The Gold Coast Marathon today announced Australian distance runners will have a new incentive to run good times as part of the event’s 40th anniversary celebrations to be held on 30 June – 1 July 2018.
Organisers are encouraging Australian elite runners by offering a once-only $40,000 incentive to the first male and female to break 2:10 and 2:28 respectively at this year's race.
The door is open for up-and-coming marathon runners to make their mark on the Australian distance running scene, as it is for those established running stars to take the prize and set new records by Australians at the event, currently held by Brad Camp (2:10:11, 1989) and Virginia Moloney (2:29:14, 2017).
Gold Coast Marathon CEO Cameron Hart said the monumental prize pool was a once in a lifetime incentive for Australian athletes to run fast on home soil and etch their names in Gold Coast Marathon history.
“We’ve had plenty of fantastic performances by Australians since 1979 including Eric Sigmont and Mary Murison winning the inaugural event, Margaret Reddan’s and Pat Carroll’s four victories in the 80s and 90s, three-time Olympian Lee Troop’s win in 2006 and Virginia Moloney’s stand out Oceania Championship win last year,” Mr Hart said.
“The $40,000 prize pool should lure a number of high-profile as well as emerging Australian athletes to the Gold Coast and hopefully produce a record-breaking run that will be remembered forever.
“We’re confident our internationally-recognised flat and fast course combined with the cool winter weather and our exceptional elite athlete services will provide the perfect environment for an Australian athlete to take the spoils and go home $40,000 richer. It is our aim to unearth the next member of the Australian men’s sub 2:10 club and women’s sub 2:28 club here on the Gold Coast.”
Australian marathon record holder and event ambassador Benita Willis said the prize money is a fantastic initiative to support the Australian running community and entice homegrown talent to take on the world’s best marathoners on the Gold Coast.
“It’s a great incentive and opens up a wonderful opportunity for Australian runners currently filling their 2018 diaries,” Ms Willis said.
“Even some of those competing at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in April will be looking to back up and give it a crack. We may even find the next big name in Australian marathon running.
“I’ve never officially retired and have often talked about running the 42.195km on the Gold Coast, so you never know!”
Athletics Australia CEO Darren Gocher said the Gold Coast Marathon has been a long-term supporter of athletics in Australia and the incentive is an exciting innovation to grow the sport’s profile in the country.
“While the Gold Coast Marathon’s status as a truly international marathon remains, it continues to be an eager advocate of Australian marathon running and this initiative is just another example of this support,” Mr Gocher said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the impact this incentive has on the event and in turn, Australia’s running community.”
The Gold Coast Marathon is organised by Events Management Queensland, a major event management company wholly owned by the Queensland Government as part of Tourism and Events Queensland.
The 40th annual Gold Coast Marathon will be held on Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July 2018.
The Gold Coast Marathon is home to the fastest men’s marathon run on Australian soil (Kenneth Mungara, 2:08:42, 2015) and the quickest by a female since the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney (Abebech Bekele, 2:25:34, 2017).
Visit goldcoastmarathon.com.au for more information.
About the $40,000 prize pool