Nike Marathon


Be a part of Australia’s largest marathon and race alongside marathon legends. Circle around Albert Park Lake, Flinders Street Station, pass the St Kilda beach foreshore and cross the finish line at the MCG to cheers from supporters, family and friends. The Nike Melbourne Marathon is a competitive, adrenaline-filled race for those experienced in marathon running who want to set a PB on our fast and flat course, and is also perfect for first-timers and less experienced marathon runners.

Event Information

Date Sunday 12 December 2021
Distance 42.195km
Start Time 6:00am
Cut Off Time 1:00pm
Field Limit 7,000
Start Line Batman Avenue (150m North of Rod Laver Arena)
Finish Line Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
Age Limit 18 years or older on race day


Entry Fees & Inclusions

Current Price: $165

Please note entry fees are subject to change at any time, so sign up now to secure the best pricing. 


  • Entry
  • Race Bib
  • Safety Pins
  • Finishers Medal
  • E-Certificate

Course Description

Start at Batman Avenue.

Head north along Batman Avenue; left into Flinders Street, left into Swanston Street, cross to northbound (west side) service lane at Princes Bridge and then head along St Kilda Road.

At St Kilda Junction, runners turn right into Fitzroy Street then right into Lakeside Drive and do a lap anti-clockwise circuit of the Lake.

This Lake loop requires runners to turn left into Albert Road Drive from Lakeside Drive and left into Aughtie Drive continuing around the Albert Park Lake roadway.

At the Carousel car park runners proceed behind and around Pits Building using Aughtie Walk before U-turning in Aughtie Drive past Turn 1

Proceed along Aughtie Dve to a right hand turn into Village Green Rd and right onto Lakeside Drive and right on to Fitzroy St.

Make a right hand turn at Acland St extension into the city bound lanes of Beaconsfield Parade, proceed north to a U-turn just before Bay St heading south back along Beaconsfield Pde toward St Kilda.

At the Beaconsfield Parade intersection with Jacka Boulevard, runners will veer right and head towards Elwood using Jacka Boulevard, Marine Parade and Ormond Esplanade to a U-Turn near St Kilda St. Runners then return north along Ormond Esplanade, Marine Parade, Jacka Blvd in to a right hand turn into extension of Acland St, followed by a left hand turn into Fitzroy St.

Turn left into the St Kilda Road northbound service lanes and continue to left hand turn into Southbank Blvd, right hand turn into Sturt St and proceed (under the St Kilda Rd) along Alexandra Ave to a right hand turn into Linlithgow Ave.

Proceed along Linlithgow Ave to Birdwood Ave to right hand turn into Domain Rd.

Take a right hand turn up Dallas Brooks drive, left onto Birdwood Ave, veer left onto Government House drive and then right onto St Kilda Road.

Proceed along St Kilda Rd to a right hand turn into Flinders St.

Veer right into Wellington Parade South, turn right into Brunton Ave then left into the MCG via Gate C and do one lap of the MCG to the finish line.


There are course cut off times for runners who are slower than 5hrs 30 mins

*Course subject to change

Aerial course Map

Course Map

2021 Nike Melbourne Marathon Course Map

Elevation Map

Slow Course

Information for 5+hr Marathon runners

The Nike Melbourne Marathon has a course redirection for entrants who are running at slower than 5hr marathon pace. At the 22km mark of the Marathon  (approx. 8:40am), slower runners will be redirected into Fitzroy St from Beaconsfield Parade. Redirected runners will be given a wristband and will not be permitted to complete the southern section of the course (8km). Instead these redirected runners will be required to make up this lost distance by completing a series of loops in Brunton Avenue (near the finish) before heading to the MCG finish line. Redirected, slower runners have up to 7hrs to make it inside the MCG  to have their results officially recorded. A designated team of officials will be on hand to record and advise all redirected runners. Please note: The redirection is a race requirement and is done so to ensure the safety of slower runners and also to meet traffic management requirements. The redirected course has been measured to AIMS standards.


Pace Group Leaders will be expected to run at an even pace for the entire distance of their event and to offer encouragement and information along the way. Keeping to your allocated pace and communication between yourself and the athletes within your Pace Group is extremely important if everyone is to continue as a group. The following Pace Groups will be running in the Full Marathon in 2021:

2:50 3:00 3:10 3:20 3:30 3:40
3:50 4:00 4:10 4:20 4:30  


Running with a Pacer

  • If you are a participating athlete and wish to join a Pace Group, please look out for the Pace Group signs at the Start Area on race day
  • You do not need to register your interest
  • All Pace Group Leaders will be easily identifiable in event gear with their particular pace time clearly visible

Becoming a Pacer

Pacer Applications are now closed for 2021. If  you have already applied, successful applicants will be notified via email. 

Preferred Starts

Once you have successfully registered for the event, you can apply for a Preferred Start, which is a starting position immediately behind the Elite field. To be granted a preferred start you must have achieved the following qualifying times for your event since 1st July 2019:

MALE Sub 2:48 Sub 2:58 Sub 3:08
FEMALE Sub 3:08 Sub 3:20 Sub 3:30

Applications for Preferred Starts must be made via the website and should include details of the races (i.e. race name, date and distance) at which qualifying performances have been achieved.  Upon submission of your application an auto response will be generated – this is a receipt of your application only and not an approval.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.  All applications are checked to guarantee times submitted are valid.

To apply for a Preferred Start, please complete this form. Preferred Start applications close at 5pm on Friday November 26, 2021.

Successful applicants will receive an approval email prior to the event with further details.  If you have legitimately achieved the performance standards above you are guaranteed a Preferred Start.  For first time Marathon or Half Marathon runners performances at shorter distance events will be considered.

The Preferred Start zone is located immediately next to the start line on the river side and will have a number of exclusive toilets for the Elites and Preferred Starters.  On race morning approved applicants are to report to the Preferred Start Zone and have their name checked off at one of two entry points.

Please note: applying for a Preferred Start is a separate process to the online race entry system. Applying for a Preferred Start does not guarantee race entry, so please be aware of the race entry cut off times and field limits.

The 2021 Preferred Start Process
1 Enter the event of your choice by November 26
2 Apply for a Preferred Start by November 26
3 Receive your confirmation email
4 On race morning report in to the Preferred Start zone and have your name checked off
5 Take your place on the start line 5 minutes before race start

Drink Stations

Drink Station Locations

St Kilda Rd Park 3 Water
Lakeside Dve 6 Water + SiS Sports Drink
Pits Building 11.2 Water + SiS Sports Drink
Mills St / B’Field Pde 17 Water + SiS Sports Drink
Mills St / B’Field Pde 20.3 Water + SiS Sports Drink
Point Ormond 24.5 Water + SiS Sports Drink
Point Ormond 28 Water + SiS Sports Drink
Fitzroy St 31.1 Water + SiS Sports Drink
Albert Rd / St Kilda Rd Park 34.1 Water + SiS Sports Drink
Birdwood Ave /Govt House Dve 37 Water + SiS Sports Drink
Wellington St Sth 41.6 Water + SiS Sports Drink
Finish 42.195 Water + SiS Sports Drink

Drink station locations subject to change*


Personal Drink Stations

Marathon competitors who wish to have their own refreshments available to collect from designated Drink Stations on course during Race Day.

Drop Off Information
Drop Off Location Outside Gate 2 – Near Cricket Nets
Drop Off Date Saturday 11th December
Drop Off Times 8am-2pm
Personal Drink Station Locations 11.2km, 24.5km, 37km

*Please note Drink Station Locations are subject to Change



  • Drink containers are not to be any taller than 21cm in total including all attachments
  • Special Drinks Drop off will close at 2.00pm
  • No Balloons/Sticks are to be attached
  • Your race number must be clearly shown on the bottle container
  • It is your responsibility to find your own bottle at the Personal Drinks Station
  • You must not drop your bottle on course it must be dropped in the Event Waste Zone
  • The Personal Drinks service is available to competitors in the full marathon only

Prize Money

MARATHON $20,000 $7,000 $4,000 $2,000 $1,000

Elite Athletes

The Melbourne Marathon Festival has a proud history of supporting Australia and New Zealand’s elite runners.  With more Australians qualifying for the Olympic Games, World Championships and Commonwealth Games than any other domestic event in the past decade, there is no doubt that the fast Melbourne course provides a perfect vehicle for quality performances.  Names like Weightman, Adams, Trengove and Diver have represented the Green and Gold with distinction as a result of what they’ve achieved on the streets of Melbourne. In 2021 this tradition will continue with support packages available to athletes who have achieved the following standards since July 1st 2019:

  Men Women
  Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 1 Tier 2
Marathon sub 2:15 sub 2:19 sub 2:34 Sub 2:40
Half Marathon sub 1:02 sub 1:05 sub 1:11 sub 1:14

For further information on the support packages or to register your interest, please submit an application here


It was decided in 1987 to officially recognize the efforts of the 86 men and two women who had completed all ten Melbourne Marathons by calling them “Spartans”. The Melbourne Marathon Spartans Club was formed in 1989 following initial discussions between Race Director Ted Paulin and Brian Dixon (former M.L.A. and Melbourne Football Club footballer). Not in the wildest dreams of either Ted or Brian did they think the Spartan concept would be as strong as it currently is in 2021. The title of Spartan has now become one of the Australian running community’s most sought after. Spartans are recognized today by their various coloured running singlets and each runner has a personalised lifetime race number. The singlet is worn with the utmost pride by all Spartans as a sign of their achievement and dedication to marathon running. Any runner who completes ten Melbourne Marathons automatically qualifies to become a Spartan. There are currently 1391 male, 148 female and two wheelchair Spartans. Although mainly Victorians, they come from all over Australia with a few overseas members. Five 42 Year Spartans remain: John Dobson, David Foskey, Bruce Hargreaves, Wayne Thompson and Roger Weinstein. There are four Spartans who have only missed a single race: Bryan Flegg, Nev Gardner, Chas Harcoan and Dennis Nish. Frank Biviano, Ken Bowes, Ian Campbell and Jim Hopkins have run 40. For further information on the Spartans club, please click here or visit the official Melbourne Marathon Spartan’s website:

Wheelchair Entrants

Participants in Racing Wheelchairs

Those wishing to participate in a racing wheelchair are required to register in the Nike Melbourne Wheelchair Marathon 6:55am start. This will be 5 minutes before the start of the Half Marathon, and will allow you to safely navigate the course free from crowds.

Participants in non-racing Wheelchairs

Those wishing to participate in a non-racing wheelchair are required to register in the Nike Melbourne Marathon 6:00am start. For the safety of yourself and to assist with navigating through the field of runners, we highly recommend starting towards the back of the starting pack. Non-racing wheelchair participants are also permitted to register the 3km Walk. Please note that the Half Marathon, 10km Run and 5km Run are not wheelchair-friendly.


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