Biggest Ever Great Ocean Road Running Festival With Another Record-Breaking Year Of Registrations And $180K Raised

May 28, 2024

Over ten thousand participants swapped cityscapes for ocean views as they took part in the 2024 Great Ocean Road Running Festival this weekend, marking the event’s most monumental year to date.

With eight of its nine events sold out, Australia’s running boom brought entrants of all ages and abilities to compete across nine distances. The two-day celebration boasted a buzzing atmosphere with activities for the whole family to enjoy. Great Ocean Road Running Festival Director Brad King said it was incredible to see runners from every corner of the country converge upon one of Australia’s most magnificent courses in record numbers.

“We’re proud to witness Australia’s running boom unite on our stunning Victorian coastline. With over 10,700 passionate participants and eight of our nine events fully booked, the sheer enthusiasm and camaraderie on display was truly remarkable. We want to say a big thank you to our community, both on the track and the sidelines, for offering their unwavering support. We can’t wait to see what we can achieve together in 2025,” said King.

Kicking off the action-packed weekend, the Chobani Fit 14km Paradise Run on Saturday was led by the exciting performance of Dale Carroll, who clocked an impressive time of 41:57, setting the stage for the weekend. In the women’s division Lissy Duncan secured first place in the 14km event with a stellar time of 45:57. Podium spots were claimed by Evander Scott and Elizabeth Winter in the SriLankan Airlines 6km Run, followed by the future stars of the track who showcased their talent in the 1.5km Kids Gallop. Jasper Johnson and Mia Di Mieri crossed the finish line with their family’s support, posting times of 06:18 and 07:14 respectively.

The celebrations continued Sunday as runners crossed the Lorne and Apollo Bay finish lines. Following a 2:10:39 time at the London Marathon in April, Germany’s Johannes Motschmann travelled across the globe to compete, securing the men’s Great Ocean Road Marathon (44km) win. The festival was a quick trip for Johannes, a global competitor for the western European country, who was here for a quick three day trip, back on a flight Sunday evening. Second place was secured by festival regular Dion Finocchiaro, followed by Matthew Whitaker in third place.

In the women’s category, Meriem Daoui, the 2023 Tasmania Young Australian of the Year, emerged victorious in the Great Ocean Road Marathon, conquering the 44km course with a time of 3:04:24. Petra Melis-Walsh came in second place, whilst Danni Rogan rounded out the podium. Awe-inspiring triumphs continued with James Riggs who won the Ultra Marathon with a formidable time of 3:56:41. This epic finish was followed by the female winner, Australian of the Year 2021, Grace Tame, with a celebratory time of 4:43:43.

The Brooks Half Marathon witnessed a great feat from Brett Ellis who led the pack and achieved a time of 1:16:00, the athletes first ever win at the festival. The female podium was a sprint to the end with Andrea Seccafien and Sarah Klein battling it out with a two second difference across the line. Andrea Seccafien was victorious over the 23km distance with a time of 1:21:27, followed by Sarah Klein with 1:21:29.

On the rugged trails of the High Sierra 12km Trail Run, first place was awarded to David Bailey for his fourth year in a row, alongside Florencia Pirotti. The duo took home times of 48:16 and 1:00:17, respectively. Jack Manson and Alison O’Shea took home the podium finish for the 6.5km Trail Run with a time of 37:06 and 36:52.

In another record-breaking feat, participants raised over $180,000 for a range of charities and causes including Apollo Bay and District Health Foundation. Marking its ninth year as an official event partner, the organisation provides vital care and direct benefits back to the communities located along the race route.

True to its festival spirit, entrants and its supporters lapped up free captivating performances by local artists, beachside yoga sessions for relaxation, a colourful kite festivalimmersive ‘glamping’ experiences, and the iconic Pub to Pub Waiter’s Race, where Matthew Willcock from Apollo Bay Hotel claimed the coveted 2024 title.

The Great Ocean Road Festival will return 17th and 18th of May 2025.

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