The Gold Coast forever nurturing world champion runners
Seven finishers from last month’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon will be in action at the IAAF World Championships starting tomorrow (AEST) in London.
By Kenzi Osborne
The eight races of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon cover an extraordinary amount of one of the most beautiful cities in Australia. From the southern turn in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon located in Burleigh Heads to the northern turn in the ASICS Half Marathon located at Paradise Point, a runner can almost see it all. We take you through each suburb that you may pass through over race weekend and the features that make them special.
Known for its quiet, beach like feel, Paradise Point is renowned for its family friendly persona. The suburb offers an array of waterfront parklands, an enclosed swimming area and a collection of BBQ areas, making Paradise Point the perfect area for a family day out or BBQ catch up with friends. If picnicking is not your thing, the esplanade hosts a number of different restaurants, cafes and ice cream parlours sure to please the fussiest of eaters situated directly along the ASICS Half Marathon course. With a number of events such as the Village Markets, Music in the Park and Tastes of Paradise Point Food Festival frequenting the suburb, there’s sure to be a ‘not-to-miss’ event for all the family.
Situated along the waterfront, Hollywell is the suburb located in between Paradise Point and Runaway Bay. Positioned opposite, it offers views of South Stradbroke Island across the water. Renowned for its safe waterfront, the waters of Hollywell are often littered with kite surfers and wind surfers taking advantage of the open waters on offer when weather permits. Hollywell offers a flat and picturesque landscape for competitors and viewers.
Commonly known as Anglers Paradise, this fishing suburb lying opposite South Stradbroke Island is sure to please the water loving individuals. Renowned for its fishing capabilities, this suburb offers houseboat, yacht and boat hire which is easily accessible at the Runaway Bay Marina for visitors to further explore the waterways of this quaint area. Whilst at the Marina, visitors can stop for a bite to eat at one of the restaurants or cafes situated directly along the Gold Coast Airport Marathon track, or the opportunity to explore some of the magnificent boats for sale.
Originally named after the river Biggera Creek that flows throughout the suburb, Biggera Waters is best known for its creeks, estuaries and shopping precinct Harbour Town. Situated opposite Wavebreak Island, Biggera Waters is famous for its heritage listed area known as Lands End where Biggera Creek greets Anglers Paradise, also known as Runaway Bay. Runners are required to run along Lands End Bridge which was erected to allow for greater residential development in the early years. The bridge is surrounded by parklands, cafes and BBQ areas making it a fantastic point for viewers to enjoy a morning out watching their favourite competitors.
Once an area Indigenous Australians were drawn to for shellfish, oysters and mud crabs, Labrador is famous for its waterfront cafes, man made beach area and most notably, Charis Seafoods. Situated between Biggera Waters and Southport, Labrador offers visitors a laidback area to eat at one of the many cafes, or to relax and enjoy a family picnic on the sand whilst watching the competitors pass by.
Formally known as Nerang Creek Heads, Southport is the start and finishing point for all of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon running events. The suburb offers a family friendly feel whilst hosting the Gold Coast’s CBD. Newly accessible by the Gold Coast Light Rail (G:Link), Southport offers fantastic shopping opportunities and a state of the art Parklands complete with play grounds, inflatable swimming areas, BBQs and boardwalk. With the Gold Coast Airport Marathon falling on the first Saturday of July, this is the perfect opportunity for visitors to browse Southport’s latest attraction the Chinatown food markets held on the first Saturday evening of every month.
Famous for its iconic Palazzo Versace, Sea World theme park and Marina Mirage, Main Beach is the suburb that has it all. Given the name Main Beach for being the closest beach to Southport, this suburb offers a number of fantastic restaurants, safe beaches and parks. Home to the historic old bathing pavilion now known as café Pavilion 34, Main Beach offers visitors a number of historic monuments. With the very first surf club ‘Southport Surf Club’ built in 1936 located directly along the Gold Coast Airport Marathon track, viewers can enjoy a bite to eat in a historic setting whilst taking in the breathtaking ocean front views from one angle, and the athletes from the other.
Originally known as Elston before being renamed in 1933, Surfers Paradise is the Gold Coast suburb that doesn’t sleep. Labelled as the sixth largest city in Australia, Surfers Paradise offers a number of iconic sights other than the beautiful coastline for runners to behold along their journey. With the suburb boasting the tallest residential building in the southern hemisphere, the legendary Gold Coast meter maids, the weekly Surfers Paradise Markets held on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and the famous Surfers Paradise sign situated along the beach front, Surfers Paradise offers an attraction to keep all of the family happy. With 24 hour food places available and a number of restaurants and cafes overlooking the Gold Coast Airport Marathon track there will be somewhere to satisfy everyone’s tastebuds.
Broadbeach or ‘Broadie’ to the locals is the Gold Coast’s upmarket evening destination. Home of the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Broadbeach is known for its sophisticated and sometimes quirky events. Boasting an array of upmarket bars and restaurants, a number of night clubs and the most illustrious Jupiters Hotel & Casino, Broadbeach is the place to celebrate an evening out. Whether that is a birthday, engagement or a Gold Coast Airport Marathon win. If nightlife isn’t your thing, Broadbeach offers a number of restaurants, shops and the iconic Kurrawa Surf Club situated opposite the beach front.
Mermaid Beach is one of the more trendsetting suburbs of the Gold Coast. The seaside suburb boasts one of the best surf clubs on the Coast, is the home to Nobby Beach and most notably the location of the prestigious Hedges Avenue; the street of the super wealthy! Making their way through Mermaid Beach, runners will pass the trendy BSKT restaurant owned by Gold Coast Titans player Greg Bird; the perfect location for a healthy meal and a great view.
Formally the 70 year home of the famous Miami Ice factory built from two army huts, before controversially being demolished in 2013, Miami is the suburb with both new and old history. Famously featured in John Farnham’s single ‘Two Strong Hearts’ and the home to the trendy street food market, Miami Marketta, this beach side suburb has both a modern and quirky feel. Runners will be delighted with an ocean front run, whilst viewers will be left entertained by not only the exciting Gold Coast Airport Marathon run, but also the events on offer in Miami such as the weekly farmers markets.
Famous for its Burleigh Heads National Park, Burleigh Hill is where you’ll find an array of ages enjoying their weekends. The suburb renowned for its quirky fashion boutiques and village markets, Burleigh Heads is home to a variety of characters from the rich and famous, to the surfers, fishermen and fitness fanatics. Well known for James Street and its famous fruit juices, Burleigh offers visitors a number of different restaurants including the prestigious Oskars on the Beach, right through to the trendy Justin Lane Pizzeria. Runners will find themselves surrounded by sand, the famous Norfolk Island pine trees and families on beach cruisers whilst making their way through Burleigh Heads.