Proposed changes to deliver faster course
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.”
Half marathon winner Cassie Fien.