It took Burleigh Waters local Scott Whimpey 28 years to step up to the 42.195 kilometre Gold Coast Airport Marathon but the wait was worth it when he crossed the finish line in 2:40.27 and claimed the title of fastest debut marathoner from the Gold Coast for 2014.
The 43-year-old, who has participated in the ASICS Half Marathon every year since he was a teenager, believes his marathon finish time was the result of sticking to his race plan and motivation from an old friend.
“I knew I wanted to run fast but I also had a lot of respect for the distance which kept me pretty level in the first half,” Scott said.
“I had a strict race plan that I had been practised in training and multiple races leading up to the event. In fact, I stuck to the plan so well that at the 30 and 35 kilometre marks I was within 10 seconds of my goal time.
“I had a perfect marathon day. I ended up running with an old mate who I don’t catch up with much anymore and we had a great time keeping each other to the task.
“Everything about the race felt good, even the few beers afterwards.”
Scott first took up running as a track specialist and only considered running a marathon four years ago after completing the gruelling Kokoda Challenge.
“I go into running in the mid-1980s as my dad had started to run back then. I just tagged along for a bit of fun as a 14-year-old,” Scott said.
“I never wanted to run a marathon as I did 800 and 1500 metres on the track and the marathon was too long.
“I did have a lot of influence though. My dad loved marathons and my first coach was Laurie Adams [two-time Gold Coast Airport Marathon winner] at Miami High School. I eventually got talked into running the Kokoda Challenge on the Gold Coast in 2011.
“I loved it and soon decided to focus more time on endurance events. Then, in 2014, it was time to have a crack at the marathon.”
Six months of training soon followed with Scott averaging 100 kilometres per week.
“Training started in January and there was about two to three months of base training of getting the miles in the legs to go the distance,” Scott said.
“I think after the six months of training, I averaged about 100 kilometres per week with a few big weeks of 140 to 150 kilometres in addition to some easy weeks due to family and work commitments.
“It was all about running long and not getting injured.”
Having run on the Gold Coast Airport Marathon course for close to 30 years, Scott was more than familiar with the vocal crowd support and the winter conditions.
“I’ve raced at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon since I was 14 in the half marathon in 1986 and since then I’ve been hooked,” Scott said.
“The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is one of the best races to be a part of, especially as a local. The track support is second to none. The sheer number of people lining the track is amazing.
“July is also the perfect time for the event as well. It’s not too hot and the weather is great for running personal best times in your chosen distance.
“Every photo of me is with a big smile. There wasn’t any pain or suffering until the 40 kilometre mark.”
Scott has promised himself to return for his 29th running of the event and has his hopes set on running a personal best in the marathon.
“I will definitely be running the marathon this year. My goal is to run sub-2:40,” Scott said.
“I also plan to have a look at the Sydney and Melbourne marathons which will round out 2015 for me.”
The 37th annual Gold Coast Airport Marathon, an IAAF Road Race Gold Label race, will be held on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 July on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.
Entries are now open. Early bird fees finish Thursday 30 April (11:59pm AEST).
For more information visit goldcoastmarathon.com.au.