The Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon is back with a vengeance in 2021.
It will be the largest mass-participation event in Australia since COVID-19 decimated the event and festival industry across the nation more than 12 months ago.
Entries are continuing to roll in ahead of the 4 June closing date and with the international borders remaining firmly shut, entrants are distinctly Australian and are travelling from every state and territory in the country.
With the lure of an all-Aussie line-up on the podium this year the elite athlete participation is looking exceptional with qualifying opportunities for World Championships 2022 and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at stake.
Australians haven’t enjoyed a win in the Gold Coast Marathon since 2009 when Lauren Shelley took out the female 42.195km event and in 2006 when Lee Troop won the men’s event.
Tourism and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe welcomed the return of the Gold Coast Marathon.
“We know big events like the Gold Coast Marathon are important for supporting local jobs and our economic recovery,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“The Gold Coast Marathon is shaping up as significant national event which is great news for accommodation providers and the Gold Coast’s many world-class holiday experiences.”
Events Management Queensland CEO, Cameron Hart said they were anticipating between 16 – 20,000 runners this year for an event that might look and feel a little different to previous years, but it would be a fitting celebration of the return of community and mass participation events.
“We have had to make some changes to accommodate the implementation of a COVID-safe plan however, I think people understand the need for some precautions in the best interest of everyone’s health and wellbeing.
“One of the biggest changes has been moving the ASICS half marathon from Sunday morning to Saturday morning. This means the number of people in the precinct and on the course is considerably less with the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Marathon still kicking off on the Sunday morning, but a little earlier than in previous years.
“I am delighted that we have already attracted some of Australia’s greatest marathon and wheelchair marathon and half marathon athletes. With their sights on wearing the green and gold in 2022, we are set for some very serious racing.
“There are also some wonderful stories coming through of people who started their running journey during COVID and were now looking to put all the training to the test in one of our eight events,” Mr Hart said.
Whilst sporting events including the rugby league, netball and AFL have well and truly emerged from the pandemic to now host almost full stadiums, community participation events have been slower to return.
The Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon will be a shot in the arm for tourism on the Gold Coast and in Queensland with thousands of entrants expected to take advantage of the state’s many and varied world-class attractions pre and post event.
Destination Gold Coast and Events Management Queensland Chairman, Paul Donovan said whilst they would certainly miss the international competitors at this year’s event the fact that Australians had really embraced the opportunity to compete again would make it a spectacular experience that will revitalise the event industry.
“Events like the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon are crucial in showcasing the destination and delivering a significant economic impact to the region.
“We are grateful to our sponsors who are eager to get the show on the road and have remained committed to the event throughout the pandemic. We are collectively looking forward to being a part of a COVID-safe event delivery model that will be a catalyst for other mass participation events across the country in the future,” Mr Donovan said.
To accommodate the mailing of all participant race kits and cater for changes in supply chains entries for the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon and associated races will close at 11:59pm on Friday 4 June 2021.
The 42nd Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon will be held on 3 – 4 July 2021.
It will feature eight races including the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon (IAAF Label Road Race), Wheelchair Marathon, ASICS Half Marathon, Wheelchair 15km, Southern Cross University 10km Run, Gold Coast Airport 5k Fun Run, Health and Wellbeing Queensland 4km Junior Dash and 2km Junior Dash.
The Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon is organised by Events Management Queensland, a major event management company wholly owned by the Queensland Government as part of Tourism and Events Queensland.