Netherlands’ established half marathon runner Elizaba Cherono will attempt 42km for the first time at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon with the Dutchwoman being the first elite athlete to touch down in Queensland ahead of Sunday’s race.
The Kenyan-born 29-year-old has displayed good form during recent half marathon outings in Europe, including third place in the Berlin Half Marathon in April (1:10:43) and fourth place in the Zwolse Half Marathon earlier this month (1:14:52).
While Cherono will certainly be gunning for a commendable time, her emphasis will be placed on the experience.
“It’s a good organisation, nice weather of course and the course is flat, so the focus is on running and to enjoy,” she said.
“And if I happen to run something under 2:30, well, it will be fantastic!”
Should Cherono’s foray into the 42km range bode well, she has some ideas of what the future may hold.
“The European Championships are next year, and the qualification time is 2 hrs 34 minutes, so I think that is not hard for me to qualify.
“The Olympics are in 2020, that is my big goal. Also, I am hoping to one day run a Dutch record of 2:23 – it’s not impossible!”
The 39th annual Gold Coast Airport Marathon will be held this Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July.
Set to attract more than 27,000 participants of all ages and abilities, this year’s race program will feature the Gold Coast Airport Marathon over 42.2km, Wheelchair Marathon, ASICS Half Marathon, Southern Cross University 10km Run, The Star Gold Coast 5.7km Challenge, Zespri 4km Junior Dash and Zespri 2km Junior Dash.
For the fourth year, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon has been awarded an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Road Race Gold Label.