Marathon weekend to attract 27,000 runners
CHRISTINE Gleria, from Surfers Paradise, is in training to build up her stamina in time for her first Gold Coast Marathon event.
She's in good company - 27,000 entrants are expected to run in the marathon's events.
Being active and a regular walker, Christine will attempt The Star Gold Coast 5.7km Challenge.
Her daughter, Lyn Baird, who's entered in the Southern Cross University 10km run, has been encouraging her mother to maintain her fitness so they have completed parkruns together.
The race precinct on marathon weekend will be located at the Broadwater Parklands, Marine Parade, Southport.
That's where the start and finish lines are located and it'll be the centre of all the action and atmosphere.
Christine, 71, says at least the 5.7km challenge course is "flat".
"I don't jog - the knees give way. I walk very quickly," she said.
"I'm hoping there's a lot more people my age going to be in it.
"If I do under an hour, I'll be quite happy.
"I think it's marvellous because it gives everyone a chance.
"It's the people you meet. The organisers are always fantastic, friendly and encouraging."
Christine says running in a Gold Coast Marathon event is on Lyn's bucket list.
"She'll be there at the end to encourage me in," she said.
Christine walks often around her Surfers neighbourhood.
"If you stay within four walls, I think you 'retire'," she said.
"We need to get out at our age.
"It's very rare that I take the car out. I take the tram."
The 39th annual Gold Coast Airport Marathon will be held on Saturday and Sunday, July 1 and 2.
This year's race program will feature the Gold Coast Airport Marathon over 42.2km, Wheelchair Marathon, ASICS Half Marathon, Wheelchair 15km, Southern Cross University 10km Run, The Star Gold Coast 5.7km Challenge, Zespri 4km Junior Dash and Zespri 2km Junior Dash.
The biggest names in Australian marathon running history will be on hand to run alongside, back slap, high-five and cheer on participants to the finish line.
Brisbane 1982 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and former world record-holder Rob de Castella will lead the charge of running legends striding out with entrants along with 1994 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Gold Coast 2018 chef de mission Steve Moneghetti, Australian female marathon record-holder Benita Willis, Australian half marathon All-Comers record-holder Pat Carroll and three-time Olympian Lee Troop.
Rob de Castella says he is looking forward to being a part of the event and supporting runners in reaching their goals.
"There is absolutely nothing better than running that last 100m down through the finish chute of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon and to be able to celebrate and share that with runners, to be able to give them a high-five or a hug, is going to be magnificent," he said.
"It is an incredible feeling of accomplishment and I'm looking forward to being amongst it on the Gold Coast.
"It's the best running weekend in the country - course, crowd, location and organisation, and my family and I want to be a part of it."