The marathon effect

IT takes between 30,000 and 50,000 steps to run a marathon. And it’s not just the body that is tested; some say a marathon is only 10% physical and 90% mental. In a nutshell – it’s no easy task.

A marathon is, by nature, a challenge. As every foot hits the ground stress three to four times body weight is absorbed by the ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. And then there’s the emotional struggle against “hitting the wall” – where the body pleads with the mind to stop.

Yet every year hundreds of thousands of people hit the ground running for the Gold Coast Airport Marathon… so it mustn’t be all bad.

Wayne Merrotsy, 38, did something he “never thought he would do” entered and threw himself into the 2008 Gold Coast Airport Marathon.

After deciding to register with a friend earlier in the year, Wayne began training three to four times a week.

“I was a little surprised during the training leading up to the event at how quickly the mind and body adjusts to the task at hand,” he says.

“Starting out with five to eight kilometre runs was an effort to begin with, but three months later you run 17 kilometres home from the shops just ‘cause you feel like it and hardly raise a sweat,” says Wayne.

On the big day, Wayne says he felt good physically for most of the race until the 25km mark where he slowed.

“I had a few knee niggles during the run (a past injury) and a little discomfort around my neck and shoulders but nothing debilitating,” he says.

At the 30km mark the realisation set in that Wayne would not beat his four hour goal.

Although this was disappointing, Wayne says the clear goal of just finishing the race overcame all physical and mental hurdles that were thrown at him.

“The experience has left me with wanting more and not wanting to lose the level of fitness I have achieved,” he says.

Wayne is still training and keen to keep running.

“I’ve contemplated flying to Melbourne for the marathon there so I can crack the four hour mark,” he says.

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is owned and operated by Queensland Events Gold Coast. For a full calendar of events visit

For more information on the Gold Coast Marathon visit

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