A RUNNING latecomer is preparing to wear the number-one Australian women’s ranking at the Gold Coast marathon.
Garvoc export Virginia Moloney will compete against world-class athletes from South Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia, New Zealand and Japan in the July 2 competition.
“It is an IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) gold label marathon, which means you are going to be running against an elite field of runners,” she said.
“I am sitting at number nine at the moment.
“I am really excited about it, just to be included in the top 10 is very exciting for me.
“I will still go out and run my race and in between it will be great to stand beside some women with phenomenal times and go toe-to-toe with them.”
Moloney, 27, took up running seriously in 2013 and quickly established herself as an athlete to watch.
The former Emmanuel College student won her first Melbourne Marathon last year and competed at the IAAF world cross country championships earlier this season.
She ran second in the Gold Coast half marathon last year and opted to step up to the full distance this time around.
“I guess it was a good opportunity to hopefully run a nice, flat, fast marathon in good conditions,” Moloney said.
“I am not going to compare myself (to my world-class rivals) because I am there to run a fast time and improve my personal best.
“If the opportunity is there to pick a few of them off towards the end of the course, I am always going to go for the best possible place I can.”
Moloney said her training for Gold Coast had gone smoothly to date.
“I am a better cold weather runner, so we are going up a week or so early to train and acclimatise,” he said.
Moloney, who is one of 11 siblings, will have family support on and off the course in Queensland.
Her younger sister Maria, 22, has registered for the half marathon.