A father and son will line up on the start line of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon on Sunday, July 2 renewing a friendly rivalry that has seen both of them share the running spoils over the years.
However this year is special as both James Grainger, 65 and son Jonathan, 41, of Sheldon are participating in their first ever 42.195km Gold Coast Airport Marathon together.
Back in 2009, the duo both competed at the event with James in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon and Jonathon in the ASICS Half Marathon.
James said that the pair had competed in other marathons together in the past and both were training hard to lock horns again in July.
“I have been working to a running schedule that I had put together for my 2011 world marathon running expedition which was 14 marathons in five different countries,” James said.
“My aim this year is to finish the race in under four hours after finishing with a time of 4:05:07 in 2009.
“The last few marathons we have run, Jonathon has managed to beat me by a few seconds but that won’t happen this time.”
Aside from the rivalry, the duo represent an inspiring story of family spirit with James saying he is honoured to participate alongside his son.
“All the rivalry aside I do feel honoured about the feelings he has towards me to let me beat him at something,” he said.
“Jon has a very busy life with work, his cafés, family and three very young gorgeous children.
“I feel it’s a great effort on his part to spend his valuable time in training to run with his old man before I get too old to compete.”
So who will reign supreme in 2017? James is confident but Jonathon will have something to say about that!
The 39th annual Gold Coast Airport Marathon will be held on July 1 and 2.
Set to attract more than 27,00 participants of all ages and abilities, this year’s race program will feature the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, 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.
For the fourth year, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon has been awarded an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Road Race Gold Label.
To enter or for more information visit goldcoastmarathon.com.au
- Hayley Payne, Griffith University intern