The Gold Coast marathon, Australia's largest, is set to grow further following the announcement by the Queensland government of a $250,000 tourism marketing campaign.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced the move to entice more interstate and overseas marathoners to contest the Gold Coast Marathon.
"From humble beginnings, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon is now Australia’s largest marathon and one of the world’s premier running events,” Premier Bligh said.
"For the first time this year the event will be held over two days (Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 July) and to encourage more runners and their supporters to visit the Gold Coast for the Marathon weekend, Tourism Queensland is offering some enticing Gold Coast holidays deals.
"Last year the Gold Coast Airport Marathon attracted 6,731 runners from outside Queensland, including close to 2,000 from overseas which generated 50,000 visitor nights on the coast.
"Already this year, there have been entries from 28 countries and each Australian state and territory.
"This $250,000 tourism campaign will encourage more visitors to stay longer and enjoy everything the Gold Coast and more widely Queensland has to offer."
In addition to the tourism campaign, Inside Athletics has learned that event organisers are on the verge of securing all five Australian marathoners who will contest the Commonwealth Games on the starting line across the events at the Gold Coast marathon.
Lisa Weightman, Jeff Hunt and Martin Dent will contest the Asics Half Marathon, whilst Lisa Flint, who will contest the Christchurch half marathon this weekend, has yet to decide which event she will enter. Gold Coast local, Michael Shelley, who last year was second in the half marathon, is yet to confirm his participation, but is believed to be leaning towards the 10km.
More information on the Gold Coast marathon is available here.