Sporting events are the hot topic in Queensland this month! This year’s annual Gold Coast Airport Marathon, taking place just before the State of Origin final,
is set to be a cracker with a record number of participants for the titular main event and many more for the races of lesser distance. The weekend encompasses a range of running events over the 4th and 5th of July. Nearly 5,800 runners are registered for the marathon itself, and this is expected to rise before entry cutoff on the 3rd of July. Total numbers across all races may reach as high as 27,000.
The marathon is in its 37th year of operations, and is fast becoming a popular destination event for runners local, domestic and international. It was the first marathon in Australia to attain the Road Race Gold Label from the International Association of Athletic Federations, and has a global appeal thanks to its flat, fast courses and location right near the fun, sun and sand of the Gold Coast.
More than 3,000 competitors from overseas are expected for the 2015 event, and this has been attributed at least partly to an increase of direct flights to the Gold Coast and Brisbane
Queensland’s Tourism and Major Events Minister Kate Jones said in a press release of the unprecedented numbers
: “The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is one of the world’s premier road running events... it provides an ideal opportunity to promote the Gold Coast and the State to international markets. The 2012 event attracted 5,732 entrants for the marathon itself. To break that record a fortnight out from the 2015 event is an outstanding result.”
Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2015: The events
The marathon begins at 7:20 am on Sunday the 5th of July. Those unable or unwilling to run the full 42-kilometre distance are not excluded from the fun - there are seven more races over the weekend in which keen runners of virtually all fitness levels can participate:
The Wheelchair Marathon is an entire 42 kilometres along the same course as the main event, taking in the beaches and waterways of the Gold Coast. It is an IPC sanctioned meet and race chairs only are permitted. This race starts at 7:15am on Sunday the 5th of July.
The Asics Half Marathon is a favoured distance for many runners at 21 kilometres. It runs an out-and-back course beside the picturesque Broadwater and starts at 6am on Sunday the 5th of July.
The Wheelchair 15km is a shorter distance for wheelchair racers, heading south from Southport in a one-way course beside the beach. It starts at 7:15 am on Sunday the 5th of July.
The Southern Cross University 10km offers a quarter-marathon distance with all the atmosphere of a longer race. Staring at 6:30am on Saturday the 4th of July, it is great for all ages.
The Suncorp Bank 5.7km challenge is a fun run for anyone - and prams are allowed on the course. It starts at the more leisurely hour of 8am on Saturday the 4th of July and offers participants views of the Broadwater.
The 4km Junior Dash is made just for the 5-14 year olds, a nice way for them to experience the excitement of a running event. The short loop race begins at 9:40am on Saturday the 4th of July.
The 2km Junior Dash is a short and sweet course for 5-10 year olds, and of course accompanying parents. It starts at 9:25am on Saturday the 4th of July.
Beyond the Gold Coast
With so many runners coming from all over the place to participate in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon and associated events, it’s likely that accommodation and car rentals in the Gold Coast
will book out fast. We recommend getting in quick to make sure you have a place to stay and wheels to get around.
There is so much to do in Queensland, and if you’re travelling to get to the Gold Coast you might as well stick around and see the Sunshine State. A rental car could get you around to the many theme parks, up the coast to Brisbane for a city break or into the tropical far north to escape the winter cold. You could also hit the A2 and head inland for an Outback adventure.
The list of possible post-race destinations is limited only by your imagination: the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest, the Stockman’s Hall of Fame in Longreach, the wilds of Cape York. Sore muscles? The beaches are a perfect place to get in some relaxation and rehabilitation.
Grab a car rental
for the event with Airport Rentals. Why not make a bigger trip of it and head down from Cairns
or up the coast from locations like Launceston