Noosa adds marathon race

Multisport Mecca - - News -

TWO marathons can be­come a dual-pronged Sun­shine Coast at­tack on the grow­ing run­ning mar­ket.

Sun­shine Coast Marathon Fes­ti­val race di­rec­tor Ja­son Crowther wel­comed next year’s ‘Run­away Noosa Marathon’, which will be an evo­lu­tion of the Iron­man group’s for­mer Noosa Ul­ti­mate Fes­ti­val.

“The greater num­ber of events we have on the Sun­shine Coast, the more we ex­pose the re­gion to more peo­ple,” he said.

“You have seen that in the past coun­cil has done a great job of bring­ing events here. It has helped ma­jor events in gen­eral.

“It’s get­ting renowned as a world-class event des­ti­na­tion.”

As part of the shake-up, the ‘Cy­cling Noosa’ pro­gram was dropped while the swim­ming races have been shifted to the Sun­day.

The marathon route will be a com­bi­na­tion of Noosa Pa­rade and along the wa­ter at Gympie Ter­race, fea­tur­ing four 10.5km laps. Run­ners will be able to se­lect from the marathon (with two- or four-per­son re­lay op­tions), a 31.6km, half marathon, 10km or 5km races.

Noosa’s marathon will be one of four stops on the Run­away Marathon Se­ries, which also in­cludes Hawkes Bay, Queen­stown and the Barossa.

“Run­away Noosa Marathon is about run­ning so­cial with a flat, fast and friendly multi-lap on-road course that starts and finishes in the heart of Noosa so you’re never far from fel­low run­ners, sup­port­ers and the on-course live mu­sic and en­ter­tain­ment,” Iron­man Ocea­nia manag­ing di­rec­tor Dave Beeche said.

“The event also of­fers mul­ti­ple race dis­tances (so) it will be easy to find your happy run­ning place.”

The course used at this year’s Noosa Ul­ti­mate half marathon was aban­doned in favour of the flat route which had been used in the past, and should ap­peal to run­ners look­ing for quick times.

Iron­man Ocea­nia de­cided to re­place the Noosa Ul­ti­mate Sports Fes­ti­val with the Run­away Noosa Marathon to fo­cus on the run­ning mar­ket.

“We’ve found over the last few years the Noosa Run has the been the linch­pin of the Noosa Ul­ti­mate Sports Fes­ti­val,” re­gional di­rec­tor Re­becca van Pooss said.

“So we’ve de­cided to make the run our fo­cus be­cause that’s where the most growth will be.

“We feel with Velothon Sun­shine Coast (the cy­cling event in July) we’ve kind of got the cy­cling mar­ket cov­ered, so we’re fo­cus­ing on the run and adding more dis­tances.

“And we’re main­tain­ing the Noosa Swim, to be held on the Sun­day morn­ing.”

Crowther said he be­lieved the two events would work in tan­dem.

“Peo­ple still travel to des­ti­na­tions to do bucket-list events and 50 per cent of our com­peti­tors are from out­side the re­gion,” he said.

“The lo­cal com­mu­nity makes the event the suc­cess that it is... we get such great sup­port.

“It’s good to have events at home you can do and Noosa will be a good kicker for our events.

“They are far enough apart (May and Au­gust) that peo­ple can def­i­nitely do both.”

Tourism and Ma­jor Events Min­is­ter Kate Jones said it would be a “world-class event in one of the best hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions” and she ex­pected it to at­tract ath­letes from around the world.

Tourism Noosa CEO Damien Mass­ing­ham said it would fur­ther en­hance the re­gion’s rep­u­ta­tion.

“Marathons are sig­na­ture events that put des­ti­na­tions firmly on the in­ter­na­tional stage,” he said.

PHOTO: BARRY ALSOP

Me­lanie Panayiotou on her way to the 2014 Run Noosa Half Marathon crown.

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