May 20, 2024

Records smashed!

The Great Ocean Road Running Festival returned to the region over the weekend with a record-breaking turnout.

Across the two-day festival, more than 10,700 participants laced up their runners as entrants of all ages and abilities took on distances ranging from 1.5km up to 60km.

Festival director Brad King said it was incredible to see runners from all over Australia complete the course in record numbers.

“We’re proud to witness Australia’s running boom unite on our stunning Victorian coastline,” he said.

“With over 10,700 participants and eight of our nine events fully booked, the sheer enthusiasm and camaraderie on display was truly remarkable.”

In the men’s Great Ocean Road Marathon Johannes Motschmann was victorious in completing the 44km run in 2:35:35, followed by Dion Finocchiaro in second and Matthew Whitaker in third.

In the women’s category, Meriem Daoui took out first place completing the run in 3:04:24 with Petra Melis-Walsh taking second and Danni Rogan in third.

James Riggs took out first place in the men’s Ultra Marathon (60km) with a time of 3:56:41.

2021 Australian of the Year and activist Grace Tame was the first woman to cross the finish line in the 60km event in 4:43:43.

The 2024 event also broke the fundraising record, raising more than $180,000 for a range of charities and causes including the Apollo Bay and District Health Foundation, beating the goal of $160,000.

“We want to say a big thank you to our community, both on the track and the sidelines for offering their unwavering support,” Mr King said.

“We can’t wait to see what we can achieve together in 2025.”

The festival will return next year on May 17 and May 18.

More event information here.

Read Surf Coast Times story here.

Image credit: Grace Tame took out first place in the ultra 60km marathon. Photos: Alexander Polizzi

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