Gold Coast Marathon 2021 – In It For The Long Run

Gold Coast Marathon 2021 – In It For The Long Run

15 Jun 2021

Every year, professional athletes, running enthusiasts and folk from all walks (or should that be runs?!) of life converge on the Gold Coast for a very special sporting event. The Village Roadshow Theme Parks Marathon was first held in 1979 and since then has grown to become the world-class internationally renowned Gold Coast Marathon and the pinnacle of road running events in Australia.

Update – June 30th, 2021: It is with the utmost regret that due to the three-day lockdown enforced by the Queensland Government to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, Events Management Queensland has been left with no choice but to cancel the Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon.

 The ongoing health risks, impacts on workforce/volunteers, disruptions to travel and uncertainty ahead dictated drastic action to ensure there were no further threats to the health and wellbeing of participants, stakeholders and the wider Gold Coast community.

 This decision has not been made lightly given the experience of the 2020 cancellation and comes with heartfelt disappointment from the team at Events Management Queensland.

With a fast, flat and scenic course that runs alongside the city’s renowned surf beaches and beautiful broadwater from Paradise Point to Burleigh Heads, it’s no wonder the event is so popular. Mild temperatures, low humidity and little wind make for such ideal running conditions that 60% of competitors achieve a personal best time.

group running

This year 20,000 entrants have registered to run in one of the nine events held across the weekend of July 2nd-4th. There’s an event for everyone from the whole 42km marathon and half marathon to a wheelchair marathon, a 10km fun run and a 2km junior dash. If you’re participating at the Gold Coast Marathon 2021, read on for some key local knowledge that will help you make the most of the event and your stay in the city.


Fuel your body for the big race by eating hearty, nourishing meals containing lots of carbohydrates and protein. In this instance, it’s hard to go past Italian. Here are some tempting suggestions…


GEMELLI ITALIAN: Make a booking at Broadbeach favourite, Gemelli Italian. The pizza is woodfired, the pasta is made fresh in-house daily and the menu is created from a combination of imported products from Italy and the freshest local produce, seafood and meat. Order Rigatoni Salsicce for the most authentic Italian cuisine this side of Sicily and put plenty of pep in your step on race day.

NONNA’S RESTAURANT: Get your body run-ready with steak, seafood or pasta from this popular Helensvale venue, and add some nutrients with a big bowl of salad. Their pizzas are hand stretched and cooked to perfection in the imported Italian wood fire pizza oven. Serving sizes are very generous at Nonna’s Restaurant to provide you with all the energy you need to go the distance.

JUSTIN LANE: Head to Burleigh Heads to carb load on quality pizza and pasta  from Justin Lane. Pizzas are made with a sourdough base – not just delicious but better for your digestions before the marathon. Nab a table at the rooftop bar for a killer view of Burleigh and live by their motto of eat, drink and be messy. Return post-race to celebrate with a cocktail or two.

LITTLE COOLY PIZZA PASTA BAR: Little Cooly is renowned for great food at a great price with attentive, friendly service. From their prime position on Level 1 of the Strand, you can enjoy a hearty meal with magnificent views. Fuel up on The Coolangatta Supreme or roast chicken breast served with mango and avocado salsa served with a crispy pancetta and sweet potato salad. Gluten free options available too.


GETTING THERE: On the day of the marathon, you’ll need to arrive at the Race Precinct at Broadwater Parklands at least an hour before your race starts. G:link trams will be running regularly from 4am on Saturday and Sunday and the service is free for race participants.

If you’re staying on the Broadwater, Gold Coast Watersports will be running boat charters to the race precinct ($20 per person), while Duffy Down Under is providing participants and their supporters charter boat transport from Sea World Drive in Main Beach ($10 one way, $15 return).

gold coast marathon 2021 runner

ASICS SPORT & LEISURE EXPO: The annual ASICS Sport & Leisure Expo will be held on the event lawn in the Race Precinct during the event. As well as ASICS footwear and fashion there’ll be food and coffee vans, exciting activations and giveaways from event partners including Village Roadshow Theme Parks, Polar, Southern Cross University and LIVIN. Purchase some merch as a memento of your weekend and the huge achievement of participating in the 2021 Gold Coast Marathon.

The onsite information booth will be able to tell you everything you need to know about the race. Guided precinct tours will be running on Friday – highly recommended so you know where everything is prior to race day. Admission is free and open to all and there’ll be free WiFi for attendees.


Sleep is your key recovery weapon after such a massive effort. Retire to your accommodation post-marathon and enjoy a well earned nap. Then hit Gold Coast’s diverse dining scene for a substantial meal – you will have worked up quite an appetite! The day after the marathon, book a visit to one of the venues below. A good soak, sauna or a pool recovery session will alleviate pain, help your muscles relax and aid in the recovery process.

KDV SPORT (CARRARA):  Officially, KDV Sport in Carrara is the home of golf, tennis and fitness on the Gold Coast, but runners are more than welcome too. With a causal pass you can access their gym, pool and sauna for your recovery. And if you’re looking for some fun and relaxation, have a hit on the driving range or play a round of mini golf.

CITY CAVE: Your body’s been through a lot after running a marathon – take care of it at City Cave in Mermaid Waters. The water in their state-of-the-art float rooms contains magnesium, which helps muscle recovery. And a session in an infrared sauna will help relieve pain and stimulate circulation to deep tissue. Many athletes have reported improved physical recovery post-float.

FREEDOM FLOAT CENTRE: If you’re hobbling the day after Gold Coast Marathon 2021, book a session at Freedom Float Centre in Burleigh to melt the sore muscles away. Find a state of bliss in one of the Epsom-salt infused float tanks which will help ease the stiffness in your body. Follow it up with an infrared sauna and you’ll walk out of there feeling a whole lot better.

If you want to know about more amazing Gold Coast attractions and events, subscribe to our email list to stay in the know!

Kate Veling
Kate Veling

Travel writer, Kate Veling, came to the Gold Coast for six months and loved it so much she’s still here 20 years later. The laidback lifestyle suits her to a tee and as a mum of three, she knows all the best parks, swimming spots and kid-friendly fun to be had in her ‘hood. She’s often found getting amongst the thriving local arts and culture scene, dancing to live music or kicking back on the beach, but rest assured it’s all in the name of research.


Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. 
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.