Youngsters participate in the Dreamworld Junior Dash 2km and 4km run as part of the Gold Coast Marathon weekend.Young hearts were pumping as the opening events in the Gold Coast marathon weekend got under way yesterday.
A record 28,224 runners had signed up for events across the two days, with 5749 volunteering for the main event, the marathon, set to start at 7.20am today.
Kenya’s David Mandago and Yuki Kawauchi of Japan are rated the top chances in the men’s event, while Worknesh Tola Biru, of Ethiopia, and Kenya’s Hellen Kimutai are considered the women to beat.
The half marathon has attracted 10,000 runners, including three-time Australian Olympian and former event winner Lee Troop.
Risa Utta, 20, one of the many Japanese entrants, is favourite for the women in the half marathon.
Australian 2012 Olympic team member Lisa Weightman took out the 10-kilometre run yesterday, breaking the 14-year-old race record in the process, despite what she called her ”strict training regime” before the London Games in five weeks.
Weightman ran a personal best of 32 minutes, 17 seconds to beat former five-time winner Kylie Risk’s time of 33:26. Toowoomba’s Patrick Tiernan, 17, won the men’s event
But yesterday belonged to the juniors, with the five- to 14-year-olds stealing the show over their two- and four-kilometre dashes.
Cooper King, 5, said he managed the two-kilometre run in ”I dunno, maybe 11-something? I ran fast, but not too fast because I said I would race my friend Josh after,” he said.
”I really, really, really wanted to beat Josh, so I slowed down.”
Will Hinchcliffe, 5, one of the 35 Runners for Razzel, a family team running across all events in honour of Rae ”Aunty-Gran Razzel” Twidale, who died of cancer in 2010, said his main focus was beating his father, John.
”I wanted to run fast, but dad wouldn’t let me,” he said. ”I wanted to win.”
”I was trying to pace you, mate,” his father said.
Will did get his wish, crossing the line ahead of his dad along with his cousins and siblings.
”It was supposed to be a nice group run,” Mr Hinchcliffe said. ”But egos got in the way.”
Since its inception 33 years ago, the Gold Coast marathon has become a popular event on the marathon calendar, lauded for its ”flat and fast” track from Runaway Bay to Burleigh Heads.
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