Pro­posed changes to de­liver faster course

Multisport Mecca - - News -

HALF marathon­ers bet­ter have a need for speed.

Route changes are yet to be fi­nalised, but on the draw­ing board is a course which will see just two turn­around points rather than the cur­rent six - which should equate to about one minute of saved time for elite com­peti­tors.

The course is ex­pected to ex­tend north.

The long-term goal is a sin­gle-lap marathon and at­tract more than 7000 ath­letes an­nu­ally.

Race or­gan­iser Ja­son Crowther said the goal over the next two or three years was to spread the word about a fast course.

“We want peo­ple to come here and try and set a PB,” he said.

“We get over a 50% re­turn rate from past par­tic­i­pants... with the amount of events on the cal­en­dar that is a re­ally big re­turn rate.

“It is be­cause it’s such a com­mu­nity event and raises so much money for char­i­ties.

“We have an amaz­ing des­ti­na­tion, we just need to be able to sell it to the Bris­bane, Sydney, Mel­bourne and New Zealand run­ners. Bring­ing those recre­ational run­ners who come and spend a week here and spend a lot of money on the Sun­shine Coast.”

One ath­lete keen to give the record a nudge is last year’s fe­male win­ner Cassie Fien.

“I’ll def­i­nitely give it a crack,” Cassie said.

She pushed lo­cal elite Iron­man ath­lete Dave Del­low all the way in a race which the tri-athete won in a thriller.

The air force fit­ness in­struc­tor, who is based at Am­ber­ley, said she re­lies on a struc­tured train­ing regime rather than tal­ent.

“I work re­ally hard. But that is what I like about run­ning, and that is what at­tracts me to the sport as it doesn’t come easy for me,” she said

“Sun­shine Coast is like a sec­ond home for me. I was born and bred in Bris­bane and our fam­ily hol­i­dayed on the Sun­shine Coast and my grand­par­ents live up here.

“When I saw this event I was hooked.

“Hav­ing that hill at the start you are nice and fresh so you can get up it eas­ily, and then you can use it to come back down and get some speed and then con­tinue on for the rest of the course.

“A per­sonal goal of mine is get­ting un­der 71 min­utes. I am hang­ing around that 71:11...and I have got it a num­ber of times. So if I can come here and break that I will be a happy girl.”

Cassie, who was an Olympic re­serve for the marathon at Rio, is ded­i­cated to rep­re­sent­ing Aus­tralia.

“Run­ning is my pas­sion. It’s my life and breath. I love it more than peo­ple half the time,” she said.

“To find your pas­sion in life... I have ev­ery­thing I need.”

PHOTO: PA­TRICK WOODS

Half marathon win­ner Cassie Fien.

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