By Amanda Kwong
Boasting a flat course, tantalising for personal bests, Sunday the 2nd of July saw the 39th running of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon. Nearly 27000 registered entrants flocked to the sunny Gold Coast, which included Adam Koops, blind Achilles Melbourne athlete, stepping up to the challenge.
Adam’s dedication to training and fitness collided with the world of running when Achilles Melbourne held its inaugural training session in March 2016. In less than a year, Adam has completed marathons at the Melbourne Running Festival, Run for the Young (Lilydale), and Wangaratta Running Festival. The Gold Coast marathon was Adam’s 4th marathon attempt – with a 3 hour 30 minute PB to beat. Guided by the winner of 2016’s Gold Coast marathon, Aidan Hobbs, Adam swept aside his old personal best; coming in at a very impressive 3 hours, 20 minutes and 59 seconds!
Adam recounts his marathon experience. “I had some great support from Tim Emeny (Achilles Melbourne guide) who cruised with us up until the 35k mark, and I’ve found a new friend in my guide, Aidan Hobbs. I hit a wall at around the 35k mark, but as we turned the last bend, I found my second wind. What I loved best about this course was the location and the atmosphere. There were so many supportive, friendly people and music playing the entire way. The weather couldn’t have been any better – sorry to the others freezing down in Melbourne! I’d encourage anyone to give this event a go. It’s a fantastic course!”
And they were not alone, as Enrique Suana, Achilles Sydney guide, who was gunning for his own individual marathon personal best, joined them during the early section of the course.
From everyone at Achilles Australia, we congratulate Adam on his 4th marathon and new personal best. Adam is currently on a journey to tackle the holy grail of all marathons: the TCS New York Marathon in November 2017. You can support Adam or his fellow Achilles athlete, Francois Jacobs, following the links below.
Support Adam here: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/blindrunner-saygday
Support Francois here: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/francois-runs-new-york
Pictured below: Enrique captures a signature selfie with Adam behind, flanked by his guide, Aidan and support runner, Tim on the course of the Gold Coast marathon. Road lines and 50km speed limit in background with legs of other marathon runners surrounding the group.
Our mission is to enable people from all walks of life, including those with physical impairments, to enjoy the health giving benefits of walking and running in a supportive, social and encouraging environment.