Marathon supporters have the advantage at this year’s Melbourne Marathon as runners will cross the finish line just outside the iconic MCG cricket ground.
For the past few years the race has finished with a lap inside the famous stadium but a potential date clash with the AFL Grand Final and beginning of the cricket season meant marathon organisers had to choose a different finish area.
As such, all distances in the 2011 Bank of Melbourne Marathon Festival will now cross the line outside the MCG, enabling a terrific corridor of crowd supporters to spur participants over the finish line.
Next year, the finish will again be inside the stadium.
Another new feature for runners in the full and half marathon distances is live tracking on race day.
Runners can advise friends and family of their race number and they’ll be able to track them around the course on race day via the internet on computer or Smartphone.
Organisers hope the application assists the thousands of people who wish to know how their friends are progressing on the day, instead of having to wait until they have finished.
Melbourne Marathon passes by some of the city’s prettiest features, including parks and the waterfront. The running festival is a great excuse to spend a weekend in the city.
With a spectacular combination of old and new architecture, elegant streetscapes, premium shopping outlets and a thriving arts and entertainment scene, Melbourne has a lot to offer.
The area around Flinders Street Station, between Swanston and Elizabeth streets has a great concentration of galleries and arty shops.
Quirky Flinders Lane was once home to Melbourne's rag trade, but now houses funky designer boutiques, fashion warehouses and publishing companies.
Collins Street is all class - the home of international haute couture, grand hotels and restaurants, the eastern portion of this street is often referred to as 'the Paris end'.
A block away in Little Collins Street, the young, the fashionable and the streetwise gravitate to shop for the latest labels.
Just five minutes from the CBD, on the banks of the glistening Yarra river, is Docklands – New Quay. This is where Melbournites come to soak up the picturesque harbour views of their city.