Turns ousted for fast course

Multisport Mecca - - News - Grant Ed­wards Grant.Ed­wards@news.com.au

RACE di­rec­tor Ja­son Crowther said this year’s 7 Sun­shine Coast Marathon course would be fast. He and the com­mit­tee have not dis­ap­pointed.

Only re­vealed and rub­ber stamped this week, the new route means less slow­ing and in­cludes more Ma­roochy River views as run­ners travel fur­ther along Brad­man Av­enue.

There is no doubt­ing the com­pe­ti­tion will be in­tense. Or­gan­is­ers want the event to be­come renown as the na­tion’s fastest half marathon, and have put $25,000 up for grabs to any Aussie who can break the Aus­tralian record.

Two-time Olympian Col­lis Birm­ing­ham is shap­ing as the man who can beat the men's record of 1hr01min11sec set by Pat Car­roll in Syd­ney 23 years ago, while Cassie Fien has sig­nalled her in­ten­tion to crack the women's mark of 1hr09min es­tab­lished by Lisa Weight­man on the Gold Coast in 2010.

“The course changes have taken out four u-turns. The pros reckon a u-turns costs them eight to 10 sec­onds and it would be much more for an am­a­teur run­ner,” Ja­son said.

“That will mean sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment from some­one go­ing for an Aus­tralian record and for the gen­eral run­ners that are go­ing to run some fast half marathon times.

“We’ve taken out the small loop at McDon­ald’s Mooloolaba, the loop at Cot­ton Tree at Fifth Ave and Pic­nic Point.”

Three days were spent hav­ing the course cer­ti­fied by the As­so­ci­a­tion of In­ter­na­tional Marathons and Dis­tance Races (AIMS), which means the Sun­shine Coast can be used as a qual­i­fier for pop­u­lar events such as Boston and New York.

“Run­ners know they are run­ning a le­git­i­mate course,” Ja­son said. “On their Garmin it will say its longer for sure be­cause AIMS mea­sure the short­est pos­si­ble route.

“This year we had to cap the half marathon at 2000, we are close to 80%. Usu­ally six weeks out we dou­ble in num­bers. The half will sell out this year.

“We have capped the marathon at 700, that will get close to ca­pac­ity, which is more than we had last year.”

This year’s event will at­tract record num­bers from out­side of Queens­land.

There are more than 250 in­ter­state run­ners – mostly from NSW, VIC, SA and Tas­ma­nia – and more than 100 vis­i­tors from over­seas in­clud­ing 70-plus New Zealan­ders. About 15 run­ners from the United States and Canada are ex­pected.

Another new in­no­va­tion this year is Run with the Lo­cal Stars. Us­ing a fast and fu­ri­ous 4 x 500m course, six teams will com­pete for brag­ging rights in front of a rau­cous crowd.

Teams in­clude will in­clude Su­per Net­ball cham­pi­ons, the Sun­shine Coast Light­ning, fea­tur­ing Di­a­monds mid-courter Laura Scherian, Stephanie Wood and Cara Koe­nen.

Crick’s Auto Group will also be in ac­tion, with Garry Crick, John Eastham, James Welch and Dean Stu­art. The stars from Ray White will also be in ac­tion, in­clud­ing Dan Sow­den, Dan Smith, Brent Hig­gins and James Goldswor­thy.

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