Coastal tracks to scenic stacks: Great Ocean Road Running Festival makes strides

By Our Reporter
Great Ocean Road Running Festival // Pic supplied

As autumn descends upon Australia, the Great Ocean Road Running Festival gears up for its most anticipated edition yet, happening from Saturday 18 to Sunday 19 May. Spanning across the breath-taking vistas of one of Australia’s most renowned coastal areas, the event boasts a variety of races ranging from a brief 1.5km dash to the gruelling 60km ultra marathon.

This year marks a significant upsurge in participation, reflecting a wider global enthusiasm for running. Event Director Brad King shares his excitement about the festival’s evolution into a major national event, attracting runners from across the globe. King highlights the introduction of Brooks Pacers in the full and half marathon segments, an initiative set to aid runners in achieving their personal bests.

The festival kicks off with the kids’ 1.5km gallop in Apollo Bay, making way for the family-oriented Sri Lankan Airlines 6km Run and 14km Paradise Run. The main events, the 60km Ultra Marathon and the 44km Great Ocean Road Marathon, will start from Lorne on Sunday. The action-packed weekend also includes shorter, scenic trail runs and the Great Ocean Road Walk, catering to all levels of fitness and enthusiasm.

Beyond the competitive aspect, the festival is a celebration of the local community and its picturesque setting. It offers a blend of leisure and adventure, with travel packages and unique ‘glamping’ experiences up for grabs. Attendees can enjoy live music, yoga sessions by the ocean, and a vibrant kite festival, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Supporting local causes remains a core part of the festival’s ethos. Participants are encouraged to raise funds for the Apollo Bay and District Health Foundation, which has been a charity partner since 2015. Through its association with the event, the foundation has raised substantial funds, enhancing healthcare services along the Great Ocean Road.

As preparations for the festival continue, the excitement builds for what promises to be a weekend of personal challenges and community celebrations set against one of the most awe-inspiring backdrops Australia has to offer.


  • Name: Great Ocean Road Running Festival
  • Dates: Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May 2024
  • Location: Lorne and Apollo Bay, Victoria
  • Start time: from 10:30am
  • Start line: Apollo Bay
  • Finish line: Apollo Bay
    • 1.5km Great Ocean Road Kids Gallop
    • Sri Lankan Airlines 6km Run
    • 14km Paradise Run
SUNDAY 19 MAY 2024
  • Start time: 8am
  • Start line: Lorne
  • Finish line: Apollo Bay
  • Ultra Marathon (60km)
    • Great Ocean Road Marathon (44km)
  • Start time: 8am
  • Start line: Kennett River
  • Finish line: Apollo Bay
    • Brooks Half Marathon (23km)
  • Start time: from 8:10am
  • Start line: Lorne
  • Finish line: Lorne
    • High Sierra 12km Trail Run
    • 6.5km Trail Run
    • 10km Great Ocean Road Walk
    • 5km Great Ocean Road Walk

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