Melbourne Marathon has had numerous course changes since its inception in 1978 but one of the best has seen runners finish with a lap inside the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
The predominately flat marathon course goes through some of the most scenic areas of Melbourne. It skirts the Botanic Gardens and Albert Park lake, with several kilometres along the road parallel to the beaches of Port Phillip Bay.
Shorter distance events offered are a half marathon, 10km, 5.7km, 4km walk and kids 2.5km run. These events share parts of the marathon course but staggered starts ease congestion.
One feature of the Melbourne Marathon is the growing list of Spartans – runners who have completed 10 or more Melbourne Marathons.
Spartans are recognised by their distinctive green, gold, red, black, maroon or navy running singlets.
Every Spartan has their own personalised race number. The singlet is worn with pride by all Spartans as a sign of their dedication to marathon running and the Melbourne Marathon in particular.
Records show more than 1100 runners have qualified as Spartans. Most come from Victoria but there are many from other Australian states and one from Japan.
There’s only one day a year when people can cross Auckland Harbour Bridge on foot – and the lure is so strong that Auckland full and half marathon entries sold out soon after opening.
Both events begin on Auckland’s North Shore, meaning an early morning cross-harbour ferry trip for thousands of runners to get to the start.
The course takes runners along the North Shore waterfront and via an undulating urban route to the harbour bridge crossing. On the other side, they follow the waterfront on an out and back course to finish at Victoria Park.
For runners wanting to train in the lead up to the marathon, there is a new series of run and walk events, beginning on 22nd August.
The four-event series offers a choice of accurate distances and support stations, designed to provide the ideal way for participants to get fitness, pacing, fluid and nutrition needs sorted for the big day no matter whether they are running or walking. Courses are 6-8km loops making them ideal for timing splits.
Although Auckland full and half marathon spots have sold out, entries are still available in the Quarter Marathon, 5km and Kids Marathon