Held on Sunday 26th May 2019, this year was the events 41st year. Organized by the South Australian Road Runners Club the festival consists of a full marathon, half marathon, 10km, 5km and a 2km event for the under 12s. There really is an event for the whole family and beautiful good quality medals are awarded at the completion of each event.

Super early bird entries open at the beginning of November the previous year with associated costs increasing between $10-$40 depending upon the event as race day approaches. Online entries close approximately 10 days prior but for those not so organized or more spontaneous among us for an additional $10 late fee, entries can occur the day prior at Joggers World; a small running specific store where bib collection is located. This is in Pirie street and very close to the city center. Personal hydration and nutrition requirements can also be left here and will be available at marked points along the course. For those more organized and choosing to enter early an option of purchasing a cancellation insurance is also available.

For those unfamiliar with Adelaide:

It is a city surrounded by several beautiful parks and gardens. The marathon course encompasses some of these parks and the entire course even when running on the road has athletes running through or next to beautiful gardens, zoos with the calls of waking monkeys, parks, cycle paths and waterways.

All events start right outside the main entrance to the Adelaide Oval. Bag drop is located within the stadium and toilets are plentiful and clean with absolutely no queue for the ladies. The marathon commences at 0700, followed by the half marathon at 0800, 10km at 0830, 5km at 0845 and the 2km at 1030.

The marathon and half marathon follow the same course with those running the marathon lucky enough to experience the beautiful lush green and scenic course twice. The 5km and 2km events are out and back courses and follow the same starting route for the longer events. The 10km follows a portion of the marathon course and for those finishing the marathon in over 3 hours will find approximately 5km of the course on the second lap shared with 10km runners. It can be a little congested but a polite “excuse me” has participants moving aside and being very courteous to marathon runners. It is nice to run into friends and family members participating in their 10km event while you run your full marathon waving goodbye as they turn left over the weir and those in the longer events continue straight on. From then the remainder of the second lap is purely inhabited by marathon and half marathon participants. The second lap sees activity on the River Torrens increase with rowing clubs, friendly dog walkers, recreational runners and those out for morning walks.

Drink stations are located every 3km which is quite generous and they come along very quickly. It is winter, and the 2019 event was overcast, cool and rain at times which increased. However Adelaide can also be quite mild at this time of year. Water is offered at every station and the electrolyte “infinit” offered at ever second.

Volunteers are plentiful and the course is marked clearly with directional arrows and witches hats.

All events finish within the Adelaide Oval. Athletes run around the back of the stadium and enter the oval with approximately 300m to the finish. Artificial turf lines the outer limits of the hallowed ground and it is on this that runners make there way to the finishing arch. The commentary is very welcoming and with the shorter events having finished the stadium is a hive of activity. Water and fruit is available at the finish and the kiosk open to provide alternative products for purchase.

T-shirt’s and Singlets are available for pre purchase and can be collected at bib collection, any spares are sold at the finish by the South Australian Road Runners Club. Sizes are quite generous.

The Adelaide oval is only a short walk down King William Road taking approximately 10-15 minutes from Rundle Mall. There are several hotels within close proximity to suit a variety of budgets and lots of great eateries for both last minute carb loading and post run celebrations. Jamie Oliver’s Italian is very close with pasta dishes to suit all dietary needs.

All in all the event is fabulous and one I highly recommend. It is one of the prettiest marathon courses I have participated in and does a wonderful job of showcasing just some of the several parks around Adelaide.

For those wanting to make a weekend of it, Adelaide has two parkruns close to the city, the “Torrens” and “Pakapakanthi”. These are both held in local parks with Pakapakanthi surrounded by the old Adelaide Grand Prix Circuit. These events are great to walk out the legs for those running the longer runs and for those in the shorter ones to have a crack at. A visit to Adelaide also has to include a factory viewing tour of Haigh’s Chocolate factory a small family owned chocolate factory now in its fourth generation and if time permits one of the many vineyard in the Barossa wine region.

Written by Bonnie Davies

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