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Sydney Marathon 2023: Record Breaking 40,000 Runners Cross Start Line at Milsons Point

Hilly course and rising spring temperatures fail to stop enthusiasm as 17,000 marathoners cross the finish line in Sydney

Fanatical support in front of the Sydney Opera House. PHOTO: HANIDA HUSSIEN, SPORTPLUS.SG

Sydney, 19 September 2023 - Not even a challenging and hilly course could turn away a record number of participants in the Sydney Marathon presented by ASICS, as some 17,000 runners ran the main 42-kilometre race in Australia's largest marathon to date.

Hazy conditions that shrouded the city a week before the event and soaring temperatures in the late mornings were deemed as a concern in some quarters, as organisers buckled down for the final lap ahead of the flag off of this year's Abbott World Marathon Major candidate event.

A runner near the Sydney Harbour Bridge. PHOTO: HANIDA HUSSIEN, SPORTPLUS.SG


According to the Bureau of Meteorology, temperatures reached 30 degrees along the course with warnings sent to runners prior to the start of the full marathon on 7:10am on Sunday.

Singapore's Melvin Wong racing the 21km distance. PHOTO: HANIDA HUSSIEN, SPORTPLUS.SG

This however did not stop the vast majority of the record number of participants from completing a marathon with an electrifying atmosphere which saw over 100,000 spectators line the streets for a significant portion of the course and at its most challenging points.


Sydney Marathon ambassador for Singapore Melvin Wong, who completed the 21.1KM half-marathon race distance and came in sixth overall with a time of 1:15:17, reflected on his own race and the event as a whole said: "The camaraderie across our Singapore runners at the shakeout run, the glorious PBs and milestones achieved and the spectacular backdrop of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, this was a trip with many firsts."

A heart-warming moment at the finish line. PHOTO: HANIDA HUSSIEN, SPORTPLUS.SG

Singapore runner Rachel Chua also soaked in the atmosphere after completing what she deemed to be a "hilly and challening" course, saying: "Slopes were brutal as we already had to climb up a slope at the start of the race, and the weather was scorching hot. Thank god hydration points were enough, an amazing experience still and I got to run past many scenic places here."

All smiles for this runner at the Sydney Marathon. PHOTO: HANIDA HUSSIEN, SPORTPLUS.SG

Sebastian Cheong, co-founder and captain of Singapore running club Superhero Runners added: "Exciting, electrifying and entertaining. Exciting leading up to race day with the opportunity to run through the beautiful city of Sydney which included incredible views of Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour and Sydney Opera House.

"Electrifying course with spectators cheering their lungs out with handmade sign boards for extra motivation, and entertaining with local musicians, DJs and performances which kept us going and making the distance feel more manageable."

(From L-R): Sebastian Cheong, John Yeong, Loh Guo Pei, Melvin Wong, Daniel Fang, Melissa Foo, Chermaine Zhou, Rachel Chua. Singapore representatives at the 2023 Sydney Marathon. PHOTO: HANIDA HUSSIEN, SPORTPLUS.SG

Meanwhile in the Full Marathon's elite category, 31 year-old Moroccan Tokyo Olympian Othmane El Goumri took top spot wit ha time of 2:08:20.

Laban Kipngetich Korir from Kenya came in second, with a time of 02:08:43 and Ethiopian runner Getaneh Molla Tamire crossed the finish line in 02:11:20.

The crowd lining the final stretch of the Sydney Marathon course. PHOTO: HANIDA HUSSIEN, SPORTPLUS.SG

For the women's category, Betsy Saina of the United States finished first, with a time of 02:26:46, ahead of Rahma Tusa Chota from Ethiopia (02:26:52), and Gladys Chesir Kiptagelai from Kenya (02:28:39).

Australian Madison de Rozario won the wheelchair marathon 13 minutes ahead of the second placed Kina Tsubasa from Japan.

Singapore running influencers and content creators John Yeong and Sebastian Cheong. PHOTO: HANIDA HUSSIEN, SPORTPLUS.SG

It was the first time de Rozario competed on Australian soil, after taking out the London Marathon and second place in Boston, in April.

Looking to join an overseas race? The Sydney Marathon, presented by ASICS, is a candidate race to become the seventh Abbott World Marathon Major. Offering one of the world's most scenic courses, participants who join the Sydney Marathon from 2022 to 2024 will gain automatic entry into the event when it becomes a WMM major in 2025.

Sign up for the Sydney Marathon and find out more about Australia's biggest marathon here.


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