Six-time paralympian strives for Guinness World RecordAims to beat the record time on crutches at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon
Six-time Paralympian Michael Milton has competed on the world's largest sporting stage but admits his world record attempt at this year's Gold Coast Airport Marathon (6 - 7 July 2013) could be his toughest challenge to date.
The Australian Paralympic skier, cyclist and paratriathlete will run the 42.195km course on Sunday 7 July using a world-first custom-made pair of carbon fibre crutches with the aim of beating the Guinness World Record time for a marathon on crutches.
The record stands at six hours, 42 minutes and 47 seconds.
"This really could be the hardest physical challenge so far. Running on crutches for around six hours will be super tough," Michael said.
The multi-gold medallist, who lost his left leg to cancer at the age of nine, is feeling nervous ahead of the gruelling challenge but knows he has the support of his family waiting at the finish line.
"My preparation so far has not been great. That's weighing on my mind as 42.195 kilometres is the great unknown for me," Michael said.
"I just don't know how deep I will have to dig. I am prepared to put my all into it on the day though.
"I hope I can finish and, when I do, it will feel great to accomplish a major goal, and even better to share it with my young family."
The 40-year-old Canberran is regarded as one of Australia's most successful winter athletes having represented Australia at five Paralympic Games as a skier and one as a cyclist winning a total of 11 medals.
He holds the Australian speed skiing record at 213.65km per hour, has climbed Mt Kilimanjaro, walked Kokoda twice and has most recently represented Australia at the World Triathlon Championships.
But it is the glory of finishing a marathon that Michael wants the most having had it on his ‘bucket list' for some time.
"After skiing and cycling I got into triathlon and so I returned to some running. I then developed some very special running crutches and started to think a marathon may be possible," Michael said.
"I've been building up to it distance-wise but when I completed my first half marathon a couple of months ago, I decided it was time to have a crack at the longer distance."
Michael will be a guest speaker at the AirAsia Legends Lunch at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday 6 July from noon. Tickets are still available at www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au.
The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is a major highlight on Queensland's event calendar, attracting people from more than 30 countries and showcasing the Gold Coast as a premier sporting event destination.
This year's race program will feature the full 42.195km Gold Coast Airport Marathon, ASICS Half Marathon, Southern Cross University 10km Run, Suncorp Bank 5.7km Challenge and 4km and 2km Junior Dash races.
Runners and walkers also have the opportunity to dedicate their run and raise funds for the official charity Cancer Council Queensland or for a charity of their choice.
Entries for the 35th Gold Coast Airport Marathon are open.
For more information, or to enter, visit www.goldcoastmarathon.com.au