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The Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival returns to the nation’s sporting capital on Sunday 15th October with some of Australia’s best elite runners vying for a spot on the podium.

In a true display of impressive running talent, this year’s elite lineup includes previous Festival winners, Olympians, INEOS challenge pacemakers, steeplechasers, and even a husband and wife duo.

Marking its 45th anniversary, the historic event has also announced the inaugural Steve Moneghetti Award, presented to the first Australian male to cross the Nike Melbourne Marathon finish line. The new accolade follows the iconic Kerryn McCann Award for the first Australian female which was introduced in 2009.


Nike Melbourne Marathon – Women

Hailing from Tasmania, Olympian Milly Clark is looking to back up her 2021 Nike Melbourne Marathon win and personal best (2:26:59) as the favourite in the women’s category. Making her marathon debut, lots of attention will also be on Victorian Half Marathon Champion, Gemma Maini, who has already tasted victory in the Run for the Kids 14km and Lake Wendouree 15km in 2023.  After a win at the Canberra Marathon in April, Cassie Little will be looking to improve on her personal best time of 2:45:00 on the proven fast course in Melbourne.


Nike Melbourne Marathon – Men

Dual Olympian and 2018 Melbourne Marathon winner, Liam Adams, is the favourite to take out the men’s division in the 42.195km event. Following a blistering time of 2:08:39 at the 2023 Gold Coast Marathon and 2:11:47 at the 2023 Berlin Marathon, Adams has his sights set on a second Melbourne title. Fellow Victorian, Reece Edwards, is also set to return to the men’s elite line up after his third-place marathon finish at the Festival in 2022. Queensland’s Ryan Gregson rounds out the male contenders as he prepares to make his Melbourne Marathon debut and support his wife, Genevieve Gregson, as she competes in the Nike Half Marathon.


Nike Half Marathon – Women

Three-time Olympian and Australian steeplechase record holder, Genevieve Gregson, is set to continue a stellar 2023 as the top contender for the women’s Nike Half Marathon. With three successive Australian Championships this year in the the Half Marathon, 10km Cross Country and 12km Road Race, Gregson will use this race as the perfect preparation for the Valencia Marathon in December. Victoria’s Melissa Duncan is also vying for a podium finish in her second-ever half marathon, alongside South Australia’s Sophie Hlipala who ran a personal best in the 21.1km event on the Gold Coast in July.


Nike Half Marathon – Men

Dual Nike Half Marathon winner, Jack Rayner, has his sights on a third 21.1km win on home soil. After a strong win in the Australian Cross Country Championship in August, Rayner brings good form to this event and is a hot favourite. Also returning to the MCG is 2016 Melbourne Marathon champion and previous winner of this event, Tom Do Canto from New South Wales. Rio Olympian Sam McEntee rounds out the podium favourites for this event, alongside fellow Olympian Matthew Clarke from South Australia.


In addition to the headlining distances, the Festival will host the family-friendly 3km Walk, the popular 180 Nutrition Good Sport 5km Run, the SriLankan Airlines 10km Run, and the Nike Wheelchair Marathon, all finishing inside the hallowed Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Returning to Yarra Park, the Race Village entertainment precinct, sponsored by Chemist Warehouse, will treat runners and supporters to an elevated festival experience. Open to the public all weekend, visitors will be delighted by an array of delicious food trucks, coffee courtesy of St Ali, live music, and a big broadcast for all the action across the weekend.

Before race day, major title partner Nike will have all last-minute kit needs sorted at the Nike Running Retail Store, as Gatorade and Maurten keep punters hydrated and fuelled out on the track on Sunday. After the finish line, recovery support will be bigger than ever with refreshing ice baths, soothing foam rollers and tasty drinks and snacks for participants at the Nike Run Your Run Hub. A dedicated stretching area complete with yoga mats and qualified Bupa Wellness instructors will also provide the ultimate cool down experience.

In 2022, participants and supporters raised over $1.1 million for almost 250 deserving charities. This year, with registrations at an all-time high and new charity partner Beyond Blue on board, the Festival has already met its $1.3 million fundraising target with its sights now set on $1.5 million following race weekend.



Date: Sunday 15th October 2023

Start line: Batman Avenue (150m North of Rod Laver Arena), from 7am

Finish line: Gate 2, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), from 8am

About us:


The Melbourne Marathon Festival is Australia’s largest Marathon event with a course that incorporates some of the city’s most loved landmarks and finishes at the iconic MCG. The Melbourne Marathon Festival holds a special place in the hearts of generations of runners. In the past 45 years, hundreds of thousands of participants have raised tens of millions of dollars for charity, achieved countless personal goals and come together in an active celebration of the City of Melbourne.



IMG is a global sports and culture company. It is a leader in rights management, multi-channel content production and distribution, consultancy and fan engagement; owns, produces and commercially represents hundreds of live events and experiences; and manages licensing programs for the world’s best-known brands and trademarks. IMG is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global sports and entertainment company.



NIKE, Inc., is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Converse, a wholly owned NIKE, Inc. subsidiary brand, designs, markets and distributes athletic lifestyle footwear, apparel, and accessories. For more information visit and follow @NIKE.


Contact details:

Jasmine Burford

0411 378 471 

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