Batman Avenue (150m north of Rod Laver Arena entrance) Melway Ref 2G A7
Melbourne Cricket Ground
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.
In the late seventies and early 80s, most major cities decided to follow in the successful footsteps of Boston and host a marathon. With milk drink Big M sponsoring it, Melbourne staged its first marathon in 1978 on a course that began in Frankston, headed up Nepean Highway and finished outside the Melbourne Town Hall. The first race director was Ted Paulin, a former star middle distance runner. Over 2000 runners took part in the inaugural event with most catching a special early morning train to Frankston. The race quickly went through a boom period with more than 6000 entrants in 1983 – the year that Robert de Castella won the world marathon championship in Helsinki. But as with many events in the southern hemisphere, the race struggled through the 1990’s before a massive upsurge in interest in 2007. Now owned by IMG, the race has become the biggest marathon in Australia with a record 6218 completing the course in 2012 and more than 35,000 entries across the four accompanying events - The Flight Centre Half Marathon, The Coffee Club 10km and the Asics 5.7km run and 3km walk events.
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