- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Other
- Road Race
Registration: Rego opened up in December for the July Marathon Weekend and was available online. I made it during the early bird rego - which was about $100 for the Half Marathon. There was no option to get your bib mailed out but there was several pick up (Check in centres) locations that you could choose from in the lead up to the event.
Expo: One of the biggest running events in the country definitely has one of the biggest expos! I turned up at open on the last day and was able to pick up my bib with no line. Once it's been picked up they check to see if the timer is working (the first expo to do this) and then let you loose on the vendors! The Asics booth (sponsor of the run) was the biggest with a mixture of both GCAM branded gear and standard Asics gear. There was a mixture of apparel and other races from neighbouring countries, it was really interesting to find out about some of the other races in Japan!
Swag: At the expo you got a reusable GCAM16 bag, and the vendors have a huge amount of samples (such as Gold Kiwifruit) that you can get. I took advantage of the Asics Pace band which I entered some information pre-expo and was able to print out a band specific to my goal.
Course: Amazing, flat and fast course! The Half Marathon starts off at Southport and heads north, along a scenic route through Biggera Waters and Runaway Bay (where you then take a left turn for a little out and back before hitting the main street), up to Paradise Point before turning around and making your way back towards Southport and the finish line! The course does detour on the way back at Labrador so you run along the water (elites actually don't run this way), before joining the street again at the final bridge before the final km.
The course is entirely on closed roads, with safety barriers along specific sections, especially around the race precinct. The crowd support was outstanding! It was great to see support from young and old, especially the folks outside the retirement village sitting there with the "Free Oxygen" signs!
Aid stations were plenty, although the first one you come across is actually for the Marathon so it isn't set up when you run past. The Half one is a little further up. They had a mix of Endura and Water, however it was quite warm as the morning progressed, and although the map said there was a station just after the 19K mark I thought that there should have been another station before the finish.
There were photographers on the course, and they took some awesome pictures with the sun rising along the beach.
Once you hit the 600m to go, you hit the race precinct complete with a 250m to go sign (which is actually a pedestrian overpass) and you enter the absolute finish with spectator seating and blue ground. It's a pretty awesome way to finish!
Once you finish you walk through to the post-race food (kiwi fruit/orange) and water. You then need to look for your respective size tent to pic up your finisher's shirt and medal.
From there you are spit out into the race precinct which is pretty big. I ended up going to the lost person's tent since I couldn't find my party (I ended up being faster than what I assumed) and they were great to let me borrow a phone to call them.
On a personal note: This was my goal race and I ended up getting a massive PR! I used the pace band and was able to make sure I was under the required pace. It was an enjoyable half marathon, possibly one of the best halves that I have ran!
I recommend this to anyone wanting to run a race in Australia - whether you are local or international. It's got a great international feel to it, and is a nice, flat course along the beach. Can't wait to run again next year!