FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tourism Campaign Encourages Visitors To Catch A Running Deal As
Gold Coast Airport Marathon Officially Launched
Premier Anna Bligh today officially launched the 2010 Gold Coast Airport
Marathon and a new $250,000 tourism marketing campaign to lure more
marathon fanatics to the Gold Coast.
Ms Bligh said this year's marathon was on track to be the biggest and best
in its 32-year history, with 25,000 people expected to take part.
"From humble beginnings, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon is now Australia's
largest marathon and one of the world's premier running events," she said.
"For the first time this year the event will be held over two days
(Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 July) and to encourage more runners and their
supporters to visit the Gold Coast for the Marathon weekend, Tourism
Queensland is offering some enticing Gold Coast holidays deals.
"Last year the Gold Coast Airport Marathon attracted 6,731 runners from
outside Queensland, including close to 2,000 from overseas which generated
50,000 visitor nights on the coast.
"Already this year, there have been entries from 28 countries and each
Australian state and territory.
"This $250,000 tourism campaign will encourage more visitors to stay longer
and enjoy everything the Gold Coast and more widely Queensland has to
Gold Coast Labor MPs Peter Lawlor, Peta-Kaye Croft, Christine Smith and
Margaret Keech welcomed the campaign and acknowledged how important major
events like the Gold Coast Airport Marathon are for the local economy.
The international campaign will target key international markets, including
Japan, Korea and South East Asia where the event has been traditionally
"The international campaign includes a range of initiatives such as
partnering with local running clubs, promoting 'all-inclusive' event
packages, retail promotions, press and online activity and media
familiarisations," Ms Bligh said.
"Queensland Tourism Ambassador and former Best Job in the World Island
Caretaker, Ben Southall who is competing in the marathon will front the
domestic tourism campaign.
"Ben is a keen runner and the perfect ambassador for the marathon. He's
been actively promoting the event during his global promotional tour for
"With the 2018 Commonwealth Games firmly on the radar, the Gold Coast
Airport Marathon will showcase the Gold Coast's ability to host major
Adding to the commonwealth Games flavour, Premier Bligh was joined at
today's launch by the past, present and future of Australian marathon
running including; 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games marathon gold medallist
Rob de Castella, Gold Coast running sensation Michael Shelley who last week
was selected in the Australian Team to contest the marathon at this year's
Commonwealth Games, and future stars of running from Benowa State School
who will be a competitive age by the time of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The growth of the event in recent years had made in necessary to become a
two-day event now with the Southern Cross University 10km Run and
Wheelchair Half Marathon features of the new Saturday program.
"This growth can be attributed to many factors from the event offering
something for all ages and abilities, its beautiful destination on the Gold
Coast, the start and finish area at the Southport Broadwater Parklands,
having an established date on the first weekend in July, and long-term
partners including Gold Coast Airport who has now sponsored the event for
eight consecutive years," Ms Bligh said.
Gold Coast Airport Chairman Jim Tolhurst said the Gold Coast Airport
provided the gateway for thousands of intrastate, interstate and
international participants and their supporters to come to the Gold Coast
for the event.
"Our $100 million passenger terminal redevelopment opened in January this
year, doubling the size of the our existing terminal, making it easier than
ever for Gold Coast Airport Marathon entrants to fly directly to the Gold
Coast," Mr Tolhurst said.
Entrants in this year's Gold Coast Airport Marathon can also support the
official charity, Cancer Council Queensland, who are promoting a pink and
blue campaign for both men's and women's cancer charities.
Races on the program at this year's Gold Coast Airport Marathon are the
full Gold Coast Airport Marathon, ASICS Half Marathon, Wheelchair Half
Marathon, Southern Cross University 10km Run, Gold Coast Bulletin 5km
Challenge and Queensland Health Junior Dash.
People can enter online at www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au. A special
'early bird' entry period ends tomorrow night with people encouraged to get
in before then to take advantage of the special fees.
For more information visit www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au.
10 Interesting Facts about the Gold Coast Airport Marathon
The event has dubbed 2010 as the 'Year of the Marathon' to celebrate the
2,500th anniversary of the running of the original marathon by Athenian
soldier Pheidippides who ran to Athens from the battlefield of Marathon
where the Greek Army had won a crucial battle against the invading Persian
Army in 490BC.
The 'Year of the Marathon' campaign has contributed to a rise in the number
of full marathon entrants this year. Entries in the full marathon are
currently up 39% on the same time last year.
Entries have increased every year since 2001 in the Gold Coast Airport
Marathon when total entries numbered 7,960. Last year the total number was
23,398 from 42 countries, almost triple the number in eight years.
The Gold Coast Airport Marathon attracts the bulk of its international
entries from Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. The
event receives tremendous support from Tourism Queensland, Gold Coast
Tourism and Tourism Australia in marketing to each of those countries.
Pat Carroll and Margaret Reddan hold the most number of wins in the full
42.195km marathon at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon with four. Pat won in
1984, 1985, 1988 and 1997. Margaret won in 1981, 1984, 1985 and 1986. Pat
still participates and organises the pace runners for the marathon and half
Samantha Hughes was the most recent local Gold Coast winner of the full
Gold Coast Airport Marathon. Samantha won the marathon in 2000. She still
participates and coordinates the Gold Coast City Council corporate team
The race record for the full marathon is held by Brad Camp. Brad clocked 2
hours 10 minutes 11 seconds back in 1989. This equates to a speed of a
touch over three minutes per kilometre or just under 20km per hour. Brad
still annually runs in the ASICS Half Marathon.
Only one runner has reached 30 Gold Coast Marathons and that is John
Wishart from Peregian Beach. He only missed the first marathon in 1979 and
has contested the previous 30 full marathons. This year he steps down to
the ASICS Half Marathon.
The oldest entrant so far this year is 84-year-old Joan Macken from
Southport who will contest the Gold Coast Bulletin 5km Challenge. The
youngest entrant is Ellie Reid from Chelmer who will celebrate her 5th
birthday on the Sunday of her Queensland Health 2km Junior Dash
Over the 31 years of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon since 1979, there have
been 215,844 finishers across all races.