Not only are increasing numbers of women entering the Gold Coast’s premier distance running events, but they’ve been doing so in greater numbers than their male counterparts since 2006.
Numbers crunched by Events Management Queensland reveal more women than men have lined up for Gold Coast Airport Marathon events over the past eight years.
In July this year a record 14,695 females lined up across all the distances as opposed to 12,970 males who faced the starters’ gun.
The ASICS Half Marathon saw 722 more women (5532) than men (4810), the Southern Cross University 10km Run field comprised 61.9% the fairer sex, while more than twice the amount of females (2684) than men (1270) entered the Suncorp Bank 5.7km Challenge.
Events Management Queensland General Manager Cameron Hart, says it’s a trend reflected around the country and across the globe.
‘According to Runners World magazine, at most distance races 55 per cent of all finishers are women’, said Mr Hart.
‘There are a number of theories as to why we’re seeing more women than men, but as ours is Australia’s favourite holiday marathon, we think a lot of women might look at our event as an opportunity to travel and have a sporting holiday with their families.
‘Women are very much attuned to fitness and the healthy lifestyle benefits that being healthy and active offers. There’s also the fundraising component.
‘This year over $500,000 was raised by participants through the Everyday Hero website and, with our official charity being Cancer Council Queensland, we think that might be having an effect with some estimates putting participation to raise money for charity at about two-thirds women’, he said.
The trend shows no sign of slowing down with 249 girls entering this year’s 4km Junior Dash and 475 lining up for the 2km Junior Dash – the numbers of girls in both children’s events increasing steadily since 2006.
But male pride is not totally lost on the streets of the Gold Coast.
Men still dominate entries in the 42.195km Gold Coast Airport Marathon with over 400 more men than women setting themselves the full-distance challenge in 2013.
The 2014 Gold Coast Airport Marathon will be run on Saturday July 5 and Sunday July 6, 2014.
Details can be found at www.goldcoastmarathon.com.