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Melbourne Marathon 2008 Entries Open

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‘Bourne to run

Entries into this year’s Samsung Melbourne Marathon are expected to run out the door quicker than the race winner when they open online today (Sunday 1st June).

After the success of last year’s event, in which both the marathon and half marathon were fully subscribed, more than 20,000 entrants are expected this year.

Entries into the Samsung Melbourne Marathon (3500) and ASICS half marathon (7500) will be capped once again to ensure that participants will thoroughly enjoy the experience.

All events, to be run on Sunday 12th October, will once again finish inside the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The Samsung Melbourne Marathon was the most popular marathon event in Australia last year, eclipsing the entries in both the Gold Coast and Sydney marathons.

2008 will celebrate the 31st edition of Melbourne’s iconic running event with four distances to choose from that will suit everyone from the elite to the weekend warrior, including;

  • Samsung Melbourne Marathon (42.195km)
  • Asics Melbourne Half Marathon (21.1km)
  • The Coffee Club 10km
  • Active Feet 5.5km Run/Walk

Dallas O’Brien, IMG Director of Athletics and Fitness, said the MCG finish and out-and-back courses last year rejuvenated the event and some further alterations to this year’s course will make for an even better experience for participants.

“Whilst some minor changes to the course have been made, the hallmarks of the marathon, half marathon and short-course events all remain. These changes include a new start line outside Rod Laver Arena in Batman Avenue, made possible by the support of Citylink, and changes to the finish route into the MCG, all helping to maximise the experience for competitors.”

“The internationally accredited out-and-back marathon and half marathon courses provide the opportunity to run past key Melbourne landmarks including Albert Park Lake, Port Phillip Bay foreshore, Federation Square and the Arts Centre.”

“The Coffee Club 10km run includes the Tan and the Active Feet 5.5km run/walk for families takes in the banks of the Yarra River.”

“And aside from the 1956 Olympic Games and 2006 Commonwealth Games, the Samsung Melbourne Marathon is the only other marathon to finish inside the Melbourne Cricket Ground.”

Other 2008 event highlights include:

The 2008 Samsung Melbourne Marathon will again double as the Victorian Championships and this year will see competitors vying for the Australian University Championship – Distance Running (Marathon, Half Marathon, 10km events) individual titles.

The ASICS Half Marathon will double as the Australian half marathon championship. As part of IMG’s commitment to hosting a truly national event, they will be providing assistance for a maximum of three male and three female competitors from each State or Territory to encourage participation.

IMG has increased it’s donation to $30,000 for the official charity, The Cerebral Palsy Education Centre (CPEC). Participants will also have the opportunity to raise addition funds for CPEC via The Everyday Heroes Website.

Last year’s winners Hanny Allston (2:40.34) and Rowan Walker (2:19.15) are keen to return and defend their titles. Both ran huge personal bests on the fast course and Walker anticipates an even stronger field in 2008.

“The new Melbourne course is fantastic and goes past a lot of great Melbourne landmarks. Finishing inside the ‘G is a highlight and I think the new start area and chances to the finish will also make for an even better course this year,” Walker said.

The event has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1978 when then sports minister Brian Dixon decided that Melbourne needed an iconic marathon event to match the successful New York Marathon.

There will be plenty for competitors and family to do as the ‘G’ turns into ‘Marathon Headquarters’, including an Expo, live entertainment and a range of food outlets to refill the energy levels. With an increased total of over $25,000 in prize money and $30,000 in prizes for place getters and giveaways, Sunday 12th October is a date to put in the diary.

The 2008 Samsung Melbourne Marathon is presented by the Herald Sun and Channel Nine. Registrations open at www.melbournemarathon.com.au today (Sunday 1st June).

For general enquiries please email enquiries@melbournemarathon.com.au

For further information and interviews (media only), please contact: David Culbert Michelle Cook Media Director – 0417 272 641 Media and PR Manager david@jumpmedia.com.au michelle@jumpmedia.com.au

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