Pack your running gear, here’s 6 Queensland marathons worth travelling for

True marathon runners know how to push themselves the extra mile, drown out the heartbeat pulsating through their entire body and ignore that little voice in their head screaming “give up.”

Whether you run for exuberance, to inspire others or to improve your endurance, you’re bound to reach that euphoric state of ‘runner’s high’ when you complete 42 gruelling kilometres at one of these Queensland marathons.

Psst! If you’re looking for more fit-holiday inspo, we’ve got you covered.


Gold Coast Marathon - Queensland Marathons

When: 1 July 2018
Where: Southport, Gold Coast

Now in its 40th year, the well-established Gold Coast Marathon is still the reigning champion at being the flattest and fastest marathon course in the world.

The Gold Coast boasts sublime running conditions and the course hugs the golden coastline. So, you’ll have a backdrop of high rise luxury hotels and a foreground of sandy surf beaches. #winning

The event has transformed since its humble beginnings in 1978. Today, the festivities start with Australia’s largest Sport and Leisure Expo from the 28th – 30th of June, where you can get all the latest running and health information. The main race and obvious highlight of the weekend starts at 7:20am on Sunday 1st July 2018.

Insider’s tip: There’s so much more than marathons to discover here.Follow this fit traveller’s guide for more ways to break a sweat on the Gold Coast.


McDonalds Townsville Running Festival

When: 5 August 2018
Where: North Ward, Townsville

You may know Townsville for its short-and-sharp goat tracks up Castle Hill. But on the 5th of August, the entire city becomes a running track where participants will conquer two city loops and one Pallarenda loop that make up the McDonald’s Townsville Marathon.

Participants are invited to carb-load at the Friday night presentation dinner and you’re also encouraged to attend the mega party after the big race. The celebrations continue into Monday, so be sure to extend your weekend and hang around for the festivities.

Insider’s tip: Study this local’s guide on how to have an active holiday in Townsville and you’ll find healthy foodie advice and local training spots.


When: 5 August 2018
Where: Brisbane City

Turn your next Brisbane adventure into a fit-cation when you join the McDonald’s Brisbane Marathon Festival.

You’ll run beside and over the Brisbane River, crossing several bridges that join the city centre to Kangaroo Point and South Bank, including the iconic Story Bridge.

Experienced runners consider the course a boutique track, and the event is a great way to quickly familiarise yourself with the city.

Insider’s tip: If you arrive into Brisbane early and want to get some training in before the big day, run up Mount Coot-tha and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the river city.



When: 19 August 2018
Where: Alexandra Headland, Sunshine Coast

The 7 Sunshine Coast Marathon is only a few years old (it started in 2012), but has quickly earnt a reputation for being a community event for every runner.

That’s right! Whether you’re an experienced athlete or a first-timer, you can earn your stripes at this inclusive marathon.

You’ll start and finish at the Alexandra Headland Surf Club and run alongside the sandy coastline of Mooloolaba and Maroochydore.

Insider’s tip: Not familiar with the Sunshine Coast? Well, check out this fit traveller’s guide for the rundown of where to carb load, where to train and other marathons and endurance events to try while you’re in town.



When: 28 October 2018
Where: Port Douglas, Tropical North Queensland

Dubbed ‘the world’s best adventure course’ by Olympic marathon champion, Steve Moneghetti, the Tropical Journeys Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival is known for its versatile race track. From running on Four Mile Beach to highways and rocky trails, you’ll be challenged with ever-changing conditions.

Your race kicks off at sunrise and you’ll run across a palm-fringed beach with waterfront views out to the Great Barrier Reef.

You’ll also boost your karma points because $20 from your registration fee goes towards The Run For The Great Barrier Reef Fund, which has already raised over $80,000 since 2014.

Insider’s tip: For the rundown on where to train in nature or where to eat healthy in Cairns, check out this fit traveller’s guide.



When: 5 May 2019
Where: Hamilton Island, The Whitsundays

Conquer an island marathon when you run the Stamford Financial Hilly Marathon on Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays.

Part of the Hamilton Island Endurance Series, the Hilly Marathon is a diverse course with spectacular scenic views. And with pristine weather and running conditions, you’ll want to do another lap just to get photos for your ‘gram.

The best part is that you can complete your race and then recover poolside, on your private bareboat or on Whitehaven Beach.

Insider’s tip: After you cross that finish line, it’s time to treat yourself and unwind. From the spa to sunset cocktails, here’s how you can spend 48 relaxing hours on Hamilton Island.

Which marathon is on your must-conquer list?