July is a loaded month for major sporting events around the world with Wimbledon ending, the Tour de France starting and, certainly for Australia, the Gold Coast Marathon. This will be the 36th year of the race, which takes place on July 5 and 6.
There are eight races run, including two wheelchair races, two junior dash races, a 5.7-kilometer and 10-kilometer run, half marathon and the main event of the weekend, the 26.2-mile run on Sunday.
Japan had both the male and female winner last year, being the first country to win both races since 2006. Yuki Kawauchi won the men's marathon last year with a record-tying time of two hours, 10 minutes and one second. Yukiko Akaba set the women's record, crossing the line with 02:27.17 on the clock.
In anticipation of Australia's biggest marathon event, we've got a complete look at what to expect when the action kicks off on Saturday.
What: 2014 Gold Coast Airport Marathon
Where: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
When: Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6
Live Webcast: GoldCoastMarathon.com (Coverage starts at 5:45 a.m. local time; Marathon Race starts at 7:20 a.m. local time)
Live results can be found by clicking here.
|2014 Gold Coast Marathon Race Schedule|
|Race||Date, Time (Local)||Minimum Age|
|Southern Cross University 10km Run||Saturday, June 5 at 6:30 a.m.||12|
|Suncorp Bank 5.7km Challenge||Saturday, June 5 at 8 a.m.||None|
|2km Junior Dash||Saturday, June 5 at 9:25 a.m.||5|
|4km Junior Dash||Saturday, June 5 at 9:40 a.m.||5|
|ASICS Half Marathon||Sunday, June 6 at 6 a.m.||15|
|Wheelchair Marathon||Sunday, June 6 at 7:15 a.m.||18|
|Wheelchair 15km||Sunday, June 6 at 7:15 a.m.||12|
|Gold Coast Airport Marathon||Sunday, June 6 at 7:20 a.m.||18|
Marathon Course Route
In keeping with tradition, the Gold Coast Marathon is one of the most scenic marathons in the world. It takes runners all along the Gold Coast Highway as they stare into the majestic Coral Sea.
The website provided has a detailed map of the path runners will take on Sunday when the race begins:
There are six different start zones for the race, depending on how long participants are expected to take, with the fastest runners (expected to finish in under 3.5 hours) starting at Zone A and the slowest runners (expected to take between 4.5-6.5 hours) starting in Zone D.
According to Weather.com, it's going to be a perfect weekend for running in Gold Coast, Australia.
Saturday will be a little hazy with partly cloudy skies, but a high temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit is excellent running weather. There is a slim 10 percent chance of rain on the first day, but things get better on Sunday with sunny skies, a high of 67 degrees Fahrenheit and zero percent chance of rain.
If history is any indication, there will be a new record set at the Gold Coast Marathon on Sunday. Four of the five fastest times by men have come since 2011, with Kawauchi tying the mark last year.
As pointed out by the Marathon's official Twitter account, there will be two runners in town this weekend who have broken the current record (02:10.01) by more than two minutes:
According to the website's official preview for the race, there are no less than 13 male runners with a personal-best marathon time under 02:10.00, including Nicholas Manza, the defending champion Kawauchi and an Olympian:
Kawauchi, who is also a sub-2:10 marathoner, having run a personal best 2:08:14 in Seoul last year, will arrive on the Gold Coast with at least six marathons under his belt for the year including four course records and an impressive seventh sub-2:10 career marathon.
Not only will both men be tested by each other but they will be challenged by the fastest elite field in the race’s history led by seventh all-time fastest Japanese marathoner and Olympian Arata Fujiwara who boasts a 2:07:48 personal best as well as fellow countryman and 2014 Tokyo Marathon third placegetter Hirokatsu Kurosaki.
Basically, what all this information tells us is that the 2014 Gold Coast Marathon will be one of the best in the 36-year history of the race. The field is as loaded as it's ever been, and no one stands from the rest.
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