Tuesday 26 June

Two of Australia’s distance running stars at the recent Commonwealth Games head the seeds in this Saturday’s Southern Cross University 10km Run, part of the Gold Coast Marathon race weekend.

Madeline Hills and Victoria Mitchell will be running for glory and an AUD $1,000 winner’s purse after doing Australia proud in their respective track races at the Commonwealth Games.

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Hills, 31, placed eighth in the 10,000m final in a personal best (PB) of 32:01:04 and is hoping she can get close to her road best of 31:41 against a class field in the Southern Cross University 10km Run.

On paper her toughest opposition looks to be Australian teammate Mitchell who recorded her best 10km time of 32:59 when she was victorious in this race in 2015.

If 36-year-old Mitchell can break the tape this year, she will become only the second woman to have won multiple 10km Runs on the Gold Coast – five-time winner Kylie Risk being the other.

A podium result will also be a credit to Mitchell’s toughness after she endured a painful Commonwealth Games lead-up.

After winning her fifth national title and Games selection trial in the 3000m steeplechase, Mitchell made the start line at the Games less than two weeks after being hospitalised for appendicitis and post-surgery infection.

Remarkably, Mitchell passed a fitness test to line up at her third Commonwealth Games and placed ninth.

Victorians Mitchell and Hills will be joined on the start line by three other sub 34-minute 10km performers in Marnie Ponton (NSW), 2016 race winner Leanne Pompeani (ACT) and Caitlin Adams (SA).

In the men’s race, a group of up-and-coming Australian distance running talent will battle it out to become a first-time winner on the Gold Coast.

Top seed is Jordan Gusman (ACT) who comes into the race in hot form after three PBs in recent weeks and being victorious in a NSW cross country challenge over 10km on Saturday.

After winning the Canberra Half Marathon in 1:06:33 in April, Gusman competed in some US track meets last month and clocked PBs in both the 1500m and 5000m.

On Saturday, the 24-year-old will face Andrew Buchanan (VIC), fresh from his fourth placing in the recent Sydney Half Marathon in 1:06:00, and Max Stevens (SA) who recorded a PB of 29:35 in the Launceston 10K earlier this month.

Good conditions could also provide race records with Michael Shelley’s 28:53 and Lisa Jane Weightman’s 32:17 within striking distance for the top seeds.

The Southern Cross University 10km Run will incorporate the Queensland 10km Road Running Championships with Jack Curran and Matthew Carlsson the leading chances in the men’s race and Samantha Phillips, Clare Geraghty and Courtney Gilfillan among the women’s contenders.

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Southern Cross University 10km Run Top 5 Seeds

Men

  • Jordan Gusman (AUS/ACT) 28:39
  • Andy Buchanan (AUS/VIC) 29:08
  • Max Stevens (AUS/SA) 29:35
  • Jack Curran (AUS/QLD) 29:48
  • Matthew Carlsson (AUS/QLD) 29:50

Women

  • Madeline Hills (AUS/VIC) 31:41
  • Victoria Mitchell (AUS/VIC) 32:59
  • Marnie Ponton (AUS/NSW) 33:33
  • Leanne Pompeani (AUS/ACT) 33:47
  • Caitlin Adams (AUS/SA) 33:55

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Vital Statistics

Race records:

Men – Michael Shelley (AUS) – 28:53 – 2010

Women – Lisa Weightman (AUS) – 32:17 – 2012

Most wins:

Men: 5 – Michael Shelley (AUS)

Women: 5 – Kylie Risk (AUS)

Southern Cross University 10km Run Fastest Performances

Men

  1. Michael Shelley (AUS) 28:53 | 2010
  2. Michael Shelley (AUS) 28:55 | 2011
  3. Hugh Williams (AUS) 29:23 | 2016
  4. Martin Dent (AUS) 29:26 | 2015
  5. Andrew Buchanan (AUS) 29:26 | 2016

Women

  1. Lisa Weightman (AUS) 32:17 | 2012
  2. Eloise Wellings (AUS) 32:55 | 2017
  3. Victoria Mitchell (AUS) 32:59 | 2015
  4. Lara Tamsett (AUS) 33:05 | 2013
  5. Alexandra Paterson (AUS) 33:10 | 2017

Comments from men’s top seed Jordan Gusman:

“The Gold Coast has been one of my main target races this winter. I’m taking it really seriously and want to have a crack at a fast time given it’s a good course with good competition.

“Hopefully with nice conditions and the competition, I can break the race record which is in the back of my mind. Being a Dick Telford trained athlete, it would be good to break the record held by another Dick trained athlete in Michael Shelley.

“I just won a New South Wales cross country challenge on Saturday (23 June) and raced in the Mini-Mos 10K (in Mosman) the previous weekend which were both hilly courses so I’m looking forward to the flat, fast course of the Gold Coast.”

Comments from women’s top seed Madeline Hills:

“I took a decent holiday after the Commonwealth Games including a few weeks off running completely. It has helped me to recover and recharge, and I’m looking forward to racing on the Gold Coast on Saturday.

“I’ve done a couple of races over the past few weeks – a mile in Perth which is short for me and then the Victorian cross country championships. I won the cross country in a field that included Sinead Diver who is running the half marathon on the Gold Coast, so that was a real confidence booster. I’m not sure what (time) I can run on Saturday but I’ll probably plan to go hard in the first 5K and come home with what I have left.

“Usually this time of year I am competing overseas but, with no major championships now for the remainder of the year, I have the opportunity to do some fun runs and cross country races in Australia.”

Comments from Cameron Hart, Events Management Queensland CEO

“The Gold Coast Marathon race weekend is set to get off to a great start with the Southern Cross University 10km Run on Saturday showcasing some tremendous Australian distance running talent.

“With the runners we have assembled, there is the chance we could see the race records of Lisa Jane Weightman and Michael Shelley broken.

“There will also be a competitive race within a race with plenty of good local runners aspiring for the Queensland 10km Road Running Championships.”

The 40th edition Gold Coast Marathon will feature eight races including the Gold Coast Marathon, Wheelchair Marathon, ASICS Half Marathon, Wheelchair 15km, Southern Cross University 10km Run, Gold Coast Airport Fun Run, Garmin 4km Junior Dash and Garmin 2km Junior Dash. 

The Gold Coast Marathon is organised by Events Management Queensland, a major event management company wholly owned by the Queensland Government as part of Tourism and Events Queensland. 

Visit goldcoastmarathon.com.au for more information. 

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