Dates: Race 1 Melbourne Zoo 3 February 2016 Race 2 Princes Park 17 February 2016
Race 3 The Tan 2 March 2016 Distances and Prices: 8km and 4km options (Zoo run is 3.6km or 7.2km). Single race: Early bird (til 26 Jan) Adults $40, Under 18 $25. Late entry Adults $45 Under 18 $30. On Day Adults $50, Under 18 $35.Three Race Series: Early Bird Adults $88, Under 18 $60. Late Price Adults $99, Under 18 $66. Course Highlights: Kickstart your 2016 fitness goals with twilight summer runs through some of Melbourne's prettiest spots. The biggest highlight of this series is always the opportunity to run through the Zoo!
Party Runs The past few years have seen the rise of some fun runs that are more fun than run. They'll be back again in 2016: The Illumi Run
Runners 10 and over and welcome, but under 12's need to be accompanied by an adult. Course highlights: Aside from the chance to run on the MCG, this non-timed event is less about the run than the party. Dance zones, neon paint, and an after party with DJs and dancers are all on offer. The Color Run This 5km was held in Albert Park in March 2015 and has also previously been held at Flemington Racecourse. No doubt it will be back in 2016, register on the website to get the details. The Neon Run This was last held in Feb 2015, a 5km loop around Albert Park Lake (non-timed). Not sure if it will be back in 2016, but keep an eye on their website if you're interested.
Date: 20 March 2016 Distances and Prices: Registrations open on 13 January, check the website after this date. Usually a 15km and a 5 km distance are offered. Course Highlights: If fundraising for the Royal Children's Hospital isn't enough motivation, then a run that takes you through Docklands, over the Bolte Bridge and through the Domain tunnel will hopefully do it for you! Puffing Billy Great Train Race
Date: 1 May 2016. Distance and Prices: 13.5km, prices TBA. Registrations open in February. It's limited to 3,500 participants and sells out every year so be quick! Join the mailing list. Course Highlights: Follow (or beat!) Puffing Billy through the Dandenong Ranges from Belgrave to Emerald Lake Park. Be warned, there's some serious hills in this one! This run is organised by Puffing Billy volunteers and is an important fundraiser for restoration works.
Date: 8 May 2016 Distances and Prices: 4km and 8km walk and run. Adult Runner $50, Adult Walker $45. Child/Concession Runner $30, Child/Concession Walker $25. Children under 3 are free. Family tickets also available. Early bird entries close 6 April, but late entries and on-the-day entries are possible. Course Highlights: This course takes you around Melbourne's most famous running track, the Tan. This one is all about the fundraising though, being Australia's largest breast cancer research fundraiser.
Run starts are staggered from the Walks, to give serious runner more space. Post race you can enjoy the music and celebrity appearances on the Main Stage, a food court and the Kids Zone with rides, slides and face painting. A good family day out!
Date: 14-15 May 2016 Distances and Prices: (Early bird) Ultra Marathon (60km) $139. Marathon (44km) $124. Half Marathon (23km) $99. 14km Adult $49, Under 16s $34. 6km Adult $39, Under 16s $29. 1.5km Kids Gallop (up to 13 years old) $19 Course Highlights:The communities along the Marathon route were hit by severe bushfires during summer 2015/2016. As well as enjoying the views along the route, Runners can show their support for the towns from Lorne to Apollo Bay by participating. A new 60km Ultra marathon offers an even bigger challenge for the serious runners, with two turnouts along the road from Lorne to Apollo Bay making up the extra distance.
The less fit among us can chose the easier 14km or 6km runs in the Apollo Bay hinterlands.
The Age "Run Melbourne" Date: 24 July 2016 Distances and Prices: Half marathon $95. 10km run Adult $55, Under 18 $30. 5km run Adult $40, Under 18 $30. 3km (kids under 15) $20
Note these are early bird prices, ending 19 Feb – for later entries refer to their website for pricing. Course Highlights: As the name suggests, this course take you past some of Melbourne's most iconic landmarks and parks. Last year this included Kings Domain, the Shrine of Remembrance, the Royal Botanic Gardens, the MCG and Birrarung Marr.
Date: 16 October 2016 Distances and Prices: Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km, 5.7km run and 3 km walkPrices are TBA: check website for details closer to the date. Course Highlights: Beaches, parks, lakes, Federation Square and a lap of the MCG – it doesn't get more Melbourne than that!
Date: TBA.Usually mid November Distances and Prices: TBA but usually a 15km course and a 5km option. More information to come on their website. Course Highlights: Funnily enough, the course takes you from Melbourne's CBD to the 'sea" at St Kilda beach. A lap of Albert Park is included. Like its sister event the Sydney City2Surf, there is always great entertainment along the course to keep you motivated and interested.
Sussan Women's Fun Run Date: 4 December 2016 Distances and Prices: Half Marathon, 10km & 5km, plus a 500m mini fun run for girls aged 4-7. Prices TBA Course Highlights: Runners can enjoy the scenic Port Phillip Bay beaches from Albert Park to Elwood. 2 laps for the half marathon. It's also a worthy course: the 2015 event raised nearly $200,000 for the Breast Cancer Network Australia.
Eureka Tower Climb
Not strictly a fun run so it's not included in the top ten, but this 'run' is worth checking out for those who want to add a different element to their fitness! Date: 13 Nov 2016 Distance and Prices: 1642 steps, price TBA Course Highlights: A vertical fun run, this takes you up 1642 steps to the Eureka Skydeck observation deck (88 levels of fun). To give you something to aim for, the current records are 7 min 34 seconds for males and 9 min 33 seconds for females. Good luck with that!