The Traralgon Marathon – Australia’s Oldest Marathon

The Traralgon Marathon is the oldest current marathon in Australia and was first run on 24 August in 1968.  The race was an all male affair and was won by Barry Sawyer in 2:26:53.

Over the years the course has changed a number of times but has been run in an out and back format to Toongabbie for many years, moving away from the main road onto the rail trail in 2016 but still essentially following the same out and back format.

The event has had some well known runners over the years including Famous Australian Boxer, Johnny Famechon, Ultra-marathon runner, Cliff Young and World Champion Distance Runner, Derek Clayton who still holds the race record of 2:13:39 in 1970.  Clayton apparently did the race as a warm up for the Mexico Olympics in October 1968 and was in a class of his own.  He broke the world record for the second occasion in 1969 at Antwerp in a time of 2:08:33 and it stood for almost 12 years afterward.

The following is a summary of the multiple winners.

The women’s Marathon began in 1978.  Linda Thompson (79 & 83) and Sydney Martin (94 & 95) are both dual winners of the women’s event and Jodie Healey (02, 03 & 05) has won on three occasions.  Mary Edwards was the first person to create history with four consecutive wins in the Traralgon Marathon between 1986 and 1989.  However the history books of the women’s marathon is dominated by Sandra Timmer-Arends a winner on seven occasions, (97, 99, 04, 06, 07, 08 & 09) including four consecutive wins between 2006 and 2009.  The 2012 winner, Athene Chariot, went back to back to win again in 2013 before passing the baton to Katherine Macmillan, a dual winner in 2014 and 2015.

There are seven multiple winners of the men’s event.  Phil Lear (72 & 76), Bob Guthrie (73 & 74) and Tim Cochrane (06 & 07) have won the event on two occasions.  Rob Gilfillen was the first man to win the event three times (87,88 & 89) but Morgan Tucker (91, 92, 93 & 94) went one further and was the first man to win four consecutive Traralgon Marathons.

John MacKenzie, however has dominated the Men’s event in a similar way as Sandra Timmer-Arends has the women’s, he has won on seven occasions (01, 02, 08, 09,10, 11 & 12).

Mirroring the results in the women’s event of the same years, Dion Finocchiaro became a back to back winner in 2014 and 2015.

View all of the results for the Traralgon Marathon