Novice or veteran, young or old, this two-day running festival at Australia’s famed Gold Coast – with its incomparable beaches, theme parks and superb nightlife – has something you can aim for. A faster time, a longer distance or even a first fun run; you can set your own challenge and the 65% of runners who have set new personal best times at this event.
Reasons to attend
1. You’ve trained hard and stocked high on carbohydrates in advance of race day. But no matter whether you’re a first-timer or a veteran, you’ll undoubtedly still have pre-race nerves. Fortunately, you’ll never find another course as flat – or picturesque – as this one. That will definitely raise your spirits.
2. The anticipation as you make your way in the dark to the baggage drop-off point and the start line at Southport is incredible. You will be meeting fellow runners from around the world. As you wait for the starting gun, the first rays of the sun will rise over the Pacific Ocean and you'll see the Gold Coast at its best. It’s going to be a golden experience, no matter what your result.
3. Don’t take our word for it. In 2014, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon was officially recognised for the first time by the IAAF (the governing body of world athletics) with a Gold Label status, confirming its position as one of the world’s elite marathon events. Bragging rights are assured after you show off your finishers’ medal and finishers’ shirt.
4. Want to run alongside some of the fastest endurance athletes of your generation? Here on the Gold Coast, you will. Each year the marathon attracts some of the finest runners, particularly from Africa and Asia. International superstars return year after year.
5. Haven’t got the stamina or done the training to complete the full marathon? Don’t despair. That’s what makes this running festival so special. Fancy a half-marathon? 10km run? Kids' dash? What about the Wheelchair Marathon or 15km race? Needless to say, every finisher is a winner. Check the website – there’s an activity perfect for you.
6. Don’t worry about Australia’s hot climate. July is midwinter, but on the Gold Coast that means typical temperatures of 19 degrees Celsius. Perfect running weather and an excellent temperature to experience the Gold Coast’s famous beachside restaurants, cafes, shopping and nightlife – or visit the beautiful hinterland with some of Australia’s best mountain scenery.
7. Feel inspired with the crowds cheering you on as spectators provide you with plenty of Runspiration during the race to keep your spirits high and help you cross the finish line.
What to look out for
If you want to squeeze maximum enjoyment out of your run, book a seat at the AirAsia Legends Lunch on the Saturday at Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. Not only will it help calm any last-minute nerves and give you a chance to meet other runners over a carbohydrate-rich meal of pasta, salad and other delicacies, you can also listen to advice on running the perfect race from Australia's champion athletes.
How to get there
The closest airport is Gold Coast Airport, about 25km from the start line. Shuttle buses run regularly to most hotels, or you can take a taxi.
Alternatively, Brisbane Airport is 86km to the north.
On the Gold Coast itself, public transport is easy for guests to use, and there are plenty of taxis available.