THE 36th annual Gold Coast Airport Marathon is on track to host a strong international field of runners this year, including a band of elite athletes with the credentials to shatter race record times across the 5 – 6 July race weekend.
The event was officially launched this morning at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon finish line in the Southport Broadwater Parklands.
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With the newly refurbished Gold Coast Aquatic Centre as a backdrop, the Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey launched what is set to be the largest and fastest international field of runners in the event’s history.
“Last year this event saw more than 27,000 competitors converge on the Southport Broadwater Parklands, with 53% of those travelling to the Gold Coast from interstate or overseas,” said Minister Stuckey.
“The event was also broadcast to 64 countries showcasing the Gold Coast to thousands of potential visitors, with this year’s event to be televised to similar audience.
“Event organisers are anticipating unprecedented participation for this year’s event across all international markets, particularly the key tourism markets of South East Asia, China and Japan.
“The Gold Coast Airport Marathon confirmed its position as one of the world’s leading road races, becoming the first Australian marathon to attain an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) IAAF Road Race Gold Label in 2013.
“As we look toward the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, it is events like the Gold Coast Airport Marathon that showcase to a global audience our ability to host high calibre international sporting events.
The top five elite runners for the men’s and women’s 42.195km Gold Coast Airport Marathon were also announced today. It will be the strongest marathon field ever assembled on the Gold Coast with 13 men who have personal best times below the two hour ten minute benchmark and five women with times under two hours 30 minutes.
Event Chairman Kerry Watson said the depth in this year’s elite field could see both men’s and women’s race records broken.
“We’ll be joined by world-class runners from Kenya, Ethiopia, Japan and many other countries, as well as some of Australia’s and New Zealand’s best,” Mr Watson said.
“Japan is particularly well represented in the elite men’s and women’s ranks and, of course, there will be a strong contingent of African runners who never fail to produce something special.”
This year’s race program will feature the full 42.195km Gold Coast Airport Marathon, ASICS Half Marathon, Southern Cross University 10km Run, Suncorp Bank 5.7km Challenge and 4km and 2km Junior Dash races.
Runners and walkers also have the opportunity to dedicate their run and raise funds for the official charity Cancer Council Queensland or for a charity of their choice.
Entries for the 36th Gold Coast Airport Marathon are open. For more information, or to enter, visit www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au