FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A Kenyan and Aussie double at record-setting
31st Gold Coast Airport Marathon
A Kenyan marathon debutant and the closest finish in the event's history
highlighted the 31st annual Gold Coast Airport Marathon held on Sunday 5
July with a record 23,398 running in the beautiful Queensland conditions.
Kenya's William Chebon Chebor won the $10,000 victory prizemoney in the
men's marathon with a barnstorming surge mid-race to cross the line in 2
hours: 12 minutes: 00 seconds, the sixth fastest time in race history.
In the women's race, less than a second separated first and second with
Western Australia's Lauren Shelley outsprinting Queensland rising marathon
star Roxie Schmidt over the final 100 metres to win in 2:42:23.
On a day with glorious running conditions, 23,398 people greeted the
starter's gun across all events on the program – the 42.2km Gold Coast
Airport Marathon, Asics Half Marathon, Southern Cross University 10km Run,
Gold Coast Bulletin 5km Challenge and Queensland Health Junior Dash over
4km and 2.25km.
The tourism impact of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon was once again
highlighted by the overall entry increase of 2,386 people (11 percent up on
last year), the 5,578 entrants from interstate and 1,948 from overseas.
More than 15,000 entrants came from outside of the Gold Coast.
The full 42.2km Gold Coast Airport Marathon drew a record field of 4,106
runners, the third largest field in Australian marathon history, with
26-year-old Chebor and 32-year-old Shelley breaking the finisher's tape.
Chebor scored a 4 minute 48 second victory over Victorian Shane Nankervis
(2:16:48) and New Zealand's Matt Smith (2:16:53).
The pace was steady for the first half of the journey with Dale Warrander
(New Zealand), Smith, Nankervis, Chebor, William Todoo Rotich (Kenya) and
Patrick Nyangelo (Tanzania) leading the field through the halfway mark in
By the 25km mark, Chebor had opened up a 33 second gap over Nankervis and
Rotich which turned into a race-winning surge.
"Halfway I lost the other William and started to run very hard," said
"I realised halfway that breaking the record wasn't possible, but second
(Nankervis) was so far away that I wasn't worried about not winning."
Nankervis said he was feeling strong until the 35km mark before starting to
"look for home".
"I'm really happy to run well in Australia, as I haven't run in Australia
in a while," said Nankervis.
"I was feeling good and then the Kenyan broke at halfway and I tried to go
with him but he was too strong."
Nankervis' second position saw him claim the Oceania Marathon Championship
from his Kiwi counterpart.
Smith said he will return home to New Zealand happy with his result which
got him on the podium for the first time on the Gold Coast.
"The Kenyan was definitely the best man on the day – a very worthy winner,"
"I'm very pleased with third after coming fourth last year, it's a great
Lauren Shelley's last-stride win improved on two previous runner-up
finishes in this event in 2005 and 2007 and gave her the Oceania Marathon
Championship title, while Schmidt finished one place higher than last year
with her second placing and the honour of being Queensland Marathon
"I saw Roxie at the 35km turn and I was slowing and I hoped I had it in me
to keep ahead of her," said Shelley.
"In the last 100 metres, it's funny how you always manage to find that
something extra and when Roxie got in front I really needed to dig in."
Schmidt improved on her personal best marathon time set when she won the
Gold Coast's sister marathon in Senshu, Japan in February by over five
"At the start of the week I was feeling a bit fluey so I didn't expect a
top three finish," said Schmidt.
"That was a massive personal best of mine so I'm really happy," she said.
Japan's Mai Tagami was third in a time of 2:47:28.
Earlier in the morning Tanzanian Dickson Marwa (1:02:09) took out the Asics
Half Marathon in another thrilling race that saw only seconds separating
the first three finishers.
In a blanket finish, defending champion Michael Shelley of the Gold Coast
was second despite setting a personal best time of 1:02:10 while 2006 race
winner Martin Dent of the ACT finished third, also in a personal best of
Marwa, the two-time winner of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon in 2003 and
2005, arrived on the starting line in hot form with a 2:13:23 run at the
Rotterdam Marathon in April and a 59:52 half marathon performance last
Maintaining the trend of personal bests, Victoria's Lisa-Jane Weightman
smashed her personal best by well over a minute in winning the women's
Asics Half Marathon in a time of 1:10:42.
Weightman won this race back in 2007 before setting a 2:32:22 time in her
marathon debut last year in London and achieving a credible 33rd place
finish in the Beijing Olympic Marathon.
Brisbane's Cassie Fien was second (1:12:24) while 2008 Gold Coast Airport
Marathon champion Shireen Crumpton of New Zealand was third (1:14:05) over
the shorter distance.
Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Paralympic Wheelchair Marathon Champion Kurt
Fearnley backed up his favouritism in the Asics Wheelchair Half Marathon
with an emphatic win in 45:21.
Triple Olympian Lee Troop took out the Southern Cross University 10km Run
in 29:28 before immediately heading back to the start line to take up his
duty as a 2:24 pace runner in the full marathon which started 15 minutes
after his 10km finish.
Sydney's Harry Summers was second (30:00) while Mitch Kealey from Brisbane
was third (30:18).
Rising Queensland runner Clare Geraghty won the women's Southern Cross
University 10km Run in an impressive time of 34:25 after taking a year off
with injuries that included three back and two foot fractures.
Japan's Kiyomi Niwata (35:05) was second with Victoria's Susan Michelsson
third in a time of 35:24.
In the Queensland Health Junior Dash, Sam Underwood from Burbank (8:19) and
Riko Kakihana from Japan (8:42) won the 2.25km race for boys and girls
respectively, while Dylan Nankivell from Tannum Sands (12:51) and Brigitte
Fischer from Yaroomba (14:17) won the 4km race. Dylan's win in a blanket
finish from Patrick Tiernan was only one second outside the race record.
This year's Corporate Teams Challenge proved a major success with 42 teams
eligible for the prizes provided by sponsor MyFun.com.au. The prize for the
Largest Team was awarded to Team Health with 628 participants, and they
also won the award for Most Kilometres Travelled with a total of 8,535km on
the day. In the Fitness Teams Challenge, the Largest Team went to Curves
Gold Coast with 150 participants while the Most Kilometers Travelled was
1168.24km by the Runaway Bay Sports Super Centre.
There were 11 more people inducted into the 20 Year Club this year, taking
the total membership to 43. This honour goes to people who have completed
20 of the same event in Gold Coast Airport Marathon history.
John Wishart from Peregian Beach also became the first person in Gold Coast
Airport Marathon history to have completed 30 Gold Coast Marathons. John
finished the 42.2km journey in 4:29:46 to have recorded a total of 1,265km
run at the event over the 30 years.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh was happy with her performance finishing the
Asics Half Marathon in 2:12:16, while the winner of Tourism Queensland's
'Best Job in the World' Ben Southall from the UK crossed the line in
Australian marathon legend Steve Moneghetti was a PatCarrollOnline.com Pace
Runner in the men's marathon and brought the three-hour group home in
2:59:15. Four-time Gold Coast Airport Marathon winner Pat Carroll was the
1:40 Pace Runner in the Asics Half Marathon and finished in a tick under
this time in 1:39:57.
Marathon race record holder from 1989 Brad Camp was running to help a
friend set a best time in the Asics Half Marathon and ran 1:39:11. Junior
Ambassador for the event, leg amputee Tara Panayis from the Gold Coast,
finished in just over 15 minutes but eight minutes ahead of her time last
In more great news, more than $100,000 was raised for charity through the
Everyday Hero website including official charities Cancer Council
Queensland and Transplant Australia. Marathon entrant James Hines from
Melbourne was the leading fundraiser totaling over $10,000 and he finished
in a time of 3:39:06.
The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is organised by Queensland Events Gold
Coast which is a major event management company wholly owned by the
Queensland Government through Queensland Events Corporation.
Queensland Events Gold Coast General Manager Cameron Hart praised his team
including the 800-plus volunteers, 23,398 participants, thousands of crowd
supporters and all the event sponsors for contributing to the best Gold
Coast Airport Marathon yet.
"The weather, the results, the atmosphere and the general running of the
event was fantastic," said Hart.
"I congratulate the race winners who provided so many highlights from the
day including the finish of the women's Gold Coast Airport Marathon, men's
Asics Half Marathon and the boys in the 4km Queensland Health Junior Dash
where it came right down to the final few metres.
"However the real winners on the day were all the people who embraced the
next step and made the start line for one of the events in beautiful Gold
Coast weather conditions.
"Bring on next year when we will celebrate the 2,500th anniversary of the
original marathon with another world-class Gold Coast Airport Marathon."
The 2010 Gold Coast Airport Marathon will be held on Sunday 4 July, and
will be staged once again from the Southport Broadwater Parklands.
Gold Coast Airport Marathon: 4,106
Asics Half Marathon: 7,663
Southern Cross University 10km Run: 5,943
Gold Coast Bulletin 5km Challenge: 4,614
4km Junior Dash: 423
2.25km Junior Dash: 649
Honour Roll of Winners
Gold Coast Airport Marathon: Male – William Chebon Chebor (KEN), Female –
Lauren Shelley (WA)
Asics Half Marathon: Male – Dickson Marwa (TAN), Female – Lisa
Southern Cross University 10km Run: Male – Lee Troop (VIC), Female – Clare
Queensland Health Junior Dash 2.25km: Boys – Sam Underwood (QLD), Girls -
Riko Kakihana (JPN)
Queensland Health Junior Dash 4km: Boys – Dylan Nankivell (QLD), Girls –
Brigitte Fischer (QLD)