Sydney produced a sunny morning, with light showers dampening the course, as the first female marathon runners finished the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival.
Changeable weather produced ideal running conditions for athletes from 62 countries as they made their way over four separate courses in the run that’s fun for everyone
All participants crossed the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge to receive a Blackmores Sydney Running Festival medal with the face of Australian athletics legend and Olympian Raelene Boyle adorning one side.
Event Director Wayne Larden said the festival was a tremendous success
“We had really great conditions. It was forecast to be wet and windy but we managed to avoid that for the majority of the morning to ensure that more than 32,000 people enjoyed their Blackmores Sydney Running Festival experience,” Larden said.
“We started the day with a record in the women’s half marathon, and the men’s marathon winner wasn’t too far off record pace either.
“We were also awarded Gold Label Status from IAAF this year, which really gives the race the credibility it deserves - it’s now recognised among the top marathons in the world including Boston and New York. It’s run well, we’ve always run it well, but now it’s recognised that we run it well and it has the best athletes in the world running.
“Having families running and people raising money for charity is very important. It’s the run that’s fun for everyone and there’s a distance for everyone to enjoy,” he said.
Marathon winner was Japan’s Hisanori Kitajima in 2:12:44. The women’s event was won by Kenya’s Mirriam Wangari, who was competing in her first Blackmores Sydney Marathon, in a time of 2:34.38.
Japan also took top honours in the men’s and women’s half marathon, with Kinya Hashira finishing his race in 1:05.50 and Kikuyo Tsuzaki breaking the women’s record set in 2001, to finish in 1.14.23.
Blackmores Sydney Running Festival consists of four exciting events, all crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge with the two longest distances finishing outside Sydney Opera House and the two fun runs ending at the prestigious Conservatorium of Music.