We are just four days away from over 33,000 athletes setting off to run over the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.
On the morning of Sunday 16 September the starting gun will send athletes off at the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival.
Mark Arbib, President of Athletics Australia, a keen recreational runner and a regular participant in the Sydney Running Festival was personally looking forward to the annual event.
“There are few more memorable sporting experiences than running or walking across the Sydney Harbour Bridge with thousands of others, or crossing the finish line at the stairs of the Opera House - they are postcard Sydney moments!
“The Sydney Running Festival provides the perfect backdrop to enjoy the city and be part of a big community event experience. Good luck to all participants and a special welcome to our interstate and international friends attending.”
The Blackmores Sydney Running Festival consists of four fun events with a distance for all ages and abilities:
• Blackmores Family Fun Run/Walk (approx 3.5k)
• Blackmores Bridge Run (10k)
• Blackmores Half Marathon (21k)
• Blackmores Sydney Marathon (42.2k)
The Blackmores Sydney Marathon, Blackmores Half Marathon and the Blackmores Bridge Run, now in its second year as a 10km event, finish at the iconic Sydney Opera House. The ever-popular Blackmores Family Fun Run finish line will return to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2018.
Post-event, all entrants along with their family and friends can celebrate in the Blackmores Recovery Village, located within the Royal Botanic Gardens providing spectacular views of Sydney’s picture-perfect harbour.
The men’s and women’s Blackmores marathons have attracted a strong line up of talent. Favourite’s will be Kenyan Elijah Kemboi, who has run three 2:07 marathons in his career, while in the women’s race Ugandan Hayimanot Alemayehu arrives in peak form after clocking a lifetime best of 2:25.51 early this year.
The men’s field includes eight sub-2:13 marathoners, including Australia’s Rio Olympian Scott Westcott and London Olympian Thomas Ayeko (Uganda) who was fourth in the 10,000m at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April this year.
The depth in the women’s race is also at record levels with five sub-2:28 athletes on the start line.
In the elite wheelchair event, Commonwealth Games medallists Kurt Fearnley and Eliza Ault-Connell compete alongside former world champions Christie Dawes and Richard Colman. Fearnley is a 10-time winner of the marathon at the Sydney Running Festival.
The Blackmores half-marathon looks a great battle between sub 64-minute athletes Tatsuya Sato (Japan) and Australia’s Commonwealth Half Marathon selected athlete Dejen Gebrselassie. The Tasmania-based athlete was born to Ethiopian parents in a Sudan refugee camp, and aged 10 his family moved to Australia for a new life.
In the men’s 10km Bridge Run, line honours should be between internationals Kevin Batt (IRE) and Brad Milosevic (AUS). They have booth run recent 10km personal bests of 29:32 and 29:24, respectively.
The event incorporates the Australian marathon championships for 2018. Former winner Scott Westcott and medallist Suzanne Harrington will be strong prospects for the national titles.
Many of the competitors will be running with extra incentive, that being to raise funds for a charity. The Blackmores Sydney Running Festival has raised almost $20M for Australian charities since its inception and the 2018 event will see the Breast Cancer Network Australia and Beyond Blue as the headline charities with more than 100 other official charities to be supported by people taking part in the iconic event.
You can still be part of the event by registering for the race at sydneyrunningfestival.com.au