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Posted: March 5, 2009  :

(RWire) Athletics: New Elements Added to 2009 Gold Coast Airport Marathon

Waterfront course segment, Gold Coast Bulletin 5K Challenge and new home for ASICS Sport & Leisure Expo

SOUTHPORT, Queensland, Australia - (February 26, 2009) - The 31st Gold Coast Airport Marathon to be held on Sunday, July 5 will feature a new segment to its waterfront course, a brand new race on its program and a new home for the ASICS Sport & Leisure Expo and Registration Centre.

Queensland Events Gold Coast General Manager Cameron Hart said these changes will add additional appeal for participants and the community as well as streamlining the operation and management of the event.

The full 42.195K Gold Coast Airport Marathon course which starts at the Southport Broadwater Parklands will this year stretch all the way to a southern turnaround point at Burleigh Heads, rather than the previous turnaround at Miami.

"This will add another scenic and flat section to the course at the southern end taking in one of the most beautiful and well known beaches in the world, Burleigh Heads," said Hart. "The marathon course will take participants into another beautiful part of the Gold Coast and continue its standing as one of the most picturesque courses in the world."

A new 5K event to be called the Gold Coast Bulletin 5K Challenge has been added to the program for both runners and walkers, replacing the previous 7.5K Walk.

"The addition of the Gold Coast Bulletin 5K Challenge will be a great introduction for those runners who may not feel ready to tackle a 10K race just yet," said Hart. "The new event will allow a runner to start with the 5K this year and then 'Embrace the Next Step' to a longer distance next year. The 5K is also a good distance for the walkers, many of whom are participating for the health and fitness benefits as well as to enjoy the atmosphere of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon with friends or colleagues."

The Event Registration Centre and ASICS Sport & Leisure Expo will this year be located at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre at Broadbeach from Thursday to Saturday July 2-4, moving from its previous temporary facility in the Start and Finish Precinct at the Southport Broadwater Parklands.

"The move to a permanent convention and exhibition centre will enhance the standard of our expo and registration centre," said Hart.

"With our significant growth in participant numbers over recent years, moving the expo and registration centre offsite will free up much space for additional race day infrastructure and reduce traffic congestion around our race precinct in the days leading into the event.

"It also enables greater visitation to the ASICS Sport & Leisure Expo by the wider community to check out the latest in fitness and sporting products and services."

Following the success of the 2008 event, a number of initiatives launched last year will also continue including 5K split times for the marathon and a webcast, both live on the official website

The full Gold Coast Airport Marathon will have a cut-off time of 6 hours 30 minutes this year ensuring all races have concluded by 2:00pm.

For further information including entry fees, visit Entries will open for this year's Gold Coast Airport Marathon on Tuesday, April 14 via the event website.

Ryan Lamppa, Running USA Media Director
(805) 696-6232; Fax = (805) 659-0016

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