GBR Marathon success
Beating the heat was the name of the game
THE growing popularity of the Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival was on display on Sunday as nearly 2000 contestants lined up to battle it out against each other a slew of various distance races.
The Port Douglas fixture, this time dedicated to raising money for research into whale sharks, promises to be bigger and better next year, with corollary events also planned for Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Singapore to be run in September, sharing the same fundraising concept as the Port Douglas event.
Sunday was oppressively hot, and it was too much for five runners who had to be treated by the paramedics. And at least one competitor, coming first at the time in the marathon, was directed the wrong way by a marshal and fell out of the event.
Event ambassador, running legend Steve Moneghetti, was there to compete in his own namesake marathon, coming in third.
“It was so hot out there,” Moneghetti told the “I just walked the last 5-6 km. I reckon a lot of people out there are going to be struggling,” he said, as cooked runners staggered to the line.
Rio Olympian and festival ambassador Jess Trengove, who won the women’s 10km, urged people to keep spreading the word about the event.
“Once somebody has run here they can relay back the information on just how pretty it is and a welcoming environment it is and it’s a lot of fun,” she said.
“I think if everyone who had a good experience here this year goes and tells a friend, that’s going to be what increases the numbers.”
Trengove could even use the 2017 event as a lead-in to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April 2018.
Moneghetti agreed. He said he was convinced the Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival was at a “tipping point” to establishing itself as a must-do event.
“People now know it’s on and just need to get organised and enter next year,” he said.
Eleven runners from Elcho Island off the coast of northeast Arnhem Land attended the Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival for the 5km and 10km events, following the lead of trailblazer Evelyna Dhamarrandji.
The mother-of-two, 26, was one of the first members of the Indigenous Marathon Foundation project, taking her from the remote area to the New York Marathon in 2013.
MC Bruno interviews the Ultramarathon winner Anthony Ralph, with councillor Abigail Noli and Barron MP Craig Crawford looking on.