THE sale of Apollo Bay’s Great Ocean Road Marathon to an international company has generated excitement about the race’s future.
IMG, the International Management Group, has purchased the rights to manage the marathon from the Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce.
The company adds the GORM to its sporting event portfolio which also includes the Melbourne Marathon.
The chamber said it could not disclose the sale price.
IMG senior vice-president and managing director Martin Jolly said the GORM was an exciting acquisition for his company.
“From an IMG point of view it’s part of our expansion program
to add new international world-class events to our portfolio,” he said.
“We were attracted to the Great Ocean Road Marathon because of its rich history, it’s coming up to the 10-year anniversary and it’s in an iconic location that is unique in terms of scenery.”
More than 5700 people entered events in May’s Great Ocean Road Marathon and the race attracted competitors from across the world.
Jolly said his company hoped to continue to build the success of the event.
“Running is a market that continues to expand, we bought the Melbourne Marathon in 2007 and started with 3500 competitors and we ran this year’s events just over two weeks ago and had over 34,000 competitors,” he said.
“We’re not going to change too much in year one and we understand it’s important to work with the community and community organisations.
“Hopefully in a few years time we can turn it from 5000 competitors to seven, eight and 10,000 competitors; that would be the best outcome for everyone.”
Colac Otway Shire councillor Frank Buchanan said IMG would increase the marathon’s international profile.
“They’ll bring a scale and a scope to the event we wouldn’t be able to achieve and it’ll free us up to be community partners with them,” he said.
“The whole community will get a benefit from being in partnership with them.
“They’ll go nice and quietly and gradually grow it and work with the community; that’s what we want and that’s what we feel comfortable with.”