There are plenty of Running Festivals held in the major cities of Australia annually, but we’re bringing your attention to what is possibly the continent’s most scenic road run: the Great Ocean Road Running Festival.
Flowing along the southern coast of the state of Victoria, south of Melbourne, the 243km-long Great Ocean Road is Australia’s most famous stretch of tarmac, and normally closed to foot traffic. Once a year however, over two days in May, a scenic section of the road is closed to vehicles and 8000 runners converge at the town of Lorne for the chance to race along the Great Ocean Road.
The 2020 edition of the event is scheduled to take place from Saturday 16 May to Sunday 17 May, and features distances from a 60km Ultra Marathon to a 1.5km Kids Gallop.
The main event routes follow the coastline between the towns of Lorne and Apollo Bay, with runners afforded stunning vistas of the Southern Ocean.
Interestingly, due to logistics and accessibility, the marathon route as laid out actually measures 44km instead of the regulation 42km. The course record of 2:27:37 was set in 2019 by Australian runner Nick Earl, beating the first record set in 2011 by James Kipkelwon of Kenya by just five seconds.
Festival Director Marcus Gale explains that The Great Ocean Road Running Festival is unique as it is the only time traffic on the Australian Heritage-listed road is stopped for runners, “This is one of the world’s most breath-taking marathon courses and with the entire stretch closed to traffic, you essentially have the road to yourself.”
From a small community event, the festival has grown over the years and is quickly becoming a must-do event for runners from all over the world. Adding to the camaraderie of the destination event is a program of free entertainment and activities for runners, their families and support crews in two festival hubs at Lorne and Apollo Bay. Visitors will also be entitled to many free or discounted access to local attractions across the weekend.
Registrations for the 2020 event are now open, with an early bird discount available until 18 February offering the best price and a personalised race bib.
For information and tickets, visit http://greatoceanroadrunfest.com.au
The 2020 Great Ocean Road Running Festival
Saturday 16th May:
- Garmin Paradise Run & Wheelchair Race (14km)
- “SriLankan Airlines” 6km Run
- Great Ocean Road Real Estate Kids’ Gallop (1.5km)
Sunday 17th May:
- Lorne Hotel Great Ocean Road Walk (5km or 10km)
- “Science in Sport” Ultra Marathon (60km)
- Great Ocean Road Marathon (44km)
- “Science in Sport” Half Marathon (23km)
Find out more when you pick up your Race Pack at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon Expo 2019, and register your interest at the official GORRF booth 91, located within the RUN Zone!