Two-time Olympian and three-time Commonwealth Games representative Eloise Wellings will return to the Gold Coast to headline the Southern Cross University 10km Run at this year’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon on Saturday 1 July.

Wellings, who claimed the women’s ASICS Half Marathon title two years ago in the fifth fastest time ever, is back on the racing circuit after a stellar 2016 which included top-10 finishes in the 10,000m and 5,000m events at the Rio Olympic Games.

The 34-year-old New South Wales runner placed third in the Launceston 10 (33:57) last week and will use the race as final preparation for the 10,000m race at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in London in August.

She will be joined on the start line by three-time top-10 Southern Cross University 10km Run finisher Gemma Maini and last year’s third placegetter Katrina Robinson.

Maini, 30, recently represented her country in the 10km race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Uganda and was the second Australian to cross the finish line. She will arrive in Queensland looking to carry her form and go one better than last year’s second place finish (34:26).

Five-time Zespri Junior Dash winner and 2km course record holder Katrina Robinson made her 10km debut last year and finished in a remarkable third place (34:27). A win for the 16-year-old Queenslander will have her join Australian running legends Pat Carroll and Michael Shelley as the only athletes to snare six victories at a Gold Coast Airport Marathon event.

World Cross Country representative and 2013 Southern Cross University 10km Run fifth placegetter Tara Palm and 2017 New Zealand 5,000m champion Laura Nagel round out the top five seeds in the women’s elite field.

The men’s elite field will be led by Riley Cocks who will be focused on adding a Southern Cross University 10km Run victory to his list of accolades after two fourth places in 2014 and 2015.

The 21-year-old Zespri 4km Junior Dash course record holder from South Australia will land on the Gold Coast in fine form after recording a 10,000m track personal best time of 29:38 at the Mt. SAC Relays in California, USA earlier this year.

It will be the third head-to-head battle this year between Timothy Lefroy from the Australian Capital Territory and New South Welshman Matthew Hudson, with both men heading into the race in good touch after their recent performances in Tasmania.

Lefroy took the tape in the Sydney:10 in May with a personal best time of 30:10 and went on to improve it by 30 seconds with a 29:40 fourth place ahead of Hudson in fifth in the Launceston 10.

Despite being beaten to the line by one place on both occasions, Hudson will go into their next clash confident after posting a personal best time of 29:42 in Launceston.

Victoria’s Toby Rayner will take on his second Southern Cross University 10km Run after placing fifth in 2015 and attaining two top-10 performances in the ASICS Half Marathon (2014 and 2016).

He will be joined by Matthew Carlsson who improved on his 2013 Southern Cross University 10km Run 13th place with a top-10 finish last year.

The Southern Cross University 10km Run will also feature the IAAF Oceania Area 10km Championships, Queensland 10km Road Running Championships, Australian University Sport Distance Running Championships and the Australian Open Running Club Championships.

The 39th annual Gold Coast Airport Marathon will be held on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 July.

Set to attract more than 27,000 participants of all ages and abilities, this year’s race program will feature the Gold Coast Airport Marathon over 42.195km, Wheelchair Marathon, ASICS Half Marathon, Wheelchair 15km, Southern Cross University 10km Run, The Star Gold Coast 5.7km Challenge, Zespri 4km Junior Dash and Zespri 2km Junior Dash.

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Interesting Facts

Three runners have won the Southern Cross University 10km Run more than once – Kylie Risk, Alastair Stevenson and Michael Shelley.
Kylie Risk (97-98, 01-02, 04) and Michael Shelley (04, 06-07, 10-11) have the most wins in the Southern Cross University 10km Run at 5.
Pat Carroll and Lee Troop are the only runners to have won all three of the Southern Cross University 10km Run, ASICS Half Marathon and Gold Coast Airport Marathon.

Elite Women

Eloise Wellings (AUS) 32:53
Tara Palm (AUS) 33:08
Gemma Maini (AUS) 33:53
Katrina Robinson (AUS) 34:27
Laura Nagel (NZ) 35:04

Elite Men

Riley Cocks (AUS) 29:38
Timothy Lefroy (AUS) 29:40
Matthew Hudson (AUS) 29:42
Matthew Carlsson (AUS) 30:34
Toby Rayner (AUS) 29:22