The Islander editorial – KI Marathon adds to profile

Over the past four years the KI Marathon has attracted more than 500 runners and in many instances, their families or support team. Riccardo Vanetti from Italy came to the Island with his partner Martina Colendi specifically to participate in the run. Riccardo was delighted with winning the Half Marathon. He said it was a "beautiful; but tough run" that he will remember for a long time.   

Another overseas participant was Attila Kovacs from Hungary who also discovered Kangaroo Island because he was attracted to the marathon. Attila came from Hungary,and after spending several days on the Island will fly to Europe to participate in the Berlin Marathon. Attila said the undulations and hills were deceptive and the climb out of Remarkable Rocks towards Cape Du Couedic was taxing. "Kangaroo Island is a special place, I will try to come back with my wife" he said.

Tourism Kangaroo Island has been instrumental in supporting the evolution of the Marathon on the Island and its chairman Pierre Gregor has been intimately involved since inception. Working together with the race organiser Nathan Godfrey, Mr Gregor said he hoped the event could be taken to the next level and become entrenched in the Island's events calendar.

“Having an event such as this adds another dimension to the Island's offering,” Mr Gregor said. “Although it targets a niche market, its value lies in the additional coverage the Island and Flinders Chase gets in the international arena. There are several agents who operate in the international adventure and activity market that are promoting the KI Marathon as a special 'destination' marathon rather than an event that will achieve super fast times. 

Race founder and organiser Mr Godfrey again thanked the team at the Department of Environment and Water for making the national park available for the event. "Thank you to Rob Ellis and his team for their professional support, we are proud to work together and promote Flinders Chase National Park to a global running community,” he said. Last year, the event delivered an economic benefit of $220,000 to the State, he said. “Our research suggests that our inter-state and international runners spend around seven nights in South Australia,” he said. “The feedback we have received from runners is that they love the race course and the other local attractions and activities on KI.” – Stan Gorton