fully-equipped fitness stations with input from Dr Telford who is an elite long distance running coach, with the aim of sharing his training and health prevention expertise to provide benefits for everyone who uses the new fitness training facilities.
Dr Telford said the design of the steps reduced fatigue by varying spacing between steps and stride distances so that park visitors training on them can enjoy a better workout.
“I’m proud to support this important project as it’s another way for Victorians to get more active, more often,” Dr Telford said.
“I encourage exercise enthusiasts to take up the challenge and give the steps a go.”
London-bound marathon runner Lisa Weightman tried out the first section of the 1500 metre Lyrebird Track, where expert stonemasons have installed the first flight of bluestone steps working to the fitness challenge design.
Ms Weightman said the steps were great to run on and would be a great addition to the 1000 Steps for fitness fans keen to get an inspiring workout.
“The generous space around the steps and the planned 250 metre interval distance markers allow runners to track their personal bests over repeat visits without needing to count steps,”Ms Weightman said.
Lyrebird fitness challenge steps construction facts:
- The new steps are being built by Langdon Contractors Pty Ltd on Lyrebird Track, which runs parallel to the 1000 steps, and are due for completion during August 2012.
- Four teams working with expert stonemasons are building the steps from bluestone blocks.
- Approximately 3,500 blocks of bluestone are being used to install the new steps.
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