Sydney Marathon: Racing Towards Abbott World Marathon Majors Legacy

Celebrating its Olympic Roots, Embracing Global Excellence


The Olympic Connection

In the heart of Sydney, where the iconic 2000 Olympic Games once captivated the world's attention, the Sydney Marathon has emerged as a legacy that continues to grow, thrive, and make history. Presented by ASICS and managed by Pont3, the Sydney Marathon is not just a race - it is a testament to endurance, global participation, and a community coming together for a shared passion.

1 Oct 2000: Mattias Ntawulikura of Rwanda leads Steve Moneghetti of Australia across the Anzac Bridge during the Mens Marathon on Day 16 of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
Credit: Michael Steele/Allsport

Established in 2001 as the enduring legacy of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the marathon has transformed from a local affair to a global phenomenon. As it enters its third year of Abbott World Marathon Major Candidacy, the Sydney Marathon aims to secure its position as the 7th World Marathon Major by 2025, joining the prestigious ranks of the world's most renowned marathons.

The race has seen some remarkable growth and international representation over the last couple of years - from a humble start of 8,000 participants in 2001, the Sydney Marathon has experienced exponential growth, with a staggering 41,000 participants in 2023. The marathon in particular, has witnessed a meteoric rise, soaring from 5,300 runners in 2022 to an impressive 17,000 in 2023. The event has also transcended borders, welcoming participants from over 80 countries, with a notable surge of runners from Southeast Asia, Japan, and China.

What sets the Sydney Marathon apart is not just its numbers but its global reach. The event is the only global running spectacle in Australia broadcasted live on TV, captivating audiences in 130 countries and reaching hundreds of millions of households annually. This international exposure not only showcases the beauty of Sydney but also establishes the marathon as a premier global sporting event. These audiences also witnessed the fastest Men’s & Women’s elite fields in Australian Marathoning history this year, headed by Judith Korir (World #3) in the Women’s field, and Gabriel Geay (World #9) in the men’s field, with two world-class Elite Wheelchair fields also dazzling crowds in-person and online.

Beyond the cheers and personal victories, the Sydney Marathon carries a deeper purpose. Since its inception, the event has raised over $25 million for numerous charitable organizations. This commitment to philanthropy underscores the marathon's role as a force for good, using the power of running to make a positive impact on the community.

At the heart of the Sydney Marathon's success is its partnership with ASICS. As the presenting partner, ASICS has committed to a six-year collaboration, providing not only financial support but also an invaluable wealth of knowledge. With its global headquarters in Japan, a country synonymous with marathon excellence, ASICS brings unparalleled expertise, fostering communication channels to Asia and promoting Sydney to millions.

The Hon. Chris Minns, NSW Premier, declaring the Sydney as the host for the 2024 Abbott World Marathon Major Wanda Age Group Championships, the first time the World Championship event has been held outside one of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors.

The Sydney Marathon also has major partnerships with luxury car brand, Porsche, as well as the major toll road owner, Transurban, who allowed free cross-city transport on the day of the marathon to allow uninterrupted underground traffic flow on event day. These partnerships, amongst several others, add news layers of value to participants, spectators, and residents of Sydney, and leverage the marathon to previously untapped audiences, helping build its brand and legacy for years to come.

As the Sydney Marathon charges ahead into the future, it carries the torch of its Olympic origins, fuelled by global participation, philanthropy, and strategic partnerships. With eyes set on becoming an Abbott World Marathon Major in 2025, the Sydney Marathon is not just a race - it is a celebration of human achievement, unity, and the enduring spirit of marathon running.

Candidacy Effort: Empowering Runners, Building Legends

The organisers of the Sydney Marathon are fully understanding that becoming an Abbott World Marathon Major is only possible with the runners who take to the start line year on year. In order to recognise these incredible individuals, the Sydney Marathon Candidacy Club was born in May 2023 – a rewards-based program that honours the dedication of every runner contributing to Sydney's Abbott World Marathon Major candidacy. The club stands as a testament to the symbiotic relationship between the event and its participants.

To bolster the Candidacy Club's impact, the Sydney Marathon collaborated closely with previous marathoners, commercial partners, and a their dedicated travel partners, Marathon Tours & Travel. In 2023, 17,000 marathon enthusiasts enjoyed a number of exclusive benefits, which included:

  •  A coveted entry to the Sydney Marathon when it attains Abbott World Marathon Major status, valid for three years.
  • A free 16-week marathon training program, meticulously crafted by National Marathon record-holder Brett Robinson.
  • A 6-week Marathon State of Mind program, a psychological training regimen led by 2x Olympian Eloise Wellings.
Enthusiastic marathoners are the foundation of the Sydney Marathon, and the Sydney Marathon Candidacy Club values the dedication of every runner.

Beyond the physical and mental preparation, the Candidacy Club embraced the holistic runner experience. Marathon Tours & Travel offered quality accommodation deals, as well as monthly giveaways of Sydney Harbour boat cruises, Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb experiences and other great prizes. The Candidacy Club also fostered a sense of community with the creation of the ASICS RunKeeper Go "Sydney Marathon Group," boasting over 1,500 members.

The resounding success of the 2023 Candidacy Club has set the stage for even greater achievements. With overwhelmingly positive feedback, the Sydney Marathon is gearing up for the 2024 Candidacy Club, promising enhanced rewards and benefits for participants in the upcoming event. As Sydney strides confidently toward Abbott World Marathon Majors, the Candidacy Club remains the beating heart of this journey, uniting runners in a shared pursuit of greatness.

Commitment to Excellence

In the quest for marathon greatness, the Sydney Marathon is not running alone. Behind every stride toward becoming the seventh Abbott World Marathon Major is the unwavering support of the NSW government, with Destination NSW at the helm, orchestrating a symphony of funding, support, and logistical prowess.

At the core of the Sydney Marathon's historic bid is Destination NSW, the tourism and events government agency of New South Wales. As the major strategic partner, Destination NSW is a driving force, providing essential funding, support, and strategic direction to help make the event a global success, with their aim of continuing to foster world-class events and showcasing the best of New South Wales to a global audience.

The contribution and unwavering support of the NSW Government and Transport for NSW is also essential for the event’s continued success. Their commitment extends to the meticulous planning and execution required to safely and efficiently close down and reopen one of the most prominent capital cities in the world, allowing over 41,000 participants to immerse themselves in the unparalleled beauty that Sydney has to offer.

As the Sydney Marathon evolves, government support is a critical factor in the marathon's expansion, professionalism, and ultimately joining the Abbott World Marathon Majors by 2025. This collective vision of seeing Sydney stand tall among the world's marathon greats is one that will continue to be built upon in the road to the majors, and for many years after.

Sydney Marathon 2024 is now open for registration. For more information, click here.


The only running event in Australia broadcast live each year, the Sydney Marathon, presented by ASICS, boasts over 40,000 participants from over 66 countries and has raised over $23 million for charitable organisations since its inception. The sole remaining participant legacy of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the Sydney Marathon is owned by Athletics Australia and managed by Pont3.



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