Inaugural Ballarat Marathon Draws Thousands to Streets

Running fever is descending on Ballarat this weekend, with the inaugural Ballarat Marathon set to take over the city.

More than 4000 individuals have signed up to be a part of the two-day running festival, a world-class event that will add further weight to Ballarat's rich sporting and cultural history.

The event will be anchored by the marathon and half-marathon events on Sunday, but its impact will be prominent all weekend, with races also held on Saturday.

Businesses in the CBD are expecting an influx of visitors, many CBD accommodation providers are fully booked and the amount of money raised for charity is already exceeding tens of thousands of dollars.

Overall, the event is expected to inject more than $1 million into the Ballarat economy.

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said the debut running festival loomed as a fantastic experience and looked forward to the event becoming a staple on the city's calendar.

"Already you can feel the atmosphere building and I can't wait to see thousands of people lacing up their runners and giving it their all," he said.

"It's clear that Ballarat people and businesses have already got behind this event.

"Even if you're not competing, I encourage you to get out and have a look around and cheer the participants on."

Race Director and Ballarat running legend Steve Moneghetti said he was thrilled with the number of registrations for the event.

"I'm so proud to have an event of this calibre in my home town and I've been overwhelmed by the response," he said.

"It will be a fantastic event for Ballarat, truly representative of the great things we can do in regional Victoria.

"People are coming from all over Australia and the world and I'm sure they'll enjoy my favourite city and our beautiful marathon course, which will do justice to the distance running history we have here."

What is happening in the city?

The Ballarat Marathon has partnered with the local accommodation industry, major attractions, restaurants, and cafes to help businesses leverage the event.

The Ballarat Marathon Pasta Party will involve hospitality venues helping runners get their carbohydrates boost to fuel both local and visiting athletes and spectators.

Armstrong Street South (next to Ballarat Town Hall) will be transformed into the Ballarat Marathon Expo, which will feature industry-leading brands and event partners, showcasing the latest running-related products, services and offerings. The official Ballarat Marathon merchandise will be for sale and presentations held on the main stage, while there will also be an engraver on hand to inscribe finishers' medals.

Marathon participants will also receive special discount offers at Sovereign Hill, Kryal Castle and Ballarat Wildlife Park.

Other notable events in the CBD will include:

  • The Sovereign Hill Redcoat Soldiers firing their rifles to start the marathon and half marathon at 8am on the Sunday.
  • Kryal Castle's Queen of Hearts presenting the awards to winners of some of the events across the weekend.
  • Extended opening hours for many CBD cafes.

More details about cafe opening hours and CBD activities can be found on the Ballarat Marathon website.


A major component of the Ballarat Marathon is fundraising for charity.

Already there has been more than $70,000 raised for dozens of different charities.

The Ballarat Health Services Foundation is the event's official charity. Participants who raise $500 or more for the Foundation via the Grassrootz platform will have their entry fee refunded.

It is expected the amount of money raised for charity will continue to climb after the event.

Road closures

There will be various road closures in place throughout the event.

Most notably, Sturt Street will be closed to all traffic from Grenville Street to Golf Club Drive from 6am-3pm on Sunday.

Pedestrian access to shops along the course will be maintained at all times and there will be frequent pedestrian crossing points and opportunities.

Emergency access will always be maintained. In the event of an emergency, all emergency services will be able to access all properties and businesses within the road closures.

For a full list of road closures, visit the road closures page on the Ballarat Marathon road closures page.

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