The Melbourne Marathon has been held every year from 1978. The 42.195 km run over the traditional marathon distance is the main race within the annual Melbourne Marathon Festival. The race celebrated its 30th birthday in 2007 with a new course which featured the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) as both the starting point and finishing point. A total of 3328 competitors completed the 2008 race. Another 17,000 people participated in Half Marathon (21.1 km), 10 km and 5.5 km events.
The 2013 running of the marathon saw a record number of 6852 finishers, and race records set for both men and women. There were 6054 finishers in 2014, 30% of them female. In 1978 approximately 4% of the 1947 finishers were female.
A variety of different courses have been used for the Melbourne Marathon although the most common course has begun at Frankston and concluded at either Albert Park or at The Arts Centre on St. Kilda Rd. It is normally run on the second Sunday in October.
Since 2007 the event has started near the MCG and finished with a lap of the ground. The predominantly flat marathon course goes through some of the most scenic areas of Melbourne. It skirts the Botanic Gardens and Albert park Lake with several kilometres on the road parallel to the beaches of Port Phillip Bay. The other events share parts of the course but staggered starts ease congestion.
Key: Course record Country's championship race
|Edition||Year||Men's winner||Time (h:m:s)||Women's winner||Time (h:m:s)|
|1st||1978||Bill Scott (AUS)||2:21:04||Elizabeth Hassell (USA)||2:53:38|
|2nd||1979||Andrew Lloyd (AUS)||2:26:44||Jane Kuchins (AUS)||3:12:35|
|3rd||1980||Andrew Lloyd (AUS)||2:17:37||Rosemary Longstaff (AUS)||2:46:16|
|4th||1981||Andrew Lloyd (AUS)||2:19:03||Jackie Turney (AUS)||2:42:12|
|5th||1982||Bill Rodgers (USA)||2:11:08||Sue King (USA)||2:37:57|
|6th||1983||Juma Ikangaa (TAN)||2:13:15||Rhonda Mallinder (AUS)||2:37:56|
|7th||1984||Juma Ikangaa (TAN)||2:15:31||Margaret Reddan (AUS)||2:43:40|
|8th||1985||Fred van der Vennet (BEL)||2:12:35||Margaret Reddan (AUS)||2:44:56|
|9th||1986||Richard Umberg (SUI)||2:17:21||Tani Ruckle (AUS)||2:36:06|
|10th||1987||Ric Sayre (USA)||2:14:16||Jackie Turney (AUS)||2:44:18|
|11th||1988||Thomas Hughes (IRL)||2:18:14||Coral Farr (AUS)||2:47:38|
|12th||1989||Takeshi So (JPN)||2:18:13||Colleen Stephens (AUS)||2:49:18|
|13th||1990||Russell Foley (AUS)||2:20:35||Alevtina Chasova (URS)||2:39:00|
|14th||1991||Victor Muzgovoi (URS)||2:17:02||Irina Petrova (URS)||2:39:57|
|15th||1992||Slawomir Gurny (POL)||2:16:04†||Alena Peterkova (TCH)||2:33:02†|
|16th||1993||Jerry Modiga (RSA)||2:15:07||Dominique Rembert (FRA)||2:44:22|
|17th||1994||Manabu Kawagoe (JPN)||2:19:02||Winnie Ng (HKG)||2:47:37|
|18th||1995||Osamu Monoe (JPN)||2:17:19||Lyn Clayton (AUS)||2:38:50|
|19th||1996||Zerhun Gizaw (ETH)||2:22:40||Lyn Clayton (AUS)||2:38:50|
|20th||1997||Greg Lyons (AUS)||2:15:49||Tracey Newton (AUS)||2:48:32|
|21st||1998||Daniel Radebe (RSA)||2:12:48||Sherryn Rhodes (AUS)||2:37:56|
|22nd||1999||Michael McIntyre (AUS)||2:25:04||Susan Hobson (AUS)||2:37:56|
|23rd||2000||Jamie Harrison (AUS)||2:25:53||Nellie Marmy-Conus (AUS)||2:49:22|
|24th||2001||Todd Ingraham (AUS)||2:23:58||Samantha Hughes (AUS)||2:39:44|
|25th||2002||Phillip Sly (AUS)||2:22:28||Sherryn Rhodes (AUS)||2:47:08|
|26th||2003||Magnus Michelsson (AUS)||2:14:00||Loretta McGrath (AUS)||2:49:01|
|27th||2004||Magnus Michelsson (AUS)||2:26:51||Belinda Schipp (AUS)||2:54:01|
|28th||2005||Nick Harrison (AUS)||2:23:30||Sherryn Rhodes (AUS)||2:50:35|
|29th||2006||Kazunari Suzuki (JPN)||2:23:43||Karen Natoli (AUS)||2:53:06|
|30th||2007||Rohan Walker (AUS)||2:19:16||Hanny Allston (AUS)||2:40:34|
|31st||2008||Asnake Fikadu (ETH)||2:17:43||Mai Tagami (JPN)||2:38:16|
|32nd||2009||Asnake Fikadu (ETH)||2:17:32||Lisa Flint (AUS)||2:34:08|
|33rd||2010||Japhet Kipkorir (KEN)||2:11:04||Mulu Seboka (ETH)||2:32:20|
|34th||2011||Japhet Kipkorir (KEN)||2:11:12||Irene Mogaka (KEN)||2:35:12|
|35th||2012||Jonathan Chesoo (KEN)||2:12:35||Lauren Shelley (AUS)||2:36:29|
|36th||2013||Dominic Ondoro (KEN)||2:10:47||Lisa Weightman (AUS)||2:26:05|
|37th||2014||Dominic Ondoro (KEN)||2:11:30||Nikki Chapple (AUS)||2:31:05|
|38th||2015||Brad Milosevic (AUS)||2:16:00||Jessica Trengove (AUS)||2:27:45|
|39th||2016||Thomas Do Canto (AUS)||2:20:53||Virginia Moloney (AUS)||2:34:27|
- † = short course
Spartans are runners who have completed 10 or more Melbourne Marathons. Spartans are recognized today by their distinctive green, gold, red, maroon or navy running singlets. Every Spartan has their own personalized race number. The singlet is worn with pride by all Spartans as a sign of their dedication to marathon running and the Melbourne Marathon in particular. Club records reflect more than 1200 who have qualified as Spartans including 83 females. Most come from Victoria but there are many from other states and at least two from Japan.
Legends and Hall of Fame Members
Spartan Legends are a select group of runners who have completed every Melbourne Marathon since the beginning. After the 39th running there were seven remaining Spartan Legends. Runners who have completed at least 30 marathons are eligible for the Melbourne Marathon Hall of Fame. The runners in the following list marked with an asterisk completed the first 30 marathons.
|Peter Battrick *||37|
|Peter Ryan *||37|
|Laurie Glover (deceased)||34|
|John Dean *||32|
|Jack Gubbins *||30|
|Shirley Young *||30|
The Melbourne Marathon has always included wheelchair entrants. Two have attained Spartan status: Ian Gainey who has completed 25 races and Dean Callow who has completed 12.
- "The Wall: The history of the Melbourne Marathon 1978-2012" by Chris Muirden
- List of winners