There is nothing like the energy and atmosphere of a city marathon. The big crowds running through the high-rise buildings and the major city landmarks always make for a memorable event. And for 30 years Brisbane has been hosting one of Australia’s best running festivals: The Brisbane Running Festival (June 2022).
The journey started back in 1992 when a team from the Queensland Marathon and Road Runners Club joined with Intraining Running Centre to start the event. It had been inspired by the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games that saw the birth of a running legend over the Brisbane marathon. At that Games, Robert De Castella took the nations heart by coming from behind to win the marathon in the last few kilometres. From Deek’s gold medal performance the running boom in Australia blossomed and Brisbane was seen as its birthplace. Then in 1992, using the 1982 Commonwealth Games logo, the Brisbane Running Festival was born.
Now with 30 years of heritage this city marathon, with a new course, took in some iconic Brisbane landmarks and challenged 1000’s of runners in the 5km, 10km, 21.1km and full 42.2km marathon. Starting from its original 1992 birthplace in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens the race flowed through the city streets before making the tough climb up to the famous Brisbane Story Bridge. There are few sites more spectacular than running over the Story Bridge on sunrise with the morning light reflecting off the city’s skyscrapers. The course then ran along the edge of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs heading towards the 2032 Olympic Stadium before returning over the Bridge to the riverside suburb of New Farm. It then ran back to the city along the Brisbane river’s boardwalk.
Overall, it was a challenging course with over 300meters of climbing but one that rewarded athletes with the cheers of Brisbane champion runner, Pat Carroll, as he announced each runner down the finishing chute. Like Deek, Pat Carroll is one of Australia’s great marathoners having broken 2 hours and 10 minutes.
In the men’s marathon Wayne Spies won in 2 hours 28 minutes while in the women’s Erchana Murray-Bartlett looked comfortable winning in 2 hours 57 minutes. The Brisbane Running Festival continues its heritage at the heart of Australian running. It is a race worth considering for all runners and joggers looking for a challenging course with spectacular scenery. It will become a must do as Brisbane prepares for the Olympic marathon in 2032.
Jeremy Dover is a former sports scientist and Pastor
Jeremy Dover's previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover1.html