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Australia’s 8 major marathons returning on the 2024 calendar

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marathons in Australia

If you’re looking to conquer one of the toughest individual sporting feats in 2024 — a marathon — then you’re in luck, Australia has plenty to offer over the next 12 months.

They are considered one of the most gruelling physical challenges and down under we’ve got more than handful of world class marathons for you to potentially prepare for.

Running international popularity is growing yearly, owing to its promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, social communities and even travel.

It doesn’t take long once taking up running to ‘catch the bug’. From there a marathon seems achievable, and becomes something attainable. Before you know it, you’ve committed to a 42.195km run somewhere.

If this is you, Australia has plenty of quality marathons on offer, with 2024 being no exception. Each capital city and a few picturesque locations around the country host memorable events annually.

All of them are open for almost anyone to join; from the avid runner to someone who is looking for their next challenge or a goal to build towards.

marathons in Australia

After Australians and thousands worldwide witnessed Nedd Brockmann’s incredible and inspirational feat of running from Perth to Bondi Beach, completing a marathon yourself seems so much ‘easier’.

So we’re here to help runners find the race of their dreams in 2024, with the top eight marathons events in Australia, listed chronologically.

Canberra Times Marathon Festival – Sunday April 7

The Canberra Times Marathon Festival is one of country’s oldest city runs and offers numerous distances for different skill levels including half-maras, 10km, 5km, and more.

Prices this year range from $170 for their early bird offer to $210 for last minute. And a reminder that you must be at least 18 years old on race day.

Brisbane Marathon Festival – Sunday June 2

The Brisbane Marathon Festival, which enters its 32nd year in 2024, is right up there as one of the most scenic city races around.

For the third consecutive year, the race centres around a two lap route along the Brisbane River including running across the Story Bridge, Kangaroo Point Cliffs and New Farm — all of which will be fully closed on the day.

Brisbane’s registration fees are on par with the others with early bird costs at $175, and standard pricing at $190.

Gold Coast Marathon – July 6 & 7

The Gold Coast Marathon has become a pinnacle of Australian road running along with distinguishing itself as one of the most prestigious marathons in the world.

Uniquely, it offers a wheelchair event due to the fast and flat terrain; bordering the water along the Gold Coast foreshore.

For those who have question marks over whether they think they could complete an entire race, the half-mara is on the Saturday, while the full race is on the usual Sunday slot.

Make sure to register for this event early because this race is one of the nation’s most expensive, charging a $215 last minute fee (May 1 – June 23). Regular fees range from $180-$190.

Australian Outback Marathon – Saturday July 27

The Australian Outback Marathon is run like no other, not just here in Australia but across the world.

The course is out in the heartland of the country and centres around the incredible landmarks of Uluru and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas); an unbelievable experience both seasoned and inexperienced runners alike.s in general.

Unlike other marathons, in order to participate you have to purchase a package which includes accommodation, priced from over a grand for adults.

Although it is far more expensive than the others, it is a far better all round experience.

Adelaide Marathon Festival – Date TBD

The Adelaide Marathon Festival, similar to the Gold Coast Marathon, is another reasonably flat city race comprising of two scenic laps of a course through the heartland of the South Australian capital.

Beginning in Adelaide’s heritage listed parklands, the run snakes its way along to the River Torrens, through the Botanic Park and the zoo, finishing back at Bonython Park.

As of early-December, they have not released the date or registration details for the 2024 race, however it appears likely it will once again take place in August.

Sydney Marathon – Sunday September 15

The Sydney Marathon has become the biggest draw card in Australia’s running events calendar, bringing in many international runners as the event pushes to be included in the Abbott World Marathon Majors.

With a scenic route that gives the opportunity to run across the Harbour Bridge no matter what distance you sign up for, the Sydney Marathon should be at the top of your running bucket list.

It’s described as one of the most scenic and spectacular courses in the country, plus is regarded as family friendly with courses starting at a very doable 3.5km. It’s been one of the tougher courses going around previously, but there are plans to upgrade the route; better flow, more roadways and less sharp turns, allowing for an even more enjoyable running experience.

Sydney has grand plans to become one of the Abbott World Marathon Majors in the next few years, joining the likes of Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin and New York City. It’s a tricky and technical course, with many twists and turns, so the times aren’t earth-shattering but the scenery certainly is.

Until July 31, registration is only $170. But after that date it jumps slightly to as high as $195.

sydney marathon, world major

Perth Running Festival – Date TBD

The Perth Running Festival has options for everyone including wheelchair races and marathons.

The event takes in Burswood Park and the picturesque Swan River, with the finish line inside Optus Stadium — a special and rare occassion to be within one of the countries biggest AFL grounds.

In 2023, the price to enter for people 16 years or older was $170, which is pretty stock standard for such events.

As of early-December, there has been no official date set for the Perth Marathon Festival, however, last time it ran in early October so expect a similar date.

Marathon Melbourne image

Melbourne Marathon Festival – Sunday October 13

The former largest running event in Australia before the Sydney Marathon’s historic 2023 race, the Melbourne Marathon Festival, is back in 2023, with goals to surpass its record participation number of more than 40,000 from last year.

The race starts right near Rod Laver arena and finishes at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Currently, the entry fee is listed at $185 but will likely spike as we get closer to the event day, so get in quickly for this iconic race.

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