Lace up your running shoes and put your game face on – the 2018 running season is upon us and these races can’t be missed!
With so many fantastic road and trail races around Australia, avid runners are spoiled for choice. But if you’re keen to get out of the comfort zone of your local area this year, look no further than our guide to some of the best races in the country listed in chronological order.
The Cradle Mountain Run
Where: Overland Track, Tasmania
When: February 3, 2018
Distance: 82km trail run
More info: cradlemtnrun.asn.au
This exclusive trail run through the Tasmanian wilderness isn’t for the faint of heart! Featuring steep hills, thick mud, and precarious roots and stones, it puts the 60 carefully selected participants through their paces.
The Australian Running Festival
Where: Canberra, ACT
When: April 14-15, 2018
Distances: 50km ultra marathon, 42.2km marathon, 21.1km half-marathon, 10km run and 5km run.
More info: runningfestival.com.au
Nearly 7000 runners of all ages and abilities pounded the pavement of the nation’s capital during the 2017 edition of the Australian Running Festival, and more participants are expected this year.
Where: Blue Mountains, NSW
When: May 17-20, 2018
Distances: 100km ultra marathon, 50km ultra marathon, 21.6km run, 951-stair climb and 1km kids’ run.
More info: ultratrailaustralia.com.au
Formerly known as The North Face 100, Ultra-Trail Australia is the most challenging and prestigious trail-running event in the country. You’ll need to put in some serious training, but it’ll be worth it for the bragging rights alone.
The Great Ocean Road Running Festival
Where: Great Ocean Road, Victoria
When: May 19-20, 2018
Distances: 60km ultra marathon, 44km marathon, 23km half-marathon, 14km run, 6km run, 1.5km kids’ run and a walk.
More info: greatoceanroadrunfest.com.au
The stunning panoramic views of the Southern Ocean make this one of the most breathtaking courses in the country, and there’s a distance for every ability level.
The Gold Coast Marathon
Where: Gold Coast, Qld
When: June 30-July 1, 2018
Distances: 42.2km marathon, 21.1km half-marathon, wheelchair marathon and 15km, 10km run, 5.7km run, and 4km and 2km kids’ runs.
More info: goldcoastmarathon.com.au
More than 25,000 runners from 45 countries took part in the scenic Gold Coast Marathon last year. Best of all, there’s plenty of live music and entertainment after the races.
The Australian Outback Marathon
Where: Alice Springs, NT
When: July 28, 2018
Distances: 42.2km marathon, 21.1km half-marathon, 11km run and 6km run.
More info: australianoutbackmarathon.com
Take in spectacular views of Uluru and Kata Tjuta as you brave the desert heat and earthy red sand of the Australian Outback.
City2Surf and City2Sea
Where: Sydney, NSW and Melbourne, Vic
When: August 12, 2018 and November 2018 (date TBC)
Distances: 14km and 15km.
City2Surf is known as the “world’s largest fun run” with more than 80,000 participants each year, and Melbourne’s City2Sea – while much smaller – is great fun to run. There are also sister events in Brisbane and Canberra, as well as an unrelated but equally entertaining City to Surf event in Perth.
Sydney Running Festival
Where: Sydney, NSW
When: September 16, 2018
Distances: 42.2km marathon, 21.1km half-marathon, 10km bridge run and 3.5km family fun run.
More info: sydneyrunningfestival.com.au
The Sydney Marathon boasts one of the most beautiful courses in the world with landmarks such as the Harbour Bridge and Opera House helping runners forget their pain.
Sunday Mail City-Bay
Where: Adelaide, SA
When: September 16, 2018
Distances: 12km run or walk, 6km run or walk and 3km run or walk.
More info: city-bay.org.au
South Australia’s biggest fun run is an inclusive event that welcomes runners, walkers and wheelchair participants of all ages and abilities. Good times guaranteed!
Melbourne Marathon Festival
Where: Melbourne, Vic
When: October 14, 2018
Distances: 42.2km marathon, 21.1km half-marathon, 10km run, 5.7km run, and 3km walk.
More info: melbournemarathon.com.au
This popular event attracted more than 32,000 participants in 2017. The electric atmosphere of the festival keeps runners coming back year after year.