Ballarat Marathon to produce world-class running event

Ballarat Marathon launch event

A world-class road running festival is coming to Ballarat thanks to the support from the City of Ballarat and presenting partner, Federation University Australia.

The Ballarat Marathon, a festival of road running featuring a mile, 5km, 10km, half marathon and marathon, will be held the weekend of Saturday, 27 and Sunday, 28 April 2024.

Online registration for the various walk, run and race options will open on Sunday, 27 August 2023.

The Ballarat Marathon will build excitement in Ballarat ahead of the city hosting the Commonwealth Games athletics in 2026 and will form a key part of the post-Games legacy. It will also promote health and wellbeing across the community.

The mile and 5km events will be held on the Saturday afternoon and evening in Ballarat’s historic CBD, with the longer events scheduled for the Sunday morning, taking in the scenic highlights of Victoria Park, the Arch of Victory and Lake Wendouree.

With each race starting and finishing in front of the Town Hall, the Ballarat Marathon will be a showcase of the city’s historic beauty and is expected to draw a substantial number of tourists to the region.

The courses have been co-designed by local legend and Ballarat Marathon Race Director, Steve Moneghetti, and long-time road running course designer, Dave Cundy.

Cundy oversaw the design of the Sydney Olympics marathon course and more recently the Singapore Marathon course. He has taken on the role of Technical Director for the Ballarat Marathon.

Cundy will visit Ballarat early in 2024 to measure each course to World Athletics standards, meaning runners will be able to achieve qualifying times for iconic events like the New York Marathon.

The Ballarat Marathon is the brainchild of Ballarat local, Adam McNicol and experienced events professionals, Michael Hands and Nathan Lorkin.

McNicol spent a decade working in digital media roles at the AFL, Geelong and Collingwood football clubs before taking up running during the pandemic and becoming inspired to create an iconic event in his home city.

Hands, former event manager of Melbourne’s iconic Run For the Kids, and Lorkin have established two successful cycling events in central Victoria: the AusCycling Cyclo-Cross National Championships, which will be held in Victoria Park in August, and the Dirty Pig & Whistle, a very popular gravel-riding event based out of the recently redeveloped Hammon Park in Creswick and held each May.

Quote attributable to Cr Des Hudson OAM, City of Ballarat Mayor
“There are so many benefits of attracting an event like this and I’m incredibly excited to see the inaugural event next year."

“Not only will the event weekend itself be huge for the city, but it also complements Council’s Health and Wellbeing Plan, which identifies the need for an increase in physical activity in Ballarat.  

“We are proud to support the event and encourage as many Ballarat people as possible to sign up. There are a variety of events that are on offer to suit everyone from first-timers to the seasoned professionals.”

Quote attributable to Adam McNicol, Ballarat Marathon Director; Media and Community Engagement
“We are very thankful for the City of Ballarat’s generous support, which has enabled us to make our dream of creating a running festival in Ballarat a reality. Ballarat Marathon will be a showcase of everything that’s great about our city and our community.”

Quote attributable to Steve Moneghetti, Ballarat Marathon Race Director
“Ballarat has such a rich heritage of distance running and the Ballarat Marathon will celebrate this. I’m very proud to be involved in bringing the Ballarat Marathon to life and I think there’s no better place for a world-class road running festival, given our cool weather, beautiful streets and friendly people. 

“I can’t wait for the runners to hit the streets in the first Ballarat Marathon in my home town next year.”

Quote attributable to Professor Duncan Bentley, Federation University Australia Vice Chancellor and President
“Federation has a proud history of supporting sport in Ballarat, and we are excited to commence our partnership with the Ballarat Marathon. Our Sport Science and Exercise discipline is highly regarded around the world, and this partnership will create opportunities for our staff and students to support this event with their expertise.

“With the Commonwealth Games just a few years away, this event will serve to inspire the community and further enhances Ballarat’s reputation as a regional leader in hosting sporting events.”