IT really does get bigger and better every year.

Such was the demand for this year’s Traralgon Marathon, all events reached capacity an entire month before the start gun was even set to be raised.

The Traralgon Harriers Athletic Club’s staple event will be held this Sunday, with runners taking to the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail for an ‘out and back’ course to Toongabbie (full marathon), Glengarry (half) and 10 kilometre run along the trail.

As usual, a mountain of work has gone on behind the scenes for what is officially the Traralgon Marathon and Running Festival 2024.

Harriers president Phill Mayer said it was all systems go in the lead up to Sunday.

“The amount of time, energy and dedication to put an event together like this is huge,” he said.

“The Traralgon Harriers is a volunteer organisation, so no one is getting paid to do the things that we do.”

Leading the event is first-time race director Desley Gray, who Mayer said was doing an outstanding job making sure every box was ticked.

The marathon and half-marathon will attract runners from across the country, particularly the former, which holds the distinction of being the longest continuous running marathon in Australia.

Away from the competitive element, Mayer said part of the attraction was the marathon’s welcoming environment.

With no qualification times needed as prerequisites, virtually anyone can run in the Traralgon Marathon – some can even just rock up.

“It’s known as ‘The Friendly Marathon’ for a reason, the club goes out of its way, we provide lunch, great medals and a really wonderful atmosphere, that’s partly why we’ve sold out I think,” Mayer said.

“It’s a really good, supportive opportunity, one of those events that isn’t just about times.

“Of course, we’ve got elite runners from right around the country coming to run, in particular for the marathon and the half because it is quite a unique, flat course, but it is also a great opportunity for people to run their first marathon event as well, because there is a lot of support on course.”

Mayer said this year’s uptake was the biggest he had seen in close to a decade, and the biggest since the event moved from the Traralgon Football-Netball Club to De Grandi’s Winery, Traralgon East.

“The proofs in the pudding, people are coming back to events and want to be part of the Traralgon Marathon,” he said.

“The club is in such a great position at the moment, we’ve got record membership and so many wonderful, supportive people, the buzz around the club, a third of the club are entered in an event (at the festival) so that’s fantastic.”


THE Harriers continue to do great work in the community, highlighted by a recent donation to Gippsland Rotary Centenary House.

Money was raised from the club’s recent Community Fun Run, staged to promote healthy lifestyles and to support a local cause.

Partnering with DFP Recruitment, the event raised nearly $3000.

Helping hand: Money raised from the Harriers Community Fun Run went toward Gippsland Rotary Centenary House. Harriers President Phil Mayer (left) and Clinton Jolley (third from left) were on hand last week to make the presentation to Centenary House Manager Tania Whitehead (second from left) and house residents, watched on by long time Harriers supporters Jacki Smith and Sally Armstrong from DFP Recruitment.

The running club made the formal donation last week, handing over a cheque to Centenary House Manager, Tania Whitehead, who showed her appreciation.

“Gippsland Rotary Centenary House relies heavily on donations from community groups, clubs and different organisations, it’s very special to us when we receive such amazing donations considering that we get no funding at all, so we are able to keep our doors open,” she said.

“We wouldn’t survive without these donations, they contribute to running the house and also if we have to do any maintenance, gardens, renovations… it goes a long way.”

Runners will take off for the Traralgon Marathon this Sunday from 8am.

Be sure to cheer them on if you are in Glengarry or Toongabbie, or walking along the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail.