This year marks the 40th anniversary of Queensland’s Gold Coast Marathon and the world is literally going to the Gold Coast this weekend as the tourist strip celebrates its signature sporting lifestyle event as well as the star-studded 2018 TV Week Logie Awards. Renowned as Australia’s sporting golden child, there’s a “baby” boom of sorts as evident in a record spike in children registered for this year’s Gold Coast Marathon, including babes in race-ready prams taking on the world’s flattest and fastest course.
Children that took part in last year’s Gold Coast Marathon
For the first time in its 40-year history, the marathon is sold out – drawing more than 6,500 competitors (up 35% from 2017) with over 4,000 entrants from overseas. It’s a really happy ‘Big 40’ indeed! Joining the party weekend, a swell of more than 27,000 competitors will lace up across 8 races – including the ASICS Half Marathon, Wheelchair Marathon and Southern Cross University 10KM Run – just 2 months after the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games athletes tackled the street course.
Gen Zers, aged 5 to 14, running in the Junior Dash segment
But the biggest boom (after marathon entries), resounds in the patter of tiny feet. Close to 1,000 Gen Zers aka Post-Millennials, aged 5 to 14, will line up on Saturday for the Garmin 2KM Junior Dash (up 28%) and Garmin 4KM Junior Dash (up 17%).
Additionally, no age restriction is placed on entries in the 5.7KM Gold Coast Airport Fun Run, increasingly punctuated by speed-loving babies and toddlers in prams, while the 10km and half marathon courses are open to competitors with a minimum age of 12 and 15 respectively.
Adam ‘Adsy’ Gordon and son Leo in his running pram
ASICS Global fitness ambassador, Adam ‘Adsy’ Gordon, who mentors beginner to pro athletes from his Gold Coast base, including working with groups across Australia and in America, Bermuda and Japan, is stepping out for the first time at the Gold Coast Marathon with son, Leo (18 months), in the Gold Coast Airport Fun Run.
“Parents are wonderful role models and can instil healthy habits in their children from a very young age, simply by stepping up and getting active,” Adsy said.
“I started running with Leo as soon as the doctor said it was okay, using a supported neck brace in a top-notch running pram. I really wanted him to see that jogging and fitness activities are a normal part of life – healthy and fun – also giving us the chance to spend extra time together.
Adam ‘Adsy’ Gordon bonding with his son after the run
“We run about 40km a week, incorporating a great mix of trail and beach-front running on the Gold Coast; a destination packed with open, safe pathways perfect for pram running with lots of water stops,” he added.
To date, Adsy and Leo have completed countless 5KM park runs, a half marathon and, most recently, full marathon, coming first overall with a time of 03:02:24. According to Adsy, it is an unofficial Australian record for the fastest marathon time pushing a pram. Without the pram, his personal best in a marathon sits under three hours (02:52:00), achieved in an IRONMAN triathlon after swimming 3.8km and cycling 180km.
Need more Inspo?
Global research indicates fit and active children achieve better school grades. In short, physical activity has a positive effect on the brain, enhancing cognitive functioning (information processing), concentration, memory, behaviour and academic achievement. In December 2017, Spanish researchers at Cuenca’s Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha released new findings – analysing 26 previously published international studies involving a total of more than 10,000 children aged 4 to 13 – linking increased physical activity to improved performance in mathematics, reading and languages.
Even if you’re not planning to run this weekend, it’s time to lace up and perhaps take a fit-cation or simply start getting active with your little ones!
Photo credits: Tourism and Events Queensland