As if 2020 didn’t sound futuristic enough, today on Global Running Day and for the first time in event history participants are able to register to run the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon virtually.
The world-class event, originally scheduled for 4-5 July, was recently cancelled due to COVID-19 and the subsequent Queensland Public Health Order preventing mass participation events.
Events Management Queensland CEO Cam Hart said that although cancelling the event was an unavoidable and unfortunate decision due to the pandemic, the virtual run gives participants the opportunity to still connect with the event and achieve a personal goal ‘alongside’ thousands of other members of the event’s advocates.
“We are excited, even during these times, to still give people the opportunity to run the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Virtual Marathon from wherever they are in the world,” Mr Hart said.
“This year has been a challenging one for most people and with so much preparation going into the event, we want to give participants the chance to put their training towards completing our virtual event and still receive a sense of the good times on offer every July.
“Our running community is a special one and we have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm, support and well-wishes from our supporters, so naturally we wanted to give back to the participants who are the heart and soul of the event each year.”
“The virtual run will attract international interest in the Gold Coast as a world class events and holiday destination and will play a valuable role in promoting the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon on 3-4 July 2021.”
The virtual event will be free for runners, wheelies and walkers of all ages and abilities to join and will include six distances on offer including the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Virtual Marathon, ASICS Virtual Half Marathon, Southern Cross University Virtual 10km Run, Gold Coast Airport Virtual 5km Fun Run and the 4km and 2km Junior Dash.
Participants will be required to complete their run between Wednesday 1 and Friday 31 July 2020 using the event’s official app, ASICS Runkeeper, or a similar GPS application and upload their result online. There is also the opportunity to participate in multiple events over the month of July or use shorter race distances as training runs for the full marathon.
Those taking part can even don a personalised virtual race bib, available for download during registration, while daydreaming about the Gold Coast’s famous flat, fast and scenic course located alongside the city’s renowned surf beaches and stunning broadwater.
2004 World Cross Country Champion and Gold Coast-based Lace Up Running coach Benita Willis said offering the events virtually is a great initiative to keep up training momentum and achieve previously set goals.
“During this time, it is really hard to stay motivated with just training alone so for myself, the athletes I coach and the running community, it’s fantastic to have a race goal to aim for,” Ms Willis said.
“The format of the virtual run also provides the opportunity for multiple attempts at your favourite distance or to try a different distance each week during the month of July.”
Friends, family and foes will be vying for bragging rights with results available for all to see on the event website during the month of July and personalised finisher certificates shareable on social media with the event hashtag #GCM20.
Those with grander aspirations can chance their arm at one of the championships on offer – the Oceania Virtual Marathon and Half Marathon Championships, the Queensland Virtual Half Marathon Championships and the Uni Sport Virtual Distance Running Championships.
Participants can also donate to official charities Cancer Council Queensland and LIVIN via the registration platform.
For more information and to register, visit goldcoastmarathon.com.au/virtual