An 80-strong group of Gold Coast retirees isn’t letting age stop them and they’re lacing up their shoes for race day on Saturday 6 July for the Gold Coast Airport Fun Run as part of the 41st Gold Coast Marathon race weekend.
“This event is definitely one of the highlights of the year for residents,” De Paul Manor’s Operations Manager Jessica Madden said.
“We have been entering as a group for six years, and the numbers have grown every year.”
There are 30 residents taking part this year, but there are 80 entries under the De Paul banner, which includes residents’ families, friends, the wider De Paul community and also staff.
“What makes it so popular is the social and family aspects where residents can be walking alongside their grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” Madden said.
“A 50-seater bus – donated for the day by LTD Bus and Truck Rentals – gets us to the event. We take part and then come back and have a celebration at the community hub where all the other residents can be a part of that as well.”
Ms Madden said the ages of residents participating part this year ranged from 70 to 90 with the bulk of those taking part in the 80-85 age bracket.
“The fun run is very popular,” Madden said.
“It is advertised here months out and we have a dedicated group who walk every day in preparation for the event.
“There is great camaraderie around the fun run and all sorts of rivalries. Some are keen to beat their time from last year, while others want to do better than a neighbour or a staff member.
“There are so many positives to the fun run. Another is the fact that the official charity for the Gold Coast Marathon is Cancer Council Queensland. Most of the people taking part in the Gold Coast Airport Fun Run have themselves or had family members diagnosed with cancer. So that gives this event even more purpose.
“We even have our own special shirts for the day. It really is a lot of fun and a great day out for the residents.”
These avid walkers are also treated to a morning tea after the event to celebrate their achievements. The refreshments also provide an opportunity for those not able to participate in the event due to age or illness to gather and share in the experience.
“I have so much fun each year. I just love doing the walk,” Margaret Garside, 87, said.
“This is a great event and I enjoy being part of a team that loves to participate each year” John Wintour, 60, said.
The 41st edition of the Gold Coast Marathon will be held on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July 2019.
It will feature eight races including the Gold Coast Marathon (IAAF Gold Label Road Race), Wheelchair Marathon, ASICS Half Marathon, Wheelchair 15km, Southern Cross University 10km Run, Gold Coast Airport Fun Run, Garmin 4km Junior Dash and Garmin 2km Junior Dash.