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Run the Tan

Run the Tan is an exciting showcase running festival featuring five key events that take on the challenging 3.827km course.

A must-do event for elite athletes, recreational runners, schools, families and spectators alike, the course takes in Australia’s most iconic running track, the Tan, surrounding the Royal Botanic Gardens. The event includes Elite Athletes, Sporting Heroes and Emergency Services races, plus a fun run.

Run the Tan 2024 Dates, Running Event, Times, Prices, Map, Melbourne

The public Fun Run is open to everyone, from serious recreational runners to casual joggers and families. It is intended to be inclusive. You can even create a team with your running buddies, club, or work colleagues. However, there will be limited spots available.

The main Elite event and featured supporting events of Sporting Idols and Emergency Services will be invite-only, or participants must meet the entry criterion. There will also be a feature School Championship event (Battle of the Schools).

Fun Run (Public)

The public Fun Run is open to everyone from serious recreational runners to casual joggers, walkers and families.  Enter as an individual or create a Team for your running club, work, family, or other social group to get an “official” time around The Tan.

Rally the troops and create a Corporate Team. There will also be some special waves for the super fast age groupers to have a crack at the official all-time Age Category Hall of Fame and awarding medals and prize money for the fastest male and female times up Anderson Street Hill, which is open to ALL events and participants.

Elite Athletes

This is the main feature event proudly sponsored by New Balance with Up There Athletics, representing the Top Male and Female Elite Athletes in Australia and some international guest athletes.  There is also a separate race for the top Para Elite Athletes, proudly sponsored by Myriad Kofkin Global.

Only those elite athletes who have been invited or satisfy the strict entry criterion can participate in this event. Elite athletes will be racing for both pride and some decent Prize Money.

It is expected to be electrifying to watch how fast these athletes run around The Tan and if anyone can break the all-time records.


The Celebrity Challenge is proudly presented to you by GMHBA and is dedicated to celebrating and honouring the great man, Shane Warne, and all his contributions to life and sport in Australia. Warnie was the Ambassador for the inaugural Run the Tan event in 2021.

The Celebrity Challenge event is only open to current and past professional athletes from other sporting codes (e.g. AFL, NRL, Soccer, Cricket, Basketball, Netball, Tennis, Racing, etc) and key sporting identities/celebrities.

Rub shoulders with your sporting idols and watch these guys race for their code! Some will be running to show their support for mental health, and others will be having a crack at getting their name in the Hall of Fame for the fastest players around The Tan.

Emergency Services

The Emergency Services feature event is proudly sponsored by Jellis Craig. This event is open to both current and retired employees/volunteers of all the Emergency Services Agencies (police, firefighters, ambulance, SES, Surf Life Savings, Corrections, etc), Health Professionals (Doctors, Nurses, Medical Specialists, Psychologists, etc)  and employees of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), Veterans and ADF civilians.

Help support those who protect us, and watch these guys go head to head for pride and their badges!


The Battle of the Schools feature event is proudly sponsored by McArthur. It is open to all school students to represent their school and compete against other schools. Each school will be required to create a Team for their School and invite students to join the team, or students can search and join their school team once it has been created. This is expected to be a very competitive and fun race event.

Who are the fastest schools and students? Medals will be awarded to overall 1st, 2nd and 3rd place getters, and they will also be awarding the Perpetual Trophy for the overall School Championship Male and Female categories.

The Course

The official start point is at the Pillars of Wisdom near the junction of Olympic Boulevard and Alexandra Avenue. You will proceed clockwise along the Tan Track, heading east along Alexandra With the Botanic Gardens on your right and the Yarra River on your left. You make a 90-degree turn up the ever-so-dreaded Anderson St, bringing you just short of Domain Rd.

From here, you take another right turn veering back onto the gravel Tan Track alongside Birdswood Ave. You then pass the main entrance to the Gardens heading towards Linlithgow Ave, taking in the Shrine of Remembrance on the left and eventually returning to Alexandra Avenue to complete a full lap. Keep the gardens on your right side; you can’t get lost!

One of the biggest challenges of running The Tan is Anderson Street Hill. This part of the track, up Anderson Street, has an incline of 4% with a 16-metre climb over a distance of approximately 600 metres. The rest of the track is relatively flat and easy to navigate, with distance markers every 250m.

Prize money and pride will be on the table for Elite athletes! A special bonus will be offered to the overall winning male and female if they also break the respective all time official record for their gender category.

Your race entry fee includes a special branded Run the Tan finishers medal, which you can collect directly after you cross the finish line.

Prams are permitted in the public fun run event and must start in the last wave. Children in prams must be registered for the event. Unfortunately, pets will not be permitted on the course during a race event.  Assistance dogs only are permitted.

The use of headphones on the course is strongly discouraged. If you do choose to use headphones whilst running, please ensure that you are still able to hear what is happening around you.

The event promotes a healthy and active lifestyle for all Australians, with a primary focus on raising awareness of the positive impact of exercise on mental health and wellbeing. You can support mental health by participating in Run The Tan and fundraising for local charities.

To register your interest in the event, please visit the official event website at runthetan.net. Registrations are expected to open in November. Limited spots will be available, so register early to secure your chance to be part of this new and exciting event!

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What date is the Run the Tan?
What time is the Run the Tan?
7:30am - 12:30pm

7:30am - 8:30am: Race BIB pick up and same day registrations
8:45am: Official Opening
9:00am: Battle of the Schools
9:30am: Elites Paras (Gun Start)
9:35am: Elite Women (Gun Start)
9:50am: Public Fun Run (waved starts of approx. 20 people per wave x every 30 seconds)
10:15am: 10:25am Presentations – Battle of the Schools AND Elites (Para and Women)
10:30am: Emergency Services (waved starts if required depending on final number of participants)
10:45am: Elite Men (Gun Start)
11:00am: Celebrity Challenge
11:15am: Presentations Emergency Services and Public
11:30am - 11:45am: Presentations Elite (Men), Celebrities, Teams, and King & Queen of the Hill
11:45am: Entertainment
12:30pm: Event Finishes

Please visit our website for more information on the Run the Tan.
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