BIGGEST EVER NIKE MELBOURNE MARATHON FESTIVAL WITH OVER 40,000 PARTICIPANTS AND $1.5 MILLION RAISED

Today, the Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival returned for its 45th edition with more than 40,000
registered participants – a new record for the iconic sporting event.


Victoria’s Reece Edwards won the men’s Nike Marathon with a time of 2:14:34, receiving $20,000 in prize
money and the inaugural Steve Moneghetti Award as the first Australian male to cross the finish line. This
was Edwards’ first ever marathon win, made even more special with the birth of his first child expected any day now. Second place was secured by Queensland’s Ryan Gregson, who made his marathon debut in 2:14:54, followed closely by former Melbourne Marathon winner (2018) Liam Adams in third place with a time of 2:15:37.Winner of the women’s Nike Marathon was Gemma Maini from Victoria, who tackled the 42.195km course in a time of 2:35:25. Marking her marathon debut, Maini also received a coveted cash prize of $20,000 and the iconic Kerryn McCann Award as the first Australian female finisher. Former Melbourne Marathon winner (2021) Milly Clark secured second place in the women’s pool in 2:41:27, whilst this year’s Canberra Marathon winner Cassie Little rounded out the podium with a personal best time of 2:43:15.


The first athlete to cross the Nike Half Marathon finish line was Jack Rayner from Victoria, who raced against the clock to secure a time of 1:03:09. Rayner is now the only runner in Festival history to secure three consecutive wins in the 21.1km event. Queensland’s Genevieve Gregson was the first woman to complete the 21.1km distance, securing a time of 1:10:07. Gregson’s win was made all the more memorable as she celebrated on the finish line with her husband Ryan and their son Archer.

The SriLankan Airlines 10km Run was won by David McNeill from Victoria with a time of 29:10.Queensland’s Olga Firsova was the fastest female to complete the 10km event with a time of 32:52. Winners of the Nike Wheelchair Marathon were Spartan Legend Ian Gainey, who completed his 31st Melbourne Marathon, and Sharnie Digby, who completed her seventh. Festival Director, Marcus Gale, commented: “Today was a monumental day in Australian sporting event history as we welcomed a record-breaking number of registered participants to the 2023 Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival. For almost five decades, the event has seen hundreds of thousands of people from across the country and around the world come together to celebrate this beautiful sport, and we are delighted to see the community continue to grow. Congratulations to the winners and all who participated in this historic day.”


Records were also broken off the track with participants raising in excess of $1.5 million for 333 deserving causes including the Festival’s new charity partner Beyond Blue, and associate charities FightMND, JMB Foundation, The Heart Foundation, Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, and My Room Children’s Cancer Charity.

Vice President and General Manager, Nike Australia, Ashley Reade commented: “The Nike Melbourne Marathon Festival just keeps getting bigger and better. On behalf of Nike, a huge congratulations to the winners today, but also a big congratulations to everyone who got out there and walked, ran, or rolled at their own pace. It was inspiring to see the joy and passion from every runner and supporter which made today a great example of the power of sport, movement and community.” Some of the city’s biggest names also took part in the event including 2022 Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott and TV presenter Andy Lee, who completed the Nike Half Marathon. Lighting up the course, several colourful entrants were hard to miss including a runner dressed as Viking, a participant posing as a hot dog, and another rocking a banana suit.


The day was particularly momentous for Spartan Legends John Dobson, Wayne Thompson and David Foskey, who completed their 45th consecutive Melbourne Marathon. Since 1978, the trio has never missed a Festival, even planning family weddings around the annual spring event to keep their streak. Today, hundreds of other participants followed in their footsteps by running their tenth Melbourne Marathon and achieving Spartan status.


After the finish line, the Chemist Warehouse Race Village entertainment precinct came alive with a delicious array of food trucks, live music from some of Melbourne’s best buskers, coffee courtesy of St Ali, 0% alcohol beer from Better Beer (18+), and a big screen broadcasting all the action.

Runners looking for their next big challenge won’t want to miss the 20th anniversary of Australia’s most stunning running event, the Great Ocean Road Running Festival, on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May 2024.

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