Ballarat Marathon Festival Draws Nearly 5,000 Runners And Raises Over $100,000!

April 29, 2024

More than 4,700 people made history by taking part in the inaugural Ballarat Marathon festival this weekend, almost doubling the organiser’s registration goal. Over two action-packed days, punters participated in five distances spanning one mile to a full marathon, collectively raising over $100,000 for deserving causes.

Today, the major distances took place with Sydney’s Tom Do Canto winning the men’s marathon with a time of 2:17:04. A previous Melbourne Marathon champion, it was Do Canto’s first-time visiting Ballarat as he celebrated the historic win with his family at the finish line. Second place was secured by Brady Threlfall from Echuca in 2:19:40, followed by Melbourne’s Callum Drake in third place clocking 2:22:49.

Winner of the women’s marathon was Warrnambool-born Ella McCartney, completing the 42.195km course in 2:40:55. Her win was made extra special by returning to the city where she previously competed in high school cross country tournaments. Now based in Queensland, McCartney’s achievement follows her top ten placement at the 2023 Gold Coast Marathon. Fellow Queenslander Jessica Willis came in second place, crossing the finish line in 2:48:38. Willis was closely followed by Australian trail running representative Kellie Angel nine-seconds later.

In the half marathon event, Melbourne’s Reece Edwards was the first athlete to cross the finish line. Securing a time of 1:05:27, Edwards’ win follows his 2023 Melbourne Marathon title. Adelaide’s Tara Palm was the first woman to complete the 21.1km distance, with a time of 1:12:48.

The 10km event was won by fellow Adelaidean, Jacob Cocks, in a sub half-hour time of 29:52. Fresh from the World Cross Country Championship in Serbia, Melissa Duncan was the fastest female to complete the 10km course with a time of 34:16. Winners of the 10km wheelchair event were Paralympic hopeful and Ballarat local Samuel Rizzo in 23:18, and Paralympian Emily Tapp in 32:40.

On Saturday, two-time Olympian Zoe Buckman dominated the field, taking out the women’s elite 5km and mile events. The Canberran completed the courses in 16:21 and 4:49 respectively. In the elite men’s categories, Victorian Dale Carroll won the 5km distance in 14:36 and Ireland’s Paul Robinson secured the mile title in 4:12.

Event Co-Founder, Adam McNicol, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have successfully delivered Ballarat’s first marathon festival this weekend, almost doubling our anticipated registration numbers and smashing our entrant fundraising goals.

“A mate and I dreamed up the idea of the event three years ago so to see it come to life with such strong support from the local community and the running community has been mind-blowing. We’ve been so lucky to have people from all over the country, and the world, come to take part including some of the nation’s best elite runners and thousands of passionate locals.

“Congratulations to the winners and all who participated in this momentous weekend. Whether you ran, rolled, cheered, or donated to a worthy cause, we are so thankful to everyone who got involved.

“This is just the beginning for the Ballarat Marathon. We look forward to returning even bigger and better in 2025.”

Race Director and Ballarat local, Steve Moneghetti, said: “It’s been a terrific weekend of running – the support has been overwhelming. As a proud local, it’s been fantastic to see so many people come into town to celebrate our first marathon event and cement the city’s place on the Australian sporting map.”

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said:”I am absolutely delighted to see the success of the inaugural Ballarat Marathon. The event as a whole has been of enormous benefit to Ballarat in terms of promoting health, instilling pride in our city, and delivering an economic impact in excess of $1 million. I look forward to watching the event continue to grow in the future.”

Off the track, entrants raised more than $100,000 for over 200 causes close to their hearts including the event’s official charity partner, The Ballarat Health Services Foundation. Visitors also made the most of the Event Expo featuring retail and hospitality pop ups.

The Ballarat Marathon will return to the city on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th April 2025. For more information visit

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