The Insider's Guide To Melbourne's Biggest Runs

Guide To Melbourne’s Biggest Runs

Autumn is now upon us and that means it’s road running season! There are no shortage of great runs in Melbourne and now is the perfect time to set your sights on an event or two. Here’s the lowdown on some of Melbourne’s biggest runs with my personal experiences thrown in to give you a real runner’s perspective!



Run for the Kids

Date: Sunday April 9th from 8:30am

Distances available: 14.6km/4.8km

Entry fees: $55/$50

Location: Start/Finish at Botanical Gardens (Alexandra Avenue), Domain Tunnel, Bolte Bridge

Run for the Kids has been held since 2006 and its primary aim is to raise funds for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. Every year over 30,000 people take part and it still retains a great community feel.

Why should I do it?

The event is well organised with wide roads throughout and is the only opportunity you will get to run through the Domain Tunnel and over the Bolte Bridge (14.6km run only). The bridge can be a tough climb, particularly if there is a strong wind but the views from the top are great! Once over the top of the bridge the last 6ks through the CBD are relatively flat so if you reserve a little energy you should feel good at the end. The 14.6km distance is a great challenge in itself or a good tune up for longer events later in the year.


Red Bull Wings for Life World Run

Date: Sunday May 7th, 9pm

Distances available: As far as you can get!

Entry fees: $66-71.50, race pack includes an event T-shirt and headlamp

Location: Monash Freeway Outbound, staring from Hawthorn East

Why should I do it?

The run raises money to fund spinal cord research and is an awesome concept. Over 100,000 participants in 23 locations start the run at the same time – whether that’s dawn in North America, the middle of the day in Europe or at night here in Australia. There’s no set finish line. A catcher car sets off 30 minutes after the start and you keep running until you get caught. As a guide you’ll get 15km running at 6 min/km. If you can keep up 3:30 min/km you get 100km before the car catches you! The course down the Monash Freeway is a new route and what other running event can you do at 9pm on a Sunday night?


Mother’s Day Classic

Date: Sunday May 14th, from 7:15am

Distances available: 8km/4km

Entry fees: $40-60, concessions and family entries available

Location: 1-2 laps of a route around the botanical gardens

Why should I do it?

The Mother’s Day Classic raises money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation and takes place at multiple locations across Australia. The Melbourne event takes in 1 or 2 laps of the iconic Tan Track around the botanical gardens. You can run or walk (maybe with your mum!) and the day caters for all abilities. There are multiple activities around the run with games, promotions and guest speakers.


Run Melbourne

Date: Sunday July 30th, from 7:00am

Distances available: Half Marathon/10km/5km

Entry fees: $90-100/$55-60/$40-45

Location: Starts at Flinders Street, through the western part of the CBD, around the botanical gardens, finish at Birraung Marr.

Run Melbourne is a great event to aim for in the mid winter. It attracts runners of all abilities and with a strong deep field, it can be a great race to aim for a PB whatever distance you take part in. The half marathon starts at 7am, meaning you get to experience the sun rise as you are ticking off the k’s. The event is well supported along the whole route which helps provide some extra motivation!


Date: Sunday August 27th, from 7:30am

Distances available: 15km/10km/5km

Entry fees: $55/$45/$35 (TBC)

Location: Rolling course along the Yarra Boulevard, start and finishes at Xavier College Burke Hall

Why should I do it?

The De Castella run raises money for mental health research and is one of Melbourne’s best running events. The course follows the rolling terrain of the Yarra Boulevard and offers a good challenge as well as great views of the city skyline. It’s excellent value for money and consistently delivers a great race day experience! 


Melbourne Marathon Festival

Date: Sunday October 15th, from 7:00am

Distances available: Marathon/Half Marathon/10km/5.7km/3km

Entry fees: $134/$99/$55/$40/$30

Location: Starts at Fed Square, around Albert Park lake, through St Kilda, down to Elwood (Marathon Only), finish with a lap of the MCG! 

Why should I do it?

The marathon festival is one of the highlights of the sporting year and is the only opportunity to run a marathon into the city of Melbourne. Completing a marathon is on many people’s bucket lists and finishing with a lap inside the MCG makes for a memorable experience. For those aiming for a shorter distance the festival has a range of events including a half-marathon, 10km run, 5km run and 3km walk. There really is something for everyone!



Date: Sunday November 20th

Distances available: 15km/5km

Entry fees: TBC

Location: Starts outside MCG, down St Kilda road, around Albert Park lake, finishes in St Kilda by the pier.

City2Sea is a great event to finish the road running season. It’s the little sister of Sydney’s City2Surf and takes you from the CBD to the waterfront in St Kilda. There’s nothing better than spending a sunny day relaxing in St Kilda after putting 15km of effort in!

I hope you’ve now been inspired to get training towards an event this winter. Hope to see you out there running strong and feeling great!


Check out John’s Running Podiatry website to help you take the next step –

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SYSSM Podiatrist

John Charles graduated with honours in Podiatry from the University in London, and has since worked in both public and private practice. Additionally, he has completed additional training in dry needling and sports massage, and regularly employs these therapies in his podiatry practice. He has extensive experience in video gait analysis, fitting of athletic footwear, and prescribing orthotics and insoles.