Family force for Gold Coast Airport Marathon
Some of Australia’s leading sporting and running families will be out in force at this year’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon to be held on Sunday, July 1.
Husband and wife duo, Simon and Jackie Fairweather, are among a host of elite athletes and couples preparing for Australia’s premier marathon event.
Last year’s women’s marathon winner Jenny Gillard (pictured) is returning to defend her title while husband Kim is a contender in the SOUL 10km Run.
For the Gillard family, the Gold Coast represents not only a warmer winter than their Launceston home base but an opportunity to press for a podium place.
Jenny clocked her marathon personal best of two hours 41 minutes six seconds when she won the Gold Coast Airport Marathon last year.
The 36-year-old is aiming to break 2:40 this year to not only set a personal best but enable husband Kim to see her finish before he starts the SOUL 10km Run. The Gold Coast Airport Marathon starts at 6.50am with the SOUL 10km Run scheduled for a 9.30am start, exactly two hours 40 minutes later.
“It would be great to have Kim there at the finish – it gives me extra incentive to run under two hours 40 minutes,” said Jenny.
“He’s been such a big help to me in my running career especially on those mornings when I need extra motivation to get out there and train.”
Jenny will also have big sister, Kerryn McCann, the 2006 Commonwealth Games marathon gold medalist, there as additional family support.
“It was special last year to have my sister there to see me race on the Gold Coast. I remember her running down the side of the road with me supporting me to the finish. Hopefully it will be the same this year and I go under 2:40.
“Training has been going pretty well. I expect to be a bit faster this year. I wanted to run the same races beforehand as last year but I caught the flu before the Sydney Half Marathon, but I’m over it now.”
The focus for the Fairweather family from Canberra will be the Asics Half Marathon with former world champion triathlete and Commonwealth Games marathon medalist, Jackie, capable of a top-10 finish; and husband Simon, the 2000 Olympic archery gold medalist, aiming for a personal best in his new sporting pursuit.
Simon is an Australian Olympic legend having represented the country at five Olympic Games with the pinnacle being his gold medal performance in Sydney in 2000. Having one of Australia’s great endurance athletes as his wife, Simon has been progressing in half marathon ranks in recent years.
Jackie was world champion in triathlon and duathlon in 1996, also awarded the Australian Sportswoman of the Year along with Susie O'Neill that year. She ran her first marathon in Boston in 2002 recording an exceptional 2:35:46, before going on to win bronze in the Manchester Commonwealth Games marathon. Her best time in the half marathon stems back to 1992 when she clocked 1:14:38 on the Gold Coast.
“I think I can run 1:15 to 1:16 in the half marathon on the Gold Coast,” said Jackie, who turns 40 this year. “I had a win in the Canberra Half Marathon in just over 1:19 last month then backed up in the Sydney Half Marathon to run 1:20.
“This year the focus has been quite different after I missed most of last year through injury. We have been doing a lot longer work in preparation for the Training Trail Walk charity team event over 100km in late August.”
Jackie will also be keeping a close eye on the women’s marathon as she coaches leading contender Lauren Shelley from Western Australia.
“Lauren (Shelley) will run well and I think will go better than she expects. She’s had a slow preparation following a break after the Commonwealth Games. She did a lot of speed work, set a personal best for 10,000 metres in December then had an injury setback.
“She won’t be overdone before the Gold Coast and may just come up nicely. I think if she can run 2:38, she’ll be happy with that.”
Here is a current list of leading entries for this year’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon and support events: Gold Coast Airport Marathon - Men
James Kariuki – Kenya – PB 2:15:01, Winner 2006 and 2nd 2007 Great Ocean Road Marathon
Gemechu Woyecha – ACT – PB 2:14:50, Winner 2004 Gold Coast Airport Marathon
Sandile Lembetha - South Africa – PB 2:18:25
Scott McTaggart – ACT – Debut Marathon; Half Marathon PB 1:04:56, Winner 2007 Canberra Half Marathon
Ben Ruthe – New Zealand – Debut Marathon; Half Marathon PB 1:05:16, Winner 2007 Christchurch Half Marathon
Driss Dacha – Morocco – PB 2:11:43 (1993), Previous Winner San Francisco and Cleveland MarathonsRace record – 2:10:11 – Brad Camp AUS 1989
Prizemoney: 1st - $10,000; 2nd - $5,000; 3rd - $2,500
Gold Coast Airport Marathon - Women
Jenny Gillard – Tasmania – PB 2:41:05, Winner 2006 Gold Coast Airport Marathon
Lauren Shelley – Western Australia – PB 2:33:42, 2nd 2005 Gold Coast Airport Marathon
Melanie Burke – New Zealand – PB 2:42:16, 1st 2007 New Plymouth Marathon
Lisa Dick – Victoria – PB 2:36:54, 1998 Commonwealth Games marathon Silver
Tracey Clissold – New Zealand – PB 2:41:55, 1st 2006 Auckland Marathon
Rina Hill – Queensland – PB 2:39:46, 1st 2004 Sydney MarathonRace record – 2:29:29 - Erico Asai JPN
Prizemoney: 1st - $10,000; 2nd - $5,000; 3rd - $2,500 Asics Half Marathon - Men
Lee Troop – Victoria – PB 1:01:00, 3rd Australian All-Time Rankings
Brett Cartwright – ACT – PB 1:03:29, 1st 2007 Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon
Philo Saunders ACT – PB 1:06:10, 8th 2006 Asics Half Marathon
Matthew Ingram - New Zealand – PB 1:05:20, 4th 2007 Christchurch Marathon
Scott Rantall – Victoria – PB 1:07:23, 2nd 2006 Melbourne Half Marathon
Chris Reeves – Queensland – PB 1:07:43, 1st 2005 Gold Coast 10K
Stephen Brown – NSW – PB 1:07:39, 1st 2006 Kembla Half MarathonRace record – 1:01:16 - Benson Masya KEN
Prizemoney: 1st - $2,000; 2nd - $1,000; 3rd - $500 Asics Half Marathon - Women
Lisa Jane Weightman – Victoria – PB 1:12:54, 2nd 2006 Asics Half Marathon
Clare Geraghty – Queensland – PB 1:14:56, 8th 2006 Asics Half Marathon
Karen Natoli – Victoria – PB 1:20:54, 2nd 2006 Melbourne Half Marathon
Jackie Fairweather – Victoria – PB 1:14:38, 1st 2005 Gold Coast Airport MarathonRace record – 1:09:38 - Midori Fumoto JPN
Prizemoney: 1st - $2,000; 2nd - $1,000; 3rd - $500 SOUL 10km Run - Men
Michael Shelley – Queensland – 1st 2006 Gold Coast 10K
Kim Gillard – Tasmania – 3rd 2006 Burnie 10K
Scott Carlson – Queensland – 11th 2006 Gold Coast Airport Marathon
Richard Olsen – New Zealand – 1st 2007 Christchurch 10KRace record – 28:57 – David Evans AUS
Prizemoney: 1st - $500; 2nd - $300; 3rd - $200
SOUL 10km Run - Women
Kylie Risk – Tasmania – 5-times race winner (1997-98, 2001-02, 04)
Helen Stanton – Queensland – 2nd 2006 Gold Coast Airport Marathon
Lucinda Chapman – NSW – 2nd 2007 Sandown 10K
Ashleigh Gentle – QLD – 2nd 2006 Gold Coast 10K
Sarah Bouchard – CAN – PB 34:44Race record – 33:26 - Kylie Risk AUS
Prizemoney: 1st - $500; 2nd - $300; 3rd - $200
NB. Japanese elite entries still to be added.
People can enter the Gold Coast Airport Marathon at www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au
or receive an entry form from the office on phone (07) 5564 8733.Courtesy Gold Coast Airport Marathon/Queensland Events Corporation