Five records broken in huge GBR Marathon Festival
GBR MARATHON FESTIVAL
FIVE course records were broken in a successful Sunday at the GBR Marathon Festival.
The 2018 Tropical Journeys Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival has been hailed a huge success with over 5,000 people descending on the region on a warm and sunny day in Port Douglas.
Over 2,400 participants took part in the weekend event representing over fifteen countries and every Australian state and territory adding a great vibe to the day, rarely felt at running festivals.
Camaraderie was at an all-time high with runners thrilled with the unique courses, taking in beautiful Four Mile Beach, cane fields and the infamous Bump Track.
Run for the Reef Ambassador and Olympic legend Steve Moneghetti ran the half marathon on Sunday and was full of praise for the event.
“I have been involved for 8 years now and the 2018 Tropical Journeys Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival set a new benchmark. A fantastic event all round. A wonderful atmosphere, perfect location and great courses. I can see this event attracting 3000 runners next year.
“As long as they will have me, I will certainly be coming back to Port Douglas for a long, long time.”
With the sun peaking over the horizon, over 180 runners in the Steve Moneghetti Marathon took off down Four Mile Beach. With a supreme effort, Trent Harlow broke clear to win in a course record time of 3 hours 17 seconds. Winner of the 2017 marathon Niklas Kroen came back from Austria to defend his title and put in a champion effort to come in a close second with a time of 3 hours and 5 minutes.
There was another course record set in the Women Marathon as well with Lena Steuri claiming the crown in a time of 3 hours and 30 minutes with Salome Villiger coming in second.
The Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Port Douglas Half Marathon also had a very competitive field of well over 700 runners. In the largest field in the events history dual Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist, Michael Shelley showed his absolute class in a record time of 1 hour and eleven minutes.
It was a real thrill for all the runners in this field to compete with two Commonwealth Gold medalists - Shelly and Moneghetti in the one event.
As an ambassador to the event Shelley renounced his win to allow Alex Humphrey to take out first place, closely followed by Phil Bradshaw and Nick Carling.
The champion half marathoner in the women’s event was Louisa Hamilton Wise.
The Newsport 10KM race also saw tremendous growth this year with Samantha Phillips taking out the women’s event in 38 minutes and 45 seconds and Joel Stevens winning the men’s in 36 minutes and 29 seconds.
The Calypso 5km and 2km STAR FM Junior Challenge also saw huge fields with runners as young as 4 taking part. Two course records were beaten in the 2km in both the female and male events, with Lara Lane finishing in 8 minutes and 12 seconds and Ollie Van Rees finishing in 7 minutes and 56 seconds.
This year fundraising through the Run for the Reef Initiative hit a total of $100,000 with Dr Adam Barnett representing James Cook University at the event. Funds raised will support the Mega Mouth project into unique studies of whale sharks and manta rays in far north Queensland.
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