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The best of the best: Your updated guide to the biggest marathon events in Australia this year


marathons in Australia

They are considered one of the toughest individual sporting events and here down under we’ve got more than a handful of world class marathons for the running community to build towards.

Running is a sport growing in popularity internationally; promoting healthy and active lifestyles, social communities and even travel.

It doesn’t take long for casuals to ‘catch the bug’. Plenty then realise running a marathon was something they always wanted to do and next minute they’ve signed up to a 42.195 kilometre run somewhere.

Well Australia has plenty of quality marathons on offer, with 2023 being no exception. Each capital city and a few picturesque locations around the country host memorable events annually.

Marathons in Australia | Sydney Marathon
Marathons in Australia | The iconic Sydney marathon

All of them are open for almost anyone to join; from the avid runners to the more ‘everyday’ types looking for a challenge or goal to build towards.

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

So here at Only Sports we’re here to help runners find the run of their dreams. Here are eight of the top marathon events in the country, listed chronologically.

Canberra Times Marathon Festival – Sunday April 16

Recently run

The Canberra Times Marathon Festival is one of Australia’s oldest city runs and offers numerous distances for different skill levels including half marathons, ten-kilometre, five-kilometre and more.

In order to compete in the marathon you must be over the age of 18 with the price point set at $175.


Male winner: Harry Smithers (2:28:24)

Female winner: Cassie Little (2:45:00)

Brisbane Marathon Festival – Sunday June 4

Right up there as one of the most scenic city marathons in the country is the Brisbane Marathon festival, with the run going into its 31st year in 2023.

Last year saw sweeping changes to the course which now involves doing two-laps of a shortened course that displays the best of what the locals call ‘BrisVegas’.

The run goes through the city centre, across the Story Bridge and starts and finishes at the city’s botanic gardens.

The run is cheaper than Canberra’s costing around $150 to participate in the full marathon but also offers alternative distances for different pricing.

Gold Coast Marathon – Sunday July 2

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

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

Entry fee is $180 for this one and jumps to $200 after April 29 so make sure you get in quick.

Australian Outback Marathon – Saturday July 29

The Australian Outback Marathon is one of a kind, 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) and is an unbelievable experience not only for seasoned marathoners but runners 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 other marathons, it is a far better all round experience.

Adelaide Marathon Festival – Sunday August 27

Another reasonably flat city marathon is the Adelaide Marathon Festival comprising of two scenic laps of a course through the heartland of South Australia’s capital.

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

This marathon is one of the cheapest on the calendar in 2023, starting at $105.

Sydney Marathon – Sunday September 17

The Sydney Marathon has one of the biggest draw cards in Australian marathon events, with the opportunity to run across the Harbour Bridge no matter what distance you have signed up to complete. The marathon cutoff time is now also up to seven hours, making it one of the most accessible big-name marathons anywhere in the world.

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.

The early bird sale has the entry fee listed at $165 and is available until July 31 so make sure not to miss it.

Australian Marathons 2023 | The fast-growing Sydney Marathon

Perth Running Festival – Sunday October 8

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.

The price to enter for people 16 years or older is $170 which is slightly more expensive than Sydney or Adelaide.

Melbourne Marathon Festival – Sunday October 15

Australia’s largest running event, the Melbourne Marathon Festival, is back in 2023 with goals to surpass its participation number of over 6,000 from last year.

Australian marathons 2023 | The iconic Melbourne marathon

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

Currently, the early bird price of entry for the event is set at $160 but will spike towards the middle of the year.

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