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Why runners love the new Sydney Marathon seven-hour cut off time


Not only have we released a brand-new route this year (you’re welcome), but we’re also giving you a seven-hour cut off time. Here’s why that’s a good thing.


Written by Lucy E Cousins


When it comes to the starting line of any marathon you have your ride-or-die runners up the front ready to chase a ranking, then the middle pack wanting to smash out a PB, and lastly there are the people who aren’t interested in speed or rankings. These runners might be attempting a marathon for the first time or they might just want to take the leisurely route. Either way, it’s this perfect mix of intentions that makes any marathon (let alone one as scenic as the Sydney Marathon) an amazing event to be a part of.

This year, to help create one of the best events in the world, we’ve not only released a shiny, new course, but we’ve also implemented a new seven-hour cut off time. And the response from our community has been overwhelming, to say the least. Here we speak to four runners about why they love this new time change and why you might too.

The First Time Marathoner

“Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities to run around and the Sydney Marathon is a rare opportunity to be able to run around some of the best parts of the city with no cars to contend with! I’m sure the new seven-hour cut off time will encourage many people who might feel intimidated by running a marathon to enter – and I see that as a really positive thing! For me, I’m looking to run the Sydney Marathon because it’s my hometown and having never done a full marathon before, I like the familiarity. I want to tick a proper marathon off my bucket list!” Sarah Berry, Sydney-based writer, runner and mum of two

The Half-Turned-Full Marathoner

“The Sydney Marathon is a challenging but extremely rewarding course, and from what I have seen, the new course ticks a lot of boxes and will really help runners aim for their PBs. Extending the cut-off time by an hour is a great way to introduce the marathon to runners/walkers who would never have dreamed of running this distance. It becomes less daunting as the extra hour will help beginners warm into the distance and decrease the risk of injury and fatigue. Tourists will also benefit from the new seven-hour cut-off time because is there really any better way to see our great city? I mean, running over the Sydney Harbour Bridge is the most surreal experience and, honestly, I can’t think of a more picturesque finish line anywhere in the world!” Chad Nigem, runner of the Sydney Marathon 21km in 2022, running the Sydney Marathon in 2023.

The Elite Runner

“A seven-hour cut off time will definitely make the Sydney Marathon more inclusive and therefore more accessible to a range of runners who may not otherwise have the capacity or confidence to sign up. And then once a person realises that they can finish the 42.195km distance, they tend to raise the bar for themselves and target a faster time in the future. So, what may start as a ‘bucket-list goal’ to run a marathon can turn into a life-long love of running! The new seven-hour cut off time might be a catalyst for more people to experience this.” Jess Stenson, elite distance runner.

The Running Coach

“For too many runners, the marathon seems like a terrifying distance and is ‘unachievable’ in their eyes, but by extending the cut off time I’m able to encourage more clients to participate in the Sydney Marathon! Completing a marathon, no matter the time, is a huge feat and to give more people the opportunity to run one allows us to continue to build our amazing community of runners. Something I’m all for!” Lydia O’Donnell, running coach and founder of Femmi.co


If you’re interested in being part of history, don’t worry, early bird entries are still open. Sign up, show up and experience Sydney like you never have before.

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