By Jeremy O’Connell
(Originally published by Gold Coast Marathon and Gold Coast Bulletin)
Gold Coast photographer Paul Harris, 43, was the first Gold Coast-based entrant in the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Virtual Marathon when registrations for the 1 – 31 July event opened today.
Paul celebrated Global Running Day by signing up for the ‘Gold Coast Big Four’, an event bundle which includes the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Virtual Marathon, the ASICS Virtual Half Marathon, the Southern Cross University Virtual 10km Run and the Gold Coast Airport Virtual 5km Fun Run.
While disappointed that the road event has been cancelled for 2020, Paul is excited to be a part of the upcoming virtual edition and to take on his first marathon.
“While I’ve never run a marathon before, this event provides the unique opportunity to run a number of races over 31 days.
“At times like these, I’m enjoying my training and it’s great to be able to get out, get some fresh air and have a focus.”
Runners, walkers and wheelies can record their efforts via the ASICS Runkeeper app from wherever they are in the world, and even don a personalised virtual race bib, while daydreaming about the Gold Coast’s famous flat, fast and scenic course located alongside the city’s renowned surf beaches and stunning broadwater.
Friends, family and foes will be vying for bragging rights with results available for all to see on the event website during the month of July and personalised finisher certificates shareable on social media with the event hashtag #GCM20.
Those with grander aspirations can chance their arm at one of the championships on offer – the Oceania Virtual Marathon and Half Marathon Championships, the Queensland Virtual Half Marathon Championships and the UniSport Virtual Distance Running Championships.
Participants can also donate to official charities Cancer Council Queensland and LIVIN via the registration platform.
For more information and to register, visit goldcoastmarathon.com.au/virtual