Two Cairns run squads have joined forces to celebrate the easing of Covid-19 restrictions the only way they know – by running FAST. 

Distance running group Pace Running and athlete development squad Aspire will attempt to run a sub-two-hour marathon on Monday 13 July – breaking the event into 105 laps of Barlow Park’s 400m track, plus a final 195m to ensure the full distance. 

The official world record for the marathon is held by Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya with a time of 2 hours 1 minute and 39 seconds. In 2019 Kipchoge recorded an unbelievable time of 1:59:40, however his time is not officially recognised as a world record because it was not run under open marathon conditions and it also featured a dense rotation of professional pacesetters. 

Pace Running coach Jill Boltz said the club had wanted to attempt the two-hour marathon relay for some time and all athletes would be given the chance to be involved. 

“To break two hours for a marathon each athlete needs to complete 400m in 68 seconds, spread across both squads we think we can do it! It is amazing to think that one person, Eliud Kipchoge could maintain that pace for the entire 42.195km marathon distance,” Jill said. 

“It is great that we can join forces with Apsire, the kids all know one another and it is something we can do to help celebrate the easing of restrictions for community sport. 

“Both squads have continued training throughout the lockdown and with so many competitions cancelled they have all shown amazing commitment, especially when they could only train in pairs. Hopefully this will provide some incentive and something for all the athletes to look forward too. 

“Pace and Aspire are on the same page when it comes to training and athlete development, we want the kids to work hard and achieve their goals, but we also want them to have fun and we think this will be a lot of fun.” 

Aspire coach Brendan Peters said the squad was excited to join forces with athletes they would usually line-up against in competition. 

“I think this type of event is a great example of how young athletes can work together – even though in competitions they will come up against one another,” Brendan said. 

“We have strong sprint and 400m specialists in our group and it will be good to see them rise to this challenge.” 

The Pace Running and Aspire sub-two-hour marathon relay attempt will start at Barlow Park at 4pm on Monday 13 July. Pace coach Jill Boltz can be contacted on 0415 892 054. Aspire coach Brendan Peeters can be contacted on 0405 8427 05. 

  • Jill Boltz represented Great Britain at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. She won a silver medal in the 10,000 metres at the 1990 Commonwealth Games. In 1991, she broke the World Best for 10 miles. 
  • Brendan Peeters has over 20 years of experience in the sport of track and field, as both a high level athlete and coach. 

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