In glorious Gold Coast conditions three Kenyan men and three Japanese women took top marathon honours and three race records were broken.
In a new move, running events were held over two days; a test that proved so successful, organisers may consider expanding it into a week-long celebration of sport next year to encourage more winter visitors to the pleasantly temperate seaside region.
Runners enjoy the magnificent conditions on the Gold Coast in winter, as well as the flat, fast and beautiful course that runs alongside the Pacific Ocean surf beaches and broadwater.
This year rising Kenyan star James Kariuki won the marathon in 2:13:53, followed by compatriots Peter Cherus and Ben Chebet.
First woman home was Japan’s Kaori Yoshida in an impressive 2:31:33. Behind her were fellow Japanese runners, Chiharu Matsuo and Mayumi Fujita.
Finishing a great marathon, New Zealand’s Bernie Portenski achieved a new world record for age 60-plus women, clocking 3:01:30.
An18-year record was smashed when Victoria’s Lisa Weightman finished the ASICS Half Marathon in an Australian Allcomers record time of 1:09:00.
And the 10km race record was broken on the Saturday by four-times winner
Michael Shelley, in 28:53.
This year more than 5000 crossed the start line in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, making it now the largest marathon in Australia. In total about 23,800 participated in a range of events, including half marathon, 10km, 5km and two junior dash distances.
Most participants take part for the personal challenge, the experience of a vibrant community event and to embrace a healthy and active lifestyle.
The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is also great for group participation and offers a streamlined entry system for teams of 20 or more.
Thousands of spectators cheer runners home with roving musicians and entertainers around the course creating an amazing atmosphere called ‘Runspiration’.
This was the ninth year of growth and event organisers say the change to two days will allow for more growth in future. Next year’s event will be 2nd-3rd July.