More than 28,000 people participated in one of the events at the 2012 Gold Coast Marathon last year, and the 2013 event is expected to eclipse that mark over the weekend in Australia.
Eight marathons of different course length and difficulty are on the docket in 2013, but the big draw will be the 26.2-mile race on Sunday.
Alemayehu Shumye won the men's marathon and missed a race record by just 34 seconds in 2012, while Kaori Yoshida took home the women's crown. She missed out on a race record by just over a minute.
The two-day festivities are scheduled to get under way early on Saturday morning (local time), as the Southern Cross University 10k Run will set the stage for what's to follow in Australia. The 2013 Gold Coast Marathon will be the encore event and begin at 7:20 a.m. (local time) on Sunday morning.
As we prepare for an exciting weekend of racing in Australia, here's a complete preview of all the festivities scheduled for Australia's premier marathon event.
*Visit GoldCoastMarathon.com for a complete look at the 2013 event.
What: 2013 Gold Coast Airport Marathon
Where: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
When: Saturday-Sunday; July 6-7, 2013
Live Webcast: GoldCoastMarathon.com (Starts Sunday at 5:45 a.m. local time)
Live Results: Click Here (via GoldCoast.com)
|Saturday, July 6 Race||Time (Local)||Min. Age||Cut Off Time|
|Southern Cross University 10k Run||6:30 a.m.||12||1 hr 30 min|
|Suncorp Bank 5.7k Challenge||8 a.m||-||1 hr 10 min|
|2k Junior Dash||9:25 a.m.||5||-|
|4k Junior Dash||9:40 a.m.||5||-|
|Sunday, July 7 Race||Time (Local)||Min. Age||Cut Off Time|
|ASICS Half Marathon||6:00 a.m.||15||3 hrs|
|Wheelchair Marathon||7:15 a.m.||18||6 hrs 30 min|
|Wheelchair 15k||7:15 a.m.||12||2 hrs|
|Gold Coast Airport Marathon||7:20 a.m.||18||6 hrs 30 min|
Each division has a different course to navigate, but the marquee course route will take runners down Gold Coast Highway and right next to the Coral Sea.
The race will start and finish near The Broadwater, and racers will actually cross the starting line three times (start, interval, finish) before the marathon will be complete.
A quick dogleg left highlights a move from the highway to the waterfront view. Running parallel to both the highway and the Coral Sea, the runners will have the water on their left for the first 15.6 kilometers of the race.
They'll turn around in Burleigh Heads and make their way back toward the starting gate, this time with the water on the right side of their person. Runners will make it all the way back to the start and advance another six kilometers or so before they reach Runaway Bay.
Another turnaround will lead them back toward the original starting point, but at that point it will be the finish line.
*For a complete look at every 2013 division course, click here (via GoldCoastMarathon.com).
According to Weather.com, the runners will have no looming threat of bad weather over the weekend.
Those participating on Saturday will see sunny skies and a high of 71 degrees F, while the low is expected to dip down and touch 48 by nightfall. On Sunday, the expected high is 68 and the expected low is 52. There is a zero percent chance of rain right now on either day.
All signs point to a course record being broken this weekend.
As noted by the Gold Coast Marathon official Twitter account, five runners are in town who have eclipsed the 2:10 mark at some point in their careers. The course record, set in 2011 by Nicholas Manza, is 2:10:01:
Len Johnson of IAAF.org (International Association of Athletics Federation) also noted in his race preview that records could come crashing down this year in Australia.
Johnson lists Yuki Kawauchi, Girmay Berhanu Gebru, Jairus Ondora Chanchima, Samson Barmao and Robert Mwangi as names to watch on the men's side with a shot at the record. Chanchima stands supreme on that list with a personal-best time of 2:07:43, but there's also a story brewing around last year's second-place finisher.
Mwangi finished just behind Shumye in 2012 and has vowed to win the race for his fallen friend at this year's event.
Shumye passed away of a car accident in January.
As Jeremy Pierce of The Courier-Mail reported in anticipation for the event, Mwangi will be running for the reigning champ during his time in Australia this year.
The eight different divisions give men and women of all ages and skill sets a chance to participate in this event, and here's hoping each competitor has a safe and fun weekend at the Gold Coast Marathon.
Follow Bleacher Report FC Ethan Grant (@DowntownEG) on Twitter.