Fantastic event (about: 2009)|
R. P. from Brisbane (8/4/09)
3 previous marathons
| 1 Townsville Marathon
I specifically made the trip up from Brisbane for this race and it couldn't have been more worthwhile.
The collection of the race kit couldn't be easier to find and the organization was outstanding.
The actual marathon only had about 75 competitors but there were about 1450 across all of the events. The marathon starts in the dark at 5:30 a.m., which I would think all runners would be thankful for. Townsville isn't known for its cool weather and I was concerned about the heat, but it didn't get so warm that if affected my race. I only just missed a PB and I had a really disrupted preparation.
The course is dead flat and the runs up and back along the waterfront with two laps of a 10.5K loop and then one loop of the half0marathon course. I found the distance markers a bit hard to spot and part of the course (about 6K) is along a pedestrian path along the waterfront that isn't closed off, but there was plenty of room for everyone. The rest of the course is on roads and paths that were closed off. There were plenty of water and energy drink stations and medical volunteers everywhere. The spectators were great, although there were parts of the race where they were few and far between.
All of the different races associated with the marathon had staggered start times, so most competitors (irrespective of what race they were in) finished within an hour of each other (my wife did the 10.5K and only finished 10 minutes before me). The only real exception was the +4:30 marathoners, which was a bit disappointing for them.
The finish area had this carnival atmosphere, with bongo drums beating, and fruit, ice cream and muffins given out - not only to competitors, but to anyone who was around at the finish line, which was great.
But the highlight was to see Ronald McDonald running in the 5K kids' race. He ran all of the way in those big, red shoes, and crossed followed by an army of kids. He had all of that white makeup rolling down his face with sweat (probably from the red wig and the full length costume), which I found amusing, but he kept in character when he was interviewed by the guy with the microphone.
All in all, a great experience that I would recommend for anyone wanting to do a well run, laid back, low-key marathon that is flat and fast.
I'll certainly be making the trip to Townsville again.