SINGAPORE - Fancy running a marathon along Surfers Paradise, one of the most famous beaches in the world?
You could win a chance to do that, simply by signing up for the 18.45km category of this year's The Straits Times Run, which takes place on Sept 23 at the Singapore Sports Hub.
The Straits Times has partnered Tourism & Events Queensland to send three ST Run participants for a 5D/4N all-expenses paid trip to run in the Gold Coast Marathon (GCM), an International Association of Athletics Federations Gold Label marathon that is now in its 40th year.
The package, worth about $2,000 per person, covers airfare, accommodation and entry to either the GCM's half-marathon or marathon category.
There is even a whale watching cruise thrown in.
The top male and female local* finisher in the ST Run's 18.45km category this year will each win a trip to next year's Gold Coast Marathon.
But if you feel finishing tops in such a long distance is nigh impossible, fret not. There is one ticket to this year's GCM - which will be held on July 1 - up for grabs and you could win it by signing up for the ST Run's 18.45km category by April 30.
All you have to do is tell us - on the ST Run Facebook page - why you deserve to win the package in 100 words or less (terms and conditions apply).The winner will be notified by May 3.
ST sports editor Lee Yulin said: "The ST Run always strives to offer participants new and unique experiences every year.
"This tie-up with the Gold Coast Marathon is a first for any run in Singapore and we thank our partners in Queensland for giving our participants a chance to not only test their mettle overseas but also to do so in a spectacular setting."
Tourism & Events Queensland international director Lim Mui Khim added: "Tourism & Events Queensland is absolutely delighted to be a partner with the ST Run.
"The GCM is globally recognised as a fast, flat and scenic course with outstanding crowd support and perfect running conditions.
"The lucky ST runner... will also be running the same course as all the marathon heroes who are competing for gold next Sunday at the 2018 Commonwealth Games."
National marathoner Mok Ying Ren ran the GCM in 2011 and 2013. It was in the latter race that he set a then-personal best of 2hr 26min 30sec to qualify for the 2013 SEA Games, which he went on to win.
Describing the route as "largely flat with some rolling hills towards the end of the race", the 29-year-old doctor waxed lyrical about the experience.
"It has a much cooler and less humid climate compared to Singapore and provides that extra boost to runners aiming for a personal best," said the double SEA Games gold medallist.
He also had some advice for those who have signed up: "This coastal marathon is prone to having some cross winds along the coast especially towards the end so be prepared for some wind.
"But it gets warm quickly as the run goes on, so do run light in normal singlets and shorts but wear an extra shirt that you can dispose off when the race starts."
The build-up to the sixth instalment of the ST Run will feature a range of fitness and lifestyle activities geared towards getting participants ready.
These include a leisurely bike trail on April 21 which features three pit stops at cafes, a Bounce Fit session (a form of trampoline) on May 5, a healthy cooking class at Cookyn Inc with Hed chef Hedy Khoo sharing a recipe on June 23, and an outdoor yoga session along the waterfront on Sept 8.
Participants can ramp up their fitness during a CrossFit class at Innervate Fitness on June 17, a cardio three-way session featuring an Assault Air Bike, Ergo Rower and VersaClimber at TripleFit Millenia Walk on July 22, and a 15km sunset run on Aug 18.
This year's run comprises three categories - 18.45km, 10km and 5km. The registration fee for each is $70, $60 and $50, respectively. Participants of any past edition enjoy a Loyal Runner rate and need to pay only $58, $48 and $38, respectively.
* For details on prize eligibility and to sign up for the ST Run, go to www.straitstimesrun.com.