A series of three Wednesday evening runs in February/March, the Sunset Series is a fun way to kickstart your fitness for 2013. Each of the races has a 4km or 8km distance, with run and walk options. The locations are the Tan Track (Race 1), Princes Park in Carlton (Race 3) and the highlight of the series, a run inside Melbourne Zoo (Race 2).
Dates: Race 1 The Tan 6 February; Race 2 Melbourne Zoo 20 February; Race 3 Princes Park 6 March. Entry Fee: Series entry early bird (closes 5pm Wed 30 Jan) $80 for adults. Late entry $95. Single Race entry early bird (closes 5pm Wednesday 1 week prior to each event) $30 for adults. Late entry $35.
Herald Sun Run for the Kids This 15 or 5.5km course is a key fundraiser for Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital. The 15km version takes runners into the Domain Tunnel, over the Bolte Bridge, through Docklands and Southbank to finish near Alexandra Gardens.
Numbers are capped at 35,000 runners, and online entries close on 8 March 2013.
Date: 24 March 2013. Entry Fee: 15km $52 for adults ($31 goes directly to the Children's Hospital); 5.5km $47 for adults ($29 goes directly to the Children's Hospital).
Pit yourself against Melbourne's 100 year old steam train and take in some lush Dandenong Ranges scenery in this 13.2km run. Starting in Belgrave and following the Puffing Billy train line to Emerald Lake Park, this run is limited to 3,200 runners.
Online entries open in February; join the mailing list to make sure you don't miss out. And if you manage to get a spot in the race, make sure your training includes some hills – unlike most of Melbourne's fun runs, this one has some seriously steep bits!
Date: 5 May 2013.online Entries open in February 2013. Entry Fees: TBA, check the website after entries open.
Raising funds and awareness of breast cancer is the goal of this 8km or 4km run/walk. In 2012, a record 125,000 people participated in Mother's Day Classic events around Australia, 44,000 of those in Melbourne alone. Proceeds go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and participants are encouraged to fill in a tribute card to wear on the day, either in memory of a loved one or in support for someone currently undergoing treatment.
The course takes you around Alexandra Gardens and the Tan Track.
Date: 12 May 2013. Entry Fees: Early bird til 10 April $40 for adults, after early bird $50 for adults. Discounts for families & children.
Don't be put off by the name, there are several courses ranging from 6km to 45km over the event weekend of 18-19 May. But only the 45km marathon and 23km half marathon runners get to run on the Great Ocean Road itself.
The marathon starts at the Lorne Hotel and finishes in Apollo Bay, while the half marathon runs from Kennet River to Apollo Bay. There are also 14km and 6km runs, a 14km wheelchair event and a kids 1.5km run, which all start in Apollo Bay.
Dates: 45km & 23km – 19 May 2013; All other events - 18 May 2013. Entry Fees: Early bird (til 18 Feb 2013): 45km & 23km - $100, 6km & 14km - $35, after Feb 18: 45km & 23km - $110, 6km & 14km - $40.
The Age Run Melbourne
Another of Melbourne's most popular runs, the Run Melbourne offers a 3km kids run and 5km, 10km and half marathon events.
The course takes runners through Kings Domain, past the Shrine of Remembrance, around the Royal Botanic Gardens then along the Yarra past the MCG to the finish at Birrarung Marr.
Date: 21 July 2013. Entry Fee: Early Bird (before 1 Feb 2013): Half marathon $80, 10km $50, 5km $40, 3km kids $15. After 1 Feb: Half marathon $85, 10km $55, 5km $45, 3km kids $18.
32,000 participants over 5 distances made this one of the biggest running events of 2012. With a 5.7km, 10km, half marathon and marathon distance, there's something for everyone. One of the biggest drawcards is the chance to run on the MCG, where the event finishes.
The full marathon course takes in St Kilda Road, Albert Park Lake, the beaches of Albert Park, St Kilda and Elwood, the Royal Botanic Gardens and Federation Square before finishing with a loop of the MCG.
Date: Will be announced in March 2013. Generally held in mid October. Entry fee: TBA, check the website after entries open.
Mt Buller Skyrun
Taking fun runs up a notch is a group called Running Wild, who organise trail runs in some of Victoria's most spectacular national parks.
The Mt Buller event will be run twice in 2013, with three distances: the 45km Mt Buller Skyrun, the 36km Stirling Sprint, and the 22km Mt Buller Ridge run.
The scenery will hopefully take away some of the pain of the tough run, with the longest course taking in the Delatite River, Mt Buller Summit, Mt Stirling and Craig's Hut.
Running Wild recommends the Skyrun and Stirling Sprint should only be attempted by experienced trail runners with navigation experience. The 22km Mt Buller Ridge Run is on a marked course. making it more suitable for less experienced trail runners.
Dates: 3 Feb 2013 and 27 October 2013 Entry Fees: $50
Dubbed "The Happiest 5km on the planet", the Swisse-sponsored Colour Run debuted in Melbourne on Nov 25th 2012 at Flemington Racecourse.
The Colour Run phenomenon began in the US in 2012, and is inspired by the Hindu Holi festival of colours, where participants throw coloured powders to celebrate the beginning of Spring.
Colour Runners are encouraged to wear all-white attire for the race (a white T-shirt and sweat band is included in your race pack), and at each kilometre marker they are showered in explosion of coloured powder. If you swallow some, no worries - according to the organisers, the powder is made of food grade starch and is apparently 100% safe. At the finish line, a festival of music and entertainment ends in a mass throw of coloured packets to create a rainbow cloud.
Date: The 2013 date has not been released yet, but this article will be updated as soon as the event date is announced. Alternatively, sign up for the Colour Run updates.
Entry fees: TBA for 2013. The 2012 entry fee was $55 for individuals and $50 for people in a team of four or more, which included white T-shirt, sweatband and a colour packet.
The Sunday Age City to Sea
The City to Sea began in 2011 and is the sister race to Sydney's hugely popular City to Surf run from Sydney CBD to Bondi Beach. While the Melbourne version has not quite made it to the 80,000 participants of its sister race, the 2012 City to Sea nevertheless had over 11,000 runners.
The 14km course takes participants through some of Melbourne's most scenic spots. Starting at near the National Gallery, runners follow St Kilda Road past the Royal Botanic gardens, all the way down to St Kilda's Fitzroy Street. A lap of Albert Park Lake follows, then back onto Fitzroy Street to the beach for the final lap along Beaconsfield Parade before ending in St Kilda's Catani gardens. Entertainment is provided along the way, with DJs and live music playing at intervals throughout course.
Date: 2013 date is TBA. The event is generally held mid November. See the event [LINK=www.thecity2sea.com.au]website for updates. Entry Fee: TBA (2012 early bird fee was $60 for adults).