FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ethiopia and Japan Double at Record-Breaking Gold Coast Airport Marathon
It was an Ethiopia and Japan double at the record-breaking 34th annual Gold
Coast Airport Marathon held today in beautiful running conditions on
Queensland's Gold Coast in Australia.
An event record of 28,224 took part across all races this weekend including
the most finishers ever in an Australian marathon race (5,094). This added
additional gloss to the performances of Gold Coast Airport Marathon race
winners Alemayehu Shumye from Ethiopia (men) and Kaori Yoshida (Japan).
In attendance today, Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and
Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey, said the Gold Coast Airport Marathon
continued to break new ground as a major event on the Gold Coast.
"Congratulations to the 28,224 participants in this weekend's Gold Coast
Airport Marathon and to the 1,100 volunteers who have made this event
memorable for everyone," said Stuckey.
"This year we have hosted another record number of runners with more than
9,000 travelling from interstate and overseas to experience Queensland's
beautiful Gold Coast.
"The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is a great example of how the Newman
Government is investing in events to establish Queensland as Australia's
number one tourist destination.
"As we look toward the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, the continuing
success of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon is a shining example of our
ability to host high, quality international sporting events."
Shumye became the first Ethiopian man to win the Gold Coast Airport
Marathon clocking 2:10:35, just missing out on the race record by a meagre
"I flew in from Ethiopia yesterday and didn't get to sleep until 1am so I
had no sleep and no rest," said Shumye.
"I felt tired throughout the race but when I finished I ran back past the
crowd to celebrate with them.
"The competition here is good and I will come back next year and win
another one. I love the Gold Coast and today I'm very happy."
Two minutes behind the race leader were two Kenyans, 25-year-old Robert
Mwangi who clocked 2:12:19 for second closely followed by Ernest Kebenei in
third in 2:12:49.
For the second time at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Yoshida blitzed her
rivals and took the women's marathon crown in 2:30:36, just over a minute
outside the race record.
"It was difficult to keep the right pace because I was running by myself in
front of the pack," said Yoshida.
"I was aiming to break the course record but the weather started getting
hot towards the end. I'll definitely be back and I'll break the record next
"I have run two Gold Coast Airport Marathons and had two wins [in 2010 and
2012]. I love this course and the audience just makes it more fantastic."
Madoka Ogi gave Japan the top two places when she crossed the line three
minutes after Yoshida in 2:33:48. Kenyan Hellen Kimutai, 34, claimed third
place in 2:36:45.
Queensland's Jonathan Peters and New Zealand's Sally Gibbs won the IAAF
Oceania Area Marathon Championship as part of the race.
Three-time winner of the Wheelchair Half Marathon Richard Nicholson (ACT)
seized his debut Wheelchair Marathon on the Gold Coast and rolled over the
line in first position in 1:45:04.
Alex Watson (NSW) surprised everyone today on debut when she was victorious
in the women's ASICS Half Marathon in a personal best 1:13:07.
The Tweed Heads local overcame the odds after recovering from life-saving
surgery last year to be the leading female in the record-breaking field of
10,001 runners in the ASICS Half Marathon.
"About 10 months ago I had two major surgeries to remove a huge tumour from
my stomach," said Watson.
"It was a really rare disease where my stomach and everything inside me got
all twisted and my stomach was basically up in my throat.
"I have a scar from my navel to my chest and the doctors said I definitely
should not be here today.
"After my surgery I couldn't even walk. So to be back here today, running,
and winning my debut half marathon race is amazing."
Watson dominated the race with second placegetter Narumi Shirataki (JPN)
crossing the line more than a minute after her (1:14:18). Third place went
to New Zealander Lisa Robertson who clocked 1:14:22.
25-year-old Liam Adams (VIC) couldn't have asked for a better half marathon
debut after taking out the men's ASICS Half Marathon in 1:03:28 in a close
race with only six seconds separating him from second place Harry Summers.
"It was my debut for the half marathon so throughout the run I was just
hoping to be up there with the pace, I wasn't really expecting to win,"
"I just got back from America where I was doing some altitude training and
putting in some solid mileage in preparation.
"My next goal is to take the double and win the City To Surf (in Sydney)
but it's pretty ambitious – not many people have ever been able to do it.
But I've been training pretty well though so we'll see what happens."
NSW's Harry Summers ran 1:03:34 while third placegetter Shinichi Yamashita
(JPN) crossed the line in 1:04:25.
The race also doubled as the IAAF Oceania Area Marathon Championships which
Adams and Robertson claimed as eligible runners. The running conditions
were perfect for ASICS Ambassador and 2010 Miss Universe Australia Jesinta
Campbell's half marathon debut. The Gold Coast beauty was on track for a
1:50 finish but was hampered by an injury at the17.5km mark but dug deep to
cross the line in 2:17:40.
"I had a fantastic start and was on track running my 5:30 kilometre pace
but injured my leg at around the 17.5km mark," said Jesinta.
"I wasn't going to stop because I worked so hard in training, it was a
fantastic feeling crossing the line. Next year I might have to try again
and get under the two-hour mark."
Former Hockeyroo Kate Hollywood showed character as she lapped up the
beautiful Gold Coast conditions clocking a notable 1:42:26.
Rugby league and union international Mat Rogers completed his first
marathon in 3:34:54 while Australian media personality Dan MacPherson was
rapt with his time of 3:07:52.
150 teams enjoyed the atmosphere this weekend with Team Health (429 runners
and 12,314km) and Step Into Life (205 runners and 2,828km) winning the
largest teams and most kilometres travelled in the Corporate Teams
Challenge and Fitness Teams Challenge respectively.
Events Queensland Gold Coast Chairman Kerry Watson said the Gold Coast
Airport Marathon proved to be the biggest and best in its 34-year history.
"This was a truly great event with record entries, record finishers for an
Australian marathon race, quality elite results, beautiful Queensland
weather and an inspiring atmosphere around the course," said Watson.
"Thanks to the support of the Queensland Government through Events
Queensland, the 10th year of our fantastic partnership with Gold Coast
Airport and the support of our sponsors, my team at Events Queensland Gold
Coast has been able to deliver a magnificent event well supported by the
1,100-strong Suncorp Bank Volunteer Team.
"It is also a wonderful result for charity with more than $420,000 being
raised by our participants through Everyday Hero to a range of charities
including our major beneficiary Cancer Council Queensland."
The 2013 Gold Coast Airport Marathon will be held on 6-7 July. Visit
www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au for more information.
The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is supported by the Queensland Government
through Events Queensland Gold Coast as part of a growing calendar of
sporting, cultural and regional events.
Visit the diverse calendar of events in Queensland at www.eventsqld.com.au
RESULTS FOR MEDIA
Gold Coast Airport Marathon
1. Alemayehu Shumye (ETHIOPIA) 2:10:35
2. Robert Mwangi (KENYA) 2:12:19
3. Ernest Kebenei (KENYA) 2:12:49
4. Yuki Kawauchi (JAPAN) 2:13:26
5. Jonathan Peters (QLD) 2:20:05
6. Rowan Walker (VIC) 2:21:19
7. Chin Ping Ho (TAIWAN) 2:23:48
8. Wondwosen Geleta (VIC) 2:26:17
9. Jay Phillpotts (VIC) 2:27:01
10. Mark Tucker (NSW) 2:29:08
1. Kaori Yoshida (JAPAN) 2:30:36
2. Madoka Ogi (JAPAN) 2:33:48
3. Hellen Kimutai (KENYA) 2:36:45
4. Filomena Costa (PORTUGAL) 2:40:57
5. Chihiro Tanaka (JAPAN) 2:40:58
6. Sally Gibbs (NEW ZEALAND) 2:41:15
7. Anita Keem (NSW) 2:42:43
8. Kaori Oyama (JAPAN) 2:43:45
9. Alexandra Williams (NEW ZEALAND) 2:45:19
10. Robyn Millard (VIC) 2:46:44
1. Richard Nicholson (ACT) 1:45:04
2. Billy Chaffey (NSW) 2:06:04
3. Yuhei Yasuno (JAPAN) 4:01:16
ASICS Half Marathon
1. Liam Adams (VIC) 1:03:28
2. Harry Summers (NSW) 1:03:34
3. Shinichi Yamashita (JAPAN) 1:04:25
4. Lee Troop (VIC) 1:05:34
5. Alastair Stevenson (QLD) 1:05:46
6. Benjamin Ashkettle (VIC) 1:05:59
7. Stephen Dinneen (VIC) 1:06:11
8. Russell Dessaix-Chin (NSW) 01:06:19
9. Peter Nowill (QLD) 1:06:29
10. Josh Harris (TAS) 1:07:11
1. Alex Watson (NSW) 1:13:07
2. Narumi Shirataki (JAPAN) 1:14:18
3. Lisa Robertson (NEW ZEALAND) 1:14:22
4. Risa Utta (JAPAN) 1:15:43
5. Belinda Martin (NSW) 1:16:11
6. Tracey Austin (VIC) 1:17:59
7. Amanda Watson (NSW) 1:18:32
8. Clare Geraghty (QLD) 1:18:49
9. Amy Stafford (NSW) 1:18:52
10. Alice Mason (NEW ZEALAND) 1:19:09
Total – 28,224 (record)
Gold Coast Airport Marathon – 5,749
ASICS Half Marathon – 10,001
Southern Cross University 10km Run – 6,916
Queensland Health 5.7km Challenge – 4,021
Dreamworld 4km Junior Dash – 558
Dreamworld 2km Junior Dash – 979