Your Visitor Guide to the Gold Coast Marathon

Your Visitor Guide to the Gold Coast Marathon

31 May 2024

Every year, professional athletes, running enthusiasts and folk from all walks (or should that be runs?!) of life converge on the Gold Coast for a very special sporting event. The Gold Coast Marathon presented by ASICS was first held in 1979 and since then has grown to become the pinnacle of road running events in Australia. In 2024 the 44th event will take place over the weekend of July 6 - 7.

With a fast, flat and scenic course that runs alongside the city’s renowned surf beaches and beautiful broadwater from Paradise Point to Miami, it’s no wonder the event is so popular. Mild temperatures, low humidity and little wind make for such ideal running conditions that 60% of competitors achieve a personal best time.

There’s an event for everyone from the whole 42km marathon and half marathon to a wheelchair marathon, a 10km fun run and a 2km junior dash. If you’re participating at the Gold Coast Marathon 2024, or coming along as a spectator to cheer on the runners, then read on for some key local knowledge that will help you make the most of the event and your stay in the city.

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Before the Race

Before their respective race day, entrants must visit the Check in Centre to register and collect their race number. The Check In Centre is located within the ASICS Sports & Leisure Expo at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Broadbeach. Saturday races must register and collect their race number prior to 8pm on Friday July 5th, and all Sunday races must register and collect their race number prior to 4pm on Saturday July 6th.

While you’re there, take the opportunity to explore Australia’s largest running-related expo where there’ll be a huge selection of ASICS footwear and fashion on display, official Gold Coast Marathon merchandise and numerous booths featuring the latest in fitness technology, nutrition and events. You can also find all-important race information that you need to know

ASICS Sports & Leisure Expo opening hours:
ThursdayJuly 4th, 3pm - 8pm
Friday July 5th, 8am - 8pm 
Saturday July 6th, 10am - 4pm

The Race

The Gold Coast Marathon will attract 30,000 participants of all ages and abilities from around the world across eight races over the weekend of July 6th - 7th. 

The Race Precinct is located at the Broadwater Parklands on Marine Parade in Southport and is easily accessible via G:link and shuttle buses. This is the epicentre of the action, where the start and finish lines are, as well as facilities including an information booth, bag drop and food and drinks. 

Gold Coast Marathon-4

The days and start times for each race are listed below. Competitors should arrive an hour before their start time, and allow plenty of time to get there  as a lot of people will be  travelling to the event. Marathon entrants can enjoy free public transport on the day of their race. 

Saturday July 6th, 2024

Half Marathon - 6.15am
2km Junior Dash 9.40am
Wheelchair 4km - 9.50am
4km Junior Dash - 10am
Gold Coast Airport 5km - 10.30am

Sunday July 7th, 20204

CPL Wheelchair Marathon - 6.10am
ASICS Gold Coast Marathon - 6.15am
CPL Wheelchair 10km - 6.40am
Southern Cross University 10km Run - 6.45am

Marathon Spectators Guide

Prefer your sport as a spectator on the sidelines?  If you’re not a runner you can still be part of the action at the Gold Coast Marathon. There are thousands of people who come along to spectate, support and cheer on the athletes, lining the streets of the Gold Coast from Paradise Point to Miami. The vibes are high, the crowd atmosphere is electric and  there’s live local entertainment at various vantage points along the routes for each race. 


Best Places to Watch 

Wondering where the best places to watch the Gold Coast Marathon are? The full marathon route runs starts at Southport and passes through The Spit, Main Beach along The Esplandade in Surfers Paradise to Kurrawa, along Hedges Ave and Albatross Ave in Mermaid Beach and Marine Parade in Miami where runners will turn around at the halfway point and head north again via a similar route. They head back to the race precinct and continue north through Labrador and Biggera Waters before doing a U-turn on Bayview St in Runaway Bay.

While there are plenty of great spots to spectate along the 42km track some of the best vantage points to catch the action are on the coastal side of Hedges Avenue, Bayview St in Runaway Bay and along Marine Parade in Miami. And of course a top spot for spectators is  the start at finish lines at the Race Precinct at The Broadwater Parklands are going to be high-energy fun with the hype squads cheering as their runners complete the gruelling run. 

Coffee Stops Along the Route

Some of Gold Coast’s favourite cafes are found along the marathon route’s coastal course. Perch yourself in one of these venues, order a killer cuppa and a hearty breakfast and you won’t even have to leave your seat to catch the action. 


Cafe on Bayview: 28/12 Bayview St, Runaway Bay
Sandbar Surfers Paradise: 52 Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
The Surfers Paradise Beach Cafe: 4 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club: Cnr Hanlan St and The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
Tower 28 Cafe: beneath the Kurrawa Surf Club at the end of Charles Avenue in Broadbeach
Elk Espresso: Up the beach end of Oasis Mall on Victoria Ave, Broachbeach
Rafiki: 172 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach
BSKT: 4 Lavarack Rd, Mermaid Beach
Piccolo Espresso: 2 Hythe St, Miami

Supporting the Runners


Crowd participation is deeply appreciated by the athletes. To hear fans and loved ones cheering from the side lines, waving signs and showing their support is a huge motivator to runners.  Follow these guidelines to ensure you’re going to be a good supporter and spectator. (Image: City of Gold Coast)

  • Download the Gold Coast Marathon app which allows you to track multiple runners, find out where fan zones to watch the race from and provide up to date information on the day. If you post any marathon content on your social media tag is with #GCM24.

  • Make lots of noise! Your encouragement will spur the runners on. Encouragement in any form is welcome so make a brightly coloured sign for the competitors to read as they run past. 

  • Respect the course and follow the instructions of crowd management staff to ensure you don’t get in the way of the runners or distract them. 

  • Make sure you and your runner have planned a meeting point once they’ve finished their race. It can be very busy around the finish line and Race Precinct so plan ahead.

  • Public transport is the best way to get to and from the Race Precinct and surrounding areas and G:link tram and buses will be running regularly. If you’re driving to the event make sure you’re aware of local road closures around the city. Find out timetables and transport information for the event here.

What to do After the Race

Post-race runners will be keen to refuel and relax. The Gold Coast Marathon is such a popular event because it’s one of those places where you run your race, then have a holiday afterwards. Take full advantage of this enticing destination by visiting attractions, exploring the dining scene and beaches and extending your stay for a few days afterwards so you can relax and recharge.

Relaxation and Recovery

Your body has been through a lot after running a marathon (or even just 10km to be honest!). Take care of it at a Gold Coast bathhouse or recovery centre (listed below) where you can soak sore limbs in magnesium pools, ease muscle tension in the sauna and steam rooms and reduce inflammation with a cold plunge. A session in an infrared sauna will help relieve pain and stimulate circulation to deep tissue. Alternatively, book a remedial massage of one of the city’s luxe day spas.

Soak Bathhouse: 2540 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Native State: 3/2 Creek St, Coolangatta
KDV Sport: (Pool and sauna) 221 Nerang Broadbeach Rd, Carrara
The Bathhouse at Ground: 2 Village Way, Currumbin Valley 
City Cave: Locations at Robina, Southport and Mermaid Waters
Riggs Recovery: Locations at Bundall and Palm Beach
Greenhouse Bathhouse: 268 Tallebudgera Creek Rd, Tallebudgera Valley

During its 44-year history, the Gold Coast Marathon has become the pinnacle of road running events in Australia and has distinguished itself as one of the most prestigious marathons in the world. It doesn’t hurt that it’s held in one of the country’s favourite holiday destinations either. So get planning and make your marathon one to remember! 

Breakfast Tips


If there’s one activity that’s sure to give you an appetite, it’s running a marathon. Runners will be ravenous after their event and keen to refuel at Gold Coast breakfast spots, brunch spots and buffetsSome of the best places for a hearty breakfast post-race include SkyPoint breakfast buffet or Horizon Sky Dining - the rotating restaurant at the top of Crowne Plaza. Both these venues afford an incredible birds eye view of the surrounding city while you dine. You can enjoy your buffet breakfast while you look down on the course you just ran! (Horizon Sky Dining is open for lunch buffet from Thurs - Saturday at 12 - 2pm, and brunch buffet on Sunday from 11am - 2.30pm.)

In Main Beach, visit Tedder Ave cafes like Hot Shott, Thyme Cafe Bar or Le Jardin. The Winey Cow is another popular Main Beach breakfast spot. Further south in Burleigh Head, fuel up at Tarte Bakery, Common Ground, Palm Springs, Social Brew or Connors Cafe. 

Family Fun

You Gold Coast getaway to run the marathon can do double duty as a family holiday as well! Bring the kids and once you’ve finished your event, take thefamily on fun adventures around the city. There are so many Gold Coast activities for kids - the hardest part will be choosing what to do.

Our iconic theme parks should definitely be on your to-do list with endless rides, slides, entertainment and shows. And Dreamworld is offering a special discount for marathon runners on the Monday after race weekend. Participants can access a special discount via a pre-booking link to enjoy Medal Monday (July 8th). There are special discounts available on the Local’s Annual Pass too! 

For a completely different experience head for the Hinterland for bush walks in National Parks, waterfalls galore and adventures in nature. Book a stay at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat or Binna Burra Lodge to be immersed in nature and visit Thunderbird Park for a high ropes course, mini golf, an experience driving real excavators and thunder egg (geode) mining. 

Exploring Wineries

Explore some of the attractions away from the track. Gold Coast wineries produce some fabulous offerings for wine lovers, and a visit to some of our beautiful vineyards, cellar doors, wine bars and restaurants is the perfect way to unwind and treat yourself after such an energetic event. With views as good as the vino, we suggest a long lunch and a designated driver. Hop on a wine tour with The Vino Bus or Pineapple Tours to visit a few different Gold Coast wineries.

Pineapple Tours

During its 44-year history, the Gold Coast Marathon has become the pinnacle of road running events in Australia and has distinguished itself as one of the most prestigious marathons in the world. It doesn’t hurt that it’s held in one of the country’s favourite holiday destinations either. So get planning and make your marathon one to remember!


Kate Veling
Kate Veling

Travel writer, Kate Veling, came to the Gold Coast for six months and loved it so much she’s still here 20 years later. The laidback lifestyle suits her to a tee and as a mum of three, she knows all the best parks, swimming spots and kid-friendly fun to be had in her ‘hood. She’s often found getting amongst the thriving local arts and culture scene, dancing to live music or kicking back on the beach, but rest assured it’s all in the name of research.


Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. 
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.