Race Report on Blackmores Sydney Marathon 2018
** Too busy to read the full report? Check out the summary at the bottom! **
Sydney has two of the most recognizable icons in the world – the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. Both of these magnificent creations play a key role in the magic of the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival.
Getting to The Start
I’m of the opinion that it is always best to stay as close to the start or bus pickup areas for races as possible. When you are going to spend so many hours on your feet you want to stay off them for as long as possible, have a stress-free journey to the start and a few extra hours of necessary sleep.
Most roads were closed on the day, including the Harbour Bridge which carries most traffic to the North Shore. Public Transport, however, is available on the day and we took a train (we live in Sydney and are luckily only a few stops away).
The start area is in Bradfield Park from where you can, depending on the time you arrive, observe the break of day over the Opera House across the water. This morning was particularly chilly with irritating winds, is a massive open space right next to the water, so remember to wear something warm that you can discard of later (it’s a thing at the start and as far as I can tell the clothes go to charities).
We arrived early to accompany friends who ran the Half Marathon which started an hour before us and was delighted that various coffee shops were open offering fresh coffee and some heat away from the cold.
TIP: About 1.8km’s in you will run across the magnificent Sydney Harbour Bridge – peak over the bridge to your left and you will see the Opera House where you will finish. Be careful though as many people stop to take pictures!
We started in corral C and found the crowds very manageable to run through.
This year had more toilets than last year which was a relief (literally) – both at the start and on the road as far as the Half Marathon route joined ours. The waiting time was still more than 10 minutes at the start and about 4-6 minutes on the route. There was ample toilet paper which got replenished often and was surprisingly clean.
The route takes you through some of Sydney’s most beautiful sights, and one of my favorite parts was running through Hyde Park. I have many fond memories of this park, including finishing my very first race in Australia in Hyde Park in 2017, when my husband and I did the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon.
In addition to the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, you will run through and/or see Hyde Park, Centennial Park, the Sydney Tower, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, The Rocks, and Circular Quay to name a few.
Water, Snacks, and Sunscreen
Plenty of water and electrolytes were available on the route, as well as a few energy snacks into the 30’s. Be sure to stay hydrated on the day! Thanks to our friends at St. John’s Ambulance, a few tables were along the route that had individually wrapped Vaseline packets and sunscreen, amongst other goodies which runners may need.
Spectator spots & course map
Spectators can access most of the route to support their runners. Click here for a course map which details the route and tourist attractions. Win-win.
The pedestrian walkway across the Harbour Bridge remains open despite being closed to traffic so your spectators can see you off at the start and walk across the bridge to the City.
There are many restaurants and cafe’s that open early enough where supporters can have a snack while waiting for you, especially around Circular Quay which is a tourist hub.
Click here to view accommodation options in proximity to the start line of the Blackmores Sydney Marathon 2019.
- Most roads are closed so either stay close to the start (click to see options) or take public transport (I’d strongly advise the first option as the trains don’t run frequently that early on a Sunday)
- Wear something warm that you can discard (it goes to charity)
- Be aware of runners stopping to take pictures along the route
- Wear sunscreen. The Australian sun is nobody’s friend. Sunscreen (and Vaseline) is available along the route at a few St. John’s Ambulance tables as well.
- Hydrate. Water and electrolytes are available along the route.
- Focus on taking in the magnificent experience of finishing at the iconic Opera House