Great Ocean Road Half Marathon Review

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Running the Great Ocean Road Half Marathon offers an unforgettable experience, taking runners through picturesque coastal towns such as Surf City and Big Sur as well as Chapman’s Peak – truly a remarkable combination!

With nine distances available this year – 60km Ultra Marathon, RACV Solar Marathon, 23km Half Marathon, Cocobella 14km Paradise Run and Kids’ 1.5km Gallop – this year will surely be one to remember.

The Course

The Great Ocean Road is an iconic stretch of road that draws travelers from around the globe. Each year, it serves as the backdrop for one of Australia’s premier distance running events – The RACV Solar Great Ocean Road Marathon. Held across two days in Lorne and Apollo Bay seaside towns, this event provides runners of all ages and experience levels with nine distance options that they can run to challenge themselves on.

From casual runners looking for their first distance running experience, to elite runners seeking to push themselves, crossing that finish line after months of preparation on a beautiful course like this is something truly unforgettable. You will never forget this exhilarating and rewarding moment; its celebration will stay with you forever.

Course details The race features challenging yet scenic climbs and descents on roads ranging from creek crossings at low tide to cuttings on cliff tops with breathtaking coastal views. Once reaching Wye River and Kennett River hamlets, enjoy their tranquil coastal wilderness while being treated to country hospitality that may even allow you to spot some koalas!

Additional Perks

As you approach the finish line, the roads become flatter and hills less severe to allow you to enjoy those final triumphant parade kilometres leading up to Apollo Bay Pub and celebrate with family, friends and locals as you cross that finish line – it will remain with you long after this experience has come and gone! As soon as it does though, that feeling won’t fade!

No matter if you’re just warming up for the half marathon with CorePlus beach yoga sessions or rooting on friends in full and half marathon distance races, the atmosphere at this running festival is unparalleled. Each year runners from around the globe visit this event and many make a weekend of it by bringing along family and friends to join them on course on Saturday or Sunday, or watch from one of the quaint pubs located throughout town centres.

Preparation

Beginning your marathon race right is essential to its success and should include reviewing course descriptions, maps, running blogs or seeking advice from coaches to ensure the right foundation is in place for success.

The Great Ocean Road Marathon provides runners with an unforgettable experience. Instead of experiencing city marathons where brass bands and mainstream radio DJ’s pump out hip-hop music with dancers as expected, the Great Ocean Road offers country hospitality galore; challenging courses with stunning ocean views; plus you may get lucky enough to spot some koalas along your route (make counting them part of your mental strategy!).

Jasmine Goh was highly impressed with her experience at Victoria. “Victoria is an ideal location for sports enthusiasts; offering many unique places, activities, and cuisine,” said Goh.

Attractions to consider for participants at this two-day Great Ocean Road Running Festival include 60km Ultramarathon, 44km Great Ocean Road Marathon, 23km SiS Half Marathon, 14km Paradise run and The Kids’ 1.5km Gallop races are stunning coastal scenes of Lorne and Apollo Bay; after each race competitors can unwind by enjoying local pubs or taking a dip in the ocean after finishing.

The Start

The RACV Solar Great Ocean Road Running Festival provides nine distance options, offering something suitable for every fitness level and age. Each May, runners and walkers from around the globe converge on Victoria’s picturesque southwest coast for this iconic event, enjoying panoramic seaside views while taking on one of the world’s most difficult yet picturesque stretches of road.

This race is legendary for its difficulty. No matter your marathon experience or pace, this event will leave you inspired. Due to its popularity and speedy course layout, race day crowds may make finding room difficult; but don’t despair as there are always volunteers at aid stations ready and willing to assist if necessary!

Transport can be an obstacle on race day, due to road closures and parking restrictions. But don’t fret; busses will provide shuttle service from Lorne and Apollo Bay townships directly to the starting line of the half marathon race, saving you from finding parking or being delayed in traffic jams. Busses leave at regular intervals so check your website for exact timing of these buses!

At the Great Ocean Road Running Festival, participants can also enjoy other activities besides buses. From listening to local musicians’ enchanting sounds, to experiencing ticketed ‘glamping’ experiences or watching wait staff compete against each other in the Pub to Pub Waiter’s Race on Saturday – there is something fun and engaging for everyone at this event!

The Finish

The 2023 RACV Solar Great Ocean Road Running Festival, taking place between Lorne and Apollo Bay along Victoria’s scenic south-west coastline, will attract participants of all ages and abilities from around the globe. From six-hour ultra marathons to family fun runs over five kilometres, participants of this two-day event will experience incredible panoramic sea-side views and an exceptional running experience.

With Australia’s best-known road trip route spanning 60km Ultra Marathon, 44km Kieser Marathon and 23km Half Marathon races to choose from, runners of any distance will experience its breathtaking coastal scenery. Passing through small seaside towns and hamlets, rainforests and the Southern Ocean; crossing awe-inspiring surf breaks along the way; culminating with an iconic marathon finish will only add to this experience!

Closing Thoughts

As you cross the finish line in Apollo Bay, you will be welcomed by cheering crowds and proud family members who will celebrate your achievement in style with post-race massage, delicious food and beverages available at the finish area – including stunning Port Phillip Bay views as you make your way through the arch!

A free shuttle bus will be available to drop participants off at Kennett River’s Half Marathon start line before 7:30am to ensure you can be off the road by 7:30am. From Apollo Bay, these shuttles will return back to Kennett River as runners finish and pick them up before continuing back towards Apollo Bay and back towards Kennett River for pick-up – runners who require the shuttle will receive their event number at registration.

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