Finding time for family is the ultimate juggling act for men and women balancing career obligations, family time and a strong desire to pursue the activity that helps provide the energy needed to stay so involved. Runner Kok Chuan, who trained with Team FatBird (who never met a challenge he couldn’t overcome), has come up with the perfect way to have it all: Runcations.
In his opinion, nothing compares to Australia’s Gold Coast Airport Marathon. “It’s the best course!” he insists, “a terrific short holiday, too.” Who are we to disagree as Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2017 appears on the horizon?
RS: You ran the Gold Coast Marathon two years ago; what brings you back this year?
Kok Chuan: The challenge and my family; not necessarily in that order! This is my third Gold Coast, having gone to Queensland in 2013 for a family trip and then in 2014 just for the race. I am returning for Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2017 because I like the course and cool weather — and it’s an excuse to bring my wife to do the 10km run. She started running about a year ago.
RS: Can you tell us about your first Gold Coast Airport Marathon experience?
Kok Chuan: While running is my passion, I am not a fast runner, yet during my 2014 run, I finished in 4 hours; 34 minutes; 42 seconds. That’s 33 minutes off my previous personal best.
RS: Scenic Travel booked your first Gold Coast Marathon trip. Why choose Scenic? Will they make your Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2017 arrangements?
Kok Chuan: I got to know about Scenic Travel while picking up my Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore race pack in 2013. I mentioned that I was interested in competing in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon (GCAM) the following year (2014) and the rest is history. Scenic Travel tour leaders are very professional; they take care of everything for me, from race pack collection to transporting us to the run site. Our tour leader stayed during our events and took pictures. My wife and I have already signed up with them for Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2017.
RS: You’ve booked travel arrangements on your own and used Scenic Travel. Which do you recommend?
Kok Chuan: If given a choice, I always prefer a tour package so that everything is well taken care of. Putting arrangements in the hands of a resource like Scenic Travel saves me time and the hassle of running around. This year, my wife and I asked Scenic Travel to make arrangements for friends so they could join us.
RS: Do you have one outstanding memory from your first Gold Coast experience?
Kok Chuan: I always come away with at least one outstanding memory. On my first visit, I took a hot-air balloon ride. In 2014, I cuddled a koala bear at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. This year, I hope to sky dive. I’ve already had Scenic Travel make those arrangements!
RS: After you complete Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2017, what will you do while you’re in Queensland?
Kok Chuan: We will extend our trip another two days (that totals seven days in all) so my wife and I can go sightseeing and shopping.
RS: What’s on top of your Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2017 post-race shopping list?
Kok Chuan: I plan to bring my wife to Harbour Town for shopping, which will include a stop at the Super Bee outlet for honey and bee pollen.
RS: If a runner — who has never before visited Queensland – asked you for site and activity suggestions in conjunction with their first Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2017 visit, what advice would you give them?
Kok Chuan: The Gold Coast has no shortage of things to see and do. I went up the Skypoint Observation Deck on level 77 during a 2013 family trip. The view is spectacular; I would recommend going there when it’s almost sunset to see the Gold Coast landscape by day and night. Whale watching is exciting for first-time visitors, too!
RS: What do you remember most fondly about your Gold Coast Marathon experiences?
Kok Chuan: The support and cheers of the local community plus the cool weather. The people in Queensland are very friendly; some are unforgettable!
RS: If forced to pick just one thing you love most about the Gold Coast, what would it be and why?
Kok Chuan: I love animals so if I had to choose just one Gold Coast experience, it would be whale watching. It is simply amazing to watch those huge mammals flip their tails and blow water through their blow holes.
RS: What, in your opinion, is the difference between running the Gold Coast and other marathons?
Kok Chuan: The Gold Coast stands out in my mind because unlike other marathons I’ve run, this one has a relatively flat course and the cool weather makes it easy to run. I couldn’t possibly leave out the unselfish cheering of community members. Not every destination gives guest runners such a warm welcome.
If you’ve run the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, won’t you let us know your favourite memory of the race or those enthusiastic Aussies cheering on visitors along the route?
You can sign up for the Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2017 with Scenic Travel and have them plan a wonderful Runcation for you too.