Kim Ryan | 29 June 2015

As one of Australia’s most inspiring cricketers, Adam Gilchrist swaps the Baggy Green for a pair of running shoes to lace up for his first full marathon in support of Queensland cancer patients. As one of the greatest wicketkeeper-batsman to have ever played the game, Gilly lays claim to hitting 100 sixes in Test cricket. Regarded as an inspiring team player, he has taken over 400 dismissals in one-day internationals, as well as scoring over 8,699 runs at a phenomenal strike rate of almost 97 runs per 100 balls. His next milestone is getting over the Gold Coast Airport Marathon finish line.

In a bid to raise much-needed funds for Cancer Council Queensland, The Suncorp Bank Ambassador will take on a gruelling 42.1km run for the iconic Gold Coast event. Adam says he is taking on the physical challenge to raise awareness and funds for the more than 360,000 Queenslanders who are affected by cancer each year. “This is my first full marathon, and my wife Melinda, and I are training together,” Adam declares. “Despite the intense physical challenge, taking on this massive commitment together for such a great cause has been an amazing experience.”

For the past ten years, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon has been a strong supporter of Cancer Council Queensland, naming the charity as its major beneficiary. To honour that commitment, the charity has gifted the naming of one of their research grants to Gold Coast Airport Marathon. The research, led by University Of Queensland researcher Dr Aaron Smith aims to understand the important protective role NR4A proteins play in preventing melanoma development and how these proteins might impact on treatment responses. This research aims to give all Queenslanders a better chance of being treated or cured of deadly melanomas – a disease that is often found in those who take part in outdoor sports – but can also occur in areas of limited or no sun exposure. 

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift says the charity is thankful to have backing from Adam Gilchrist and Team Suncorp for the 2015 event. “Melanoma research is a big issue in our state,” Katie announces, “and we are so thankful to have had the support of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon over the past ten years to continue funding important work in cancer research, education and patient support services. With the help of the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, we will continue to fund lifesaving research that could help Queenslanders beat melanoma in future.”

With around 3,000 melanoma and 133,000 non-melanoma skin cancers diagnosed across the State each year, Queensland has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Katie says more than 61,000 Australian lives have been saved by improvements in cancer prevention, screening and treatment over the past twenty years and that in 2015, Cancer Council Queensland hopes to change even more lives for the better. “With the support of Adam Gilchrist as a Suncorp Bank Ambassador and the team at Gold Coast Airport Marathon,” Katie notes, “we will continue to make traction in the fight against cancer. This iconic marathon is also a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of cancer, to show that we are here to support Queenslanders impacted by the diseases, and to educate on how to prevent it.”

With more than 27,000 runners expected to take part, The 2015 Gold Coast Airport Marathon looks to be highly successful this year. Participants can take part in either the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Wheelchair Marathon, ASICS Half Marathon, Wheelchair 15km, Southern Cross university 10km Run, Suncorp Bank 5.7km Challenge and 4km and 2km Junior Dash races. But most importantly, everyone who participates will shine as an Everyday Hero - just like Gilly. 

The 2015 Gold Coast Airport Marathon runs on the Gold Coast July 4 and 5. More details available here.

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