Marathon Report

Last updated .

This report summarises Australian 42.195 km marathons in 2013.

The entire population of marathons was included. The event website must have stated it was a standard marathon race for inclusion.

Australian marathon results from 1909 to 2013 are available here

1. Key Facts

Two thousand thirteen was a record-breaking year with 60 marathon events and 23,491 marathon performances.


  • 16,705 performances
  • 71.1 percent of all performances
  • 38.7 average age
  • 3:57:50 median time
  • 2:13:09 - fastest Australian male was Michael Shelley in the United States
  • 2:10:01 - fastest male in Australia was Yuki Kawauchi of Japan


  • 6,786 performances
  • 28.9 percent of all performances
  • 36.7 average age
  • 4:20:18 median time
  • 2:26:05 - fastest Australian female was Lisa Weightman in Australia
  • 2:26:05 - fastest female in Australia was Lisa Weightman of Australia

2. Participation

2.1 Events

A total of 60 marathons had at least one finisher in 2013. This total was a 25 percent annual increase.

The number of trail marathons increased at a faster rate than road marathons. A 44 percent annual increase.

Table 2.1.1: Marathon events.


a Road was defined as a course with mostly good-quality sealed surface that can be accurately measured.
b Trail was defined as a course with mostly unsealed track.

2.2 Performances

Note on terminology: More than one performance may be recorded by a performer. More than one run may be recorded by a runner.

A total of 23,491 marathon performances in 2013. This total was a 10.5 percent annual increase and the most performances ever recorded in Australia.

The total comprised of 16,705 male and 6,786 female performances. An 11.6 percent increase of females was greater than of males although males had a greater increase in absolute numbers.

Performances increased 7.2 percent in the same marathons from 2012 to 2013 (21,191 to 22,715).

Trail marathon performances increased 20.7 percent.

Table 2.2.1: Marathon performances.


2.3 Performers

An attempt was made to estimate performers by using a database to match similar names, sex, age, and relative times.

The total number of performers was estimated at 19,905. An increase of 88 percent on 2008. The Australian population increased 8 percent during the same 5 year period.

There were approx 12 male marathoners for every 10,000 Australian males and 5 female marathoners for every 10,000 Australian females in 2013.

The number of marathons per runner per year increased to 1.18. Male performers finished marathons more frequently than female performers.

Table 2.3.1: Marathon performers.

Australian Populationa21,374,00023,130,900

a Australian Bureau of Statistics estimate at 30 June.

Table 2.3.2: Marathons per runner per year (performances divided by performers).


2.4 Gender

The proportion of male performances decreased to 71.1 percent. The absolute number of male performances did increase but at a slower rate than female performances.

Table 2.4.1: Gender proportion of performances.


2.5 Age

Age data was not reported for all marathons and a sample was used instead. The sample included 20,220 performances.

The average age was 36.7 for females and 38.7 for males (medians were 36 and 38).

The youngest marathon finishers were 13 years of age.

The oldest marathon finishers were:

  • Antony Martin (85) finishing at Melbourne in 6:18:44.
  • Patricia Shelper (72) finishing at Melbourne in 5:18:29.

The sample comprised of 0.5 percent juniors (Under 20), 54.2 percent open runners (20–39), and 45.3 percent masters runners (40+).

Table 2.5.1: Age group percentages from sample:

AgeU2020–2930–3940–4950–5960–6970+All Ages

2.6 Median Times

The road median time was 4:03:33, the slowest overall median time recorded in Australia. This time may be interpreted as the average runner getting slower.

Generally median times trend slower each year because of

  • The increasing proportion of females. The difference between male and female times was 22 minutes on average.
  • The increasing average age of finishers. The slowing is expected to accelerate as the proportion of 40+ increases.
  • Generous cut-off times in larger events attracting first-time runners and walkers.

Thirty years ago, at the peak of the previous running boom, the male median time was 3:31:58 (12,695 performances) and the female median time was 3:57:20 (722 performances).

Table 2.6.1: Road marathon median times.


Table 2.6.2: Road marathon median times from age sample.


3. High Performance

3.1 Australian Nationals

This section is on performances by Australians recorded anywhere in the world. It includes record-ineligible races such as Boston.

The fastest male in the world was Wilson Kipsang (Kenya), 2:03:23 world record at Berlin.
The fastest Australian male was Michael Shelley, 2:13:09 at Chicago. He was the 353rd fastest male in the world.

The fastest female in the world was Rita Jeptoo (Kenya), 2:19:57 at Chicago.
The fastest Australian female was Lisa Weightman, 2:26:05 at Melbourne. She was the 52nd fastest female in the world.

Jessica Trengove (11th) and Martin Dent (23rd) finished within the top 24 places and with B-standards at the IAAF World Championships. They have been automatically nominated for the 2014 Commonwealth Games according to Athletics Australia's Selection Policy.

Contrasting Australia's competitiveness to other nations, four Australian males recorded performances faster than the United Kingdom's best performance. One Australian female recorded a performance faster than the United States' fastest performance. In terms of tenth-placed depth, Australia was not as competitive against more populous nations.

Table 3.1.1: National rankings (ranked by gun times).

2:13:09aMichael ShelleyChicago (USA)12:26:05bLisa WeightmanMelbourne (AUS)
2:14:09Liam AdamsMelbourne (AUS)22:32:31Nikki ChappleNagoya Women's (JPN)
2:14:21Scott WestcottMelbourne (AUS)32:37:11Jessica TrengoveIAAF World Championships (RUS)
2:14:28Jeffrey HuntBoston (USA)42:37:35Jane FardellParis (FRA)
2:17:11Martin DentIAAF World Championships (RUS)52:41:48Melanie PanayiotouMelbourne (AUS)
2:17:52Lee TroopBoston (USA)62:42:53Sarah KleinMelbourne (AUS)
2:22:35Gemechu WoyechaPerth City to Surf (AUS)72:45:39Anita KeemGold Coast (AUS)
2:22:56Patrick NispelZurich (SUI)82:47:17Laura JamesMelbourne (AUS)
2:23:26Russell Dessaix-ChinHamburg (GER)92:47:29Hannah FlanneryMelbourne (AUS)
2:23:50Rowan WalkerGold Coast (AUS)102:49:03Rachel StantonBoston (USA)

a National record is Robert de Castella's 2:07:51 at Boston 1986 (The record by IAAF rules is now Stephen Moneghetti's 2:08:16 at Berlin 1990).
b National record is Benita Johnson's 2:22:36 at Chicago 2006.

Table 3.1.2: First and tenth ranking for selected nations in 2013.a

Japan2:08:00Kazuhiro Maeda12:23:34Ryoko Kizaki
United States2:09:45Dathan Ritzenhein12:27:08Shalane Flanagan
United Kingdom2:15:08Nicholas Torry12:30:46Susan Partridge
New Zealand2:18:57Samuel Wreford12:28:49Kimberley Smith

a Sources: Japan Running News, Association of Road Running Statisticians, Power of 10, and Athletics NZ.

3.2 Australian Allcomers

This section is on performances recorded in Australia.

The fastest male in Australia was Yuki Kawauchi (Japan), 2:10:01 [2:09:58] at Gold Coast. His performance was equal to the 3rd fastest ever recorded in Australia. Kawauchi finished 11 marathons in 2013 including a best of 2:08:14 at Seoul and two sub-2:10 marathons within 14 days.

The fastest female in Australia was Lisa Weightman, 2:26:05 at Melbourne. Her performance was the 4th fastest ever recorded in Australia. Weightman's performance was the fastest Australian ever recorded in Australia.

Allcomers rankings were processed up to 1,000 performers for 2008 to 2013. For the year 2013, 641 males and 48 females ran under the three hour mark. Depth appeared to be improving with increased participation.

Table 3.2.1: Allcomers rankings (ranked by gun times).

2:10:01aYuki Kawauchi (JPN)Gold Coast12:26:05bLisa Weightman (AUS)Melbourne
2:10:47Pius Dominic Ondoro (KEN)Melbourne22:27:17Yukiko Akaba (JPN)Gold Coast
2:11:52Taiga Ito (JPN)Gold Coast32:27:19Eunice Cheyech Kales (KEN)Melbourne
2:11:56Dominic Kimwetich Kangor (KEN)Melbourne42:29:48Alice Ngerechi (KEN)Gold Coast
2:12:54Jonathan Kipchirchir Chesoo (KEN)Melbourne52:32:01Alevtina Ivanova (RUS)Gold Coast
2:13:09Tewelde Hidru (ERI)Gold Coast62:32:46Biruktayit Eshetu Degefa (ETH)Sydney
2:13:16Luka Kipkemboi Chelimo (KEN)Perth City to Surf72:33:20Workitu Ayanu Gurmu (ETH)Sydney
2:13:48Willy Kibor Koitile (KEN)Sydney82:33:25Hellen Wanjiku Mugo (KEN)Gold Coast
2:13:51Peter Kamais Lotagor (KEN)Melbourne92:38:20Irene Mogaka Kemunto (KEN)Sydney
2:14:06Girmay Birhanu Gebru (ETH)Gold Coast102:38:53Lingling Jin (CHN)Sydney

a Allcomers record is Robert de Castella's 2:09:18 at Brisbane Commonwealth Games 1982.
b Allcomers record is Naoko Takahashi's (Japan) 2:23:14 at Sydney Olympic Games 2000.

Table 3.2.2: Allcomers rankings by year.


3.3 Wins

The fastest male winner and the fastest runner-up was Yuki Kawauchi (Japan) in his two Australian marathons.

The fastest Australian male winner was masters athlete Rowan Walker (43) with 2:24:23 at Canberra.

Magda Karimali-Poulos won her 10th Australian marathon at Canberra, was runner-up in two standard marathons, and was runner-up at the 45km Great Ocean Road Marathon. Susan Hill holds the record of 11 Australian marathon wins.

No runner won more than two Australian marathons during the year. Runners winning two marathons:

  • Angela Bateup
  • Brendan Davies (best 2:39:11)
  • Shayne Falkenmire (best 3:18:19)
  • Jodie Oborne (best 3:58:28, trail)
  • Sammy Kipkoech Tum

Jodie Oborne at Lamington Eco Challenge was the only female to be outright winner in Australia.

Table 3.3.1: Fastest winning performances.

2:10:01Yuki Kawauchi (JPN)Gold Coast12:26:05Lisa Weightman (AUS)Melbourne
2:10:47Pius Dominic Ondoro (KEN)Melbourne22:27:17Yukiko Akaba (JPN)Gold Coast
2:13:16Luka Kipkemboi Chelimo (KEN)Perth City to Surf32:32:46Biruktayit Eshetu Degefa (ETH)Sydney
2:13:48Willy Kibor Koitile (KEN)Sydney42:41:07Tsega Gelaw Reta (ETH)Perth City to Surf
[2:24:23]Rowan Walker (AUS)Canberra52:51:23Angela Bateup (AUS)Cities M7
2:24:33Roberto Busi (AUS)Perth62:52:13Tina Major (AUS)Perth
2:26:37Sammy Kipkoech Tum (KEN)Cities M77[2:52:46]Magda Karimali-Poulos (AUS)Canberra
2:28:29Alex Matthews (AUS)Western Sydney82:55:08Roxie Fraser (AUS)Sunshine Coast
2:28:48Matthew Fenech (AUS)Hobart93:02:04Nera Jareb (AUS)Bunbury
2:31:23Sammy Kipkoech Tum (KEN)Brisbane103:02:43Michelle Duffield (AUS)Geraldton

Table 3.3.2: Fastest runner-up (second place) performances.

2:11:40Yuki Kawauchi (JPN)Melbourne12:27:19Eunice Cheyech Kales (KEN)Melbourne
2:11:52Taiga Ito (JPN)Gold Coast22:29:48Alice Ngerechi (KEN)Gold Coast
2:14:28El Hassane Ben Lkhainouch (FRA)Sydney32:33:20Workitu Ayanu Gurmu (ETH)Sydney
2:16:07Kennedy Kiproo Lilan (KEN)Perth City to Surf42:53:11Nera Jareb (AUS)Perth
[2:25:22]Vlad Shatrov (AUS)Canberra52:54:04Magda Karimali-Poulos (AUS)Perth City to Surf
2:29:03Gebregziabher Abrha (ETH)Cities M762:57:44Magda Karimali-Poulos (AUS)Cities M7
2:32:44Barry Keem (AUS)Hobart7[3:01:57]Annelore Vandierendonck (AUS)Canberra
2:33:06Chris O'Neill (IRL)Perth83:05:18Tina Major (AUS)Geraldton
2:38:07James Minto (AUS)Brisbane93:06:04Alison Wilson (AUS)Adelaide
2:40:20David Staehr (AUS)Barossa Valley103:06:43Sarah Schroeder (AUS)Brisbane

4. Events

4.1 Size and Concentration

The largest marathon in Australia was Melbourne, setting another record for the most finishers.
The largest marathon in the world was New York City with 50,266 finishers. Melbourne was the 47th largest marathon in the world.

Gold Coast was 1 of 15 marathons to decline in size. Overall finishers at Gold Coast increased when including 10km and half-marathon events.

The largest 2, 4, and 5 marathons concentrated 1/2, 2/3, and 3/4 of all finishers in Australia, respectively.

The largest inaugural marathon was Sandy Point with 175 finishers. It extended its longest distance from half-marathon in 2012 to marathon.

The mean number of finishers was 392 and the median number of finishers was 79.

Table 4.1.1: Marathons ordered by most finishers.a

OrderEventFinishersCumulative Finishers2012/13 Percent Change
2Gold Coast4,82911,649-5.7
5Perth City to Surf1,19617,52614.2
9Sunshine Coast40119,56834.1

aNoteworthy non-standard "marathons" were Great Ocean Road with 982 finishers and Six Foot Track with 780 finishers.

4.2 Growth

Glow Worm Tunnel, Mt Mee Classic, and Western Sydney doubled in finishers albeit from a relatively small base.

Newer events tended to grow at a faster rate. For example, Glow Worm Tunnel (2012), Western Sydney (2010), Barossa Valley (2012), or Sunshine Coast (2012).

Table 4.2.1: Marathons with at least 50 finishers ordered by largest growth.

OrderEventFinishers2012/13 Percent Change
1Glow Worm Tunnel153132
2Mt Mee Classic96109
3Western Sydney101106
4Barossa Valley25060
6Sunshine Coast40134
8Wagga Wagga7032
9Carcoar Cup5832

4.3 Gender

Gold Coast had the largest proportion of females with 1 in 3.

Sri Chinmoy Princes Park had the largest proportion of males with 7 in 8.

Table 4.3.1: Marathons with at least 50 females ordered by largest female proportion.

OrderEventFinishersFemale Percent
1Gold Coast4,82933.0
2Sandy Point17532.6
4Rottnest Island18630.6
5Barossa Valley25029.6
8Sunshine Coast40128.4

Table 4.3.2: Marathons with at least 50 males ordered by largest male proportion.

OrderEventFinishersMale Percent
1Sri Chinmoy Princes Park6487.5
4Western Sydney10181.2
5Mt Mee Classic9679.2
7Cities M721277.8
8Glow Worm Tunnel15377.8
9Perth City to Surf1,19677.6

4.4 Median Times

Macleay River had the fastest median time of 3:52:24. Portland had the slowest median time of 4:13:11. Portland encouraged race walking.

The fastest median times were mostly from marathons held in the first half of the year.

Table 4.4.1: Road marathons with at least 50 finishers ordered by fastest 2013 median times.

1Macleay River3:51:083:43:273:56:443:55:583:52:293:52:24
2Sri Chinmoy Princes Park3:52:33
7Cities M73:43:503:48:323:52:583:55:453:53:103:55:45
10Barossa Valley3:55:403:56:53

Table 4.4.2: Road marathons with at least 50 finishers ordered by slowest 2013 median times.

2Gold Coast4:13:554:04:124:07:084:09:094:13:174:13:04
3Rottnest Island4:00:044:00:563:59:384:02:584:06:274:12:14
6Sunshine Coast3:53:484:04:50
7Perth City to Surf3:58:424:02:003:57:484:02:064:02:51

4.5 Entrants and Starters

Entrants and starters were seldom reported.

Melbourne had the largest number of entrants with 7,500 followed by Gold Coast with 5,400.

Based on the available data, on average, 12 percent of entrants failed to start and 5 percent of starters failed to finish.

4.6 Entry Prices

Entry fees were recorded for all marathons. Due to different fee structures (for example, early bird), the fee recorded was for an Australian resident entering four weeks prior to the race, was for a one-off race, and included club membership if required for entry.

The median entry price was $78 for a road marathon and was $85 for a trail marathon.

The largest marathons, Melbourne and Gold Coast, increased their fees by $5 from 2012 to 2013.

Table 4.6.1: Entry price ordered by least expensive.

OrderEventPrice AUD
1Gold Rush Trail$15
3Sri Chinmoy Princes Park$30
5Mount Marlow$40
6Christmas Island$40
7Caboolture Dusk To Dawn$40
8Australia Day$42
10Bribie Island$45

Table 4.6.2: Entry price ordered by most expensive.

OrderEventPrice AUD
1Great Barrier Reef$160
4Gold Coast$145
5Sunshine Coast$130
6Perth City to Surf$125
8Three In Three Days x1$120
10Lamington Eco Challenge x1$115

4.7 Prize Money

Male and female prizes were equal for all events.

The largest prize fund offered was $100,000 at Gold Coast. Conditions to award the entire fund were not met.

The largest prize awarded was $20,000. Five winners equalled this prize:

  • Yukiko Akaba (JPN), female winner at Gold Coast, 2:27:17
  • Luka Kipkemboi Chelimo (KEN), male winner at Perth City to Surf, 2:13:16
  • Pius Dominic Ondoro (KEN), male winner at Melbourne, 2:10:47
  • Tsega Gelaw Reta (ETH), female winner at Perth City to Surf, 2:41:07
  • Lisa Weightman (AUS), female winner at Melbourne, 2:26:05

Note: The Association of Road Running Statisticians maintains records of Australians and their winnings on road or track.

Table 4.7.1: Prize money ordered by largest prizes.

1Perth City to Surfa20,0006,0003,0002,0001,000
2Gold Coastb15,0007,0004,0002,0001,000
5Cities M75,0002,5001,000500300
9Carcoar Cup1,500650350200100
10Sunshine Coastb1,500600400

a Additional $6,000 and $3,000 prizes for 1st and 2nd Australians, respectively.
b Additional time-incentive prizes. For example, additional $20,000 for Australian allcomers record at Gold Coast.

5. Miscellaneous

5.1 States and Territories

This section is selected national data split into state and territory components. The ACT and NSW are considered one geographic area.

Queensland had the most events. Victoria had the most performances. Northern Territory had the fewest events and fewest performances.

Queensland had the most performances per capita although Gold Coast finishers declined. South Australia had the fewest performances per capita.

Tasmania was the fastest state with a combined median of 3:56:05.

Table 5.1.1: Selected state data ordered by largest population.

OrderStatePopulationaEventsMale PerformancesFemale Performances2012/13 Percent ChangeLargest Event
1NSW7,407,700133,3221,18913.4Sydney 3,390
2VIC5,737,600105,3892,18715.5Melbourne 6,820
3QLD4,658,600174,4192,0700.3Gold Coast 4,829
4WA2,517,20091,71557918.6Perth City to Surf 1,196
5SA1,670,800351922318.7Adelaide 439
6TAS513,000328911836.6Hobart 333
7ACT383,40039813648.0Canberra 1,291
8NT239,50027156-17.5Outback 93
Australia23,130,9006016,7056,78610.5Melbourne 6,820


OrderStateMale Median TimeFemale Median TimeFastest Male PerformancebFastest Female Performanceb
1NSW4:00:404:25:05Willy Kibor Koitile 2:13:48Biruktayit Eshetu Degefa 2:32:46
2VIC3:55:354:16:47Pius Dominic Ondoro 2:10:47Lisa Weightman 2:26:05
3QLD4:02:344:25:39Yuki Kawauchi 2:10:01Yukiko Akaba 2:27:17
4WA3:55:224:20:12Luka Kipkemboi Chelimo 2:13:16Tsega Gelaw Reta 2:41:07
5SA3:52:294:15:35Michael Varney 2:39:16Tracey Taylor 3:04:13
6TAS3:47:054:17:22Matthew Fenech 2:28:48Amy Lamprecht 3:13:46
7ACT3:50:264:11:39Rowan Walker [2:24:23]Magda Karimali-Poulos [2:52:46]
8NT4:03:364:17:05Warwick Bible 2:50:08Sharon Ryder 3:10:07
Australia3:57:504:20:18Yuki Kawauchi 2:10:01Lisa Weightman 2:26:05

a Australian Bureau of Statistics estimate at 30 June.
b Not necessarily state residents.

5.2 Calendar

The marathon running season is effectively from April to October because of cooler weather.

Of the 60 events, 29 were concentrated in the third quarter, specifically, 12 in August and 5 on the weekend of 24–25 August.

Sunday was the most popular day hosting 51 events. Saturday hosted 7 events.

The most marathons that could be finished in Australia in 2013 were 40.

Table 5.2.1: Distribution of events and performances by month.


5.3 New Zealand

New Zealand had a total of 39 marathons in 2013. This total was a 14.7 percent annual increase from 34 marathons.

A total of 7,688 performances in 2013. A 2.9 percent annual increase from 7,472 performances.

The proportion of male performances was 65.1 percent and female performances was 34.9 percent.

There were over three times the events per capita and almost double the performances per capita compared to Australia. New Zealand's population was 4.2 million.