Now in its 15th year, the Blackmores Sydney Marathon attracts runners from across the globe and, after being awarded a prestigious Gold Label from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), it has become a world class running event alongside the London, Boston and New York marathons. Blackmores Sydney Running Festival is Australia's most unique running event because of the myriad of iconic sights which can be seen along the course. Whether you are taking part in the 3.5km Family Fun Run or the full blown marathon event, you'll be sure to see some incredible landmarks and the more you run, the more you'll see.
Find the top ten Sydney sights below that you will see whilst participating in the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival on Sunday 20 September 2015:
1. Luna Park – Starting from Milson's Point, the famous moon face of Sydney's Luna Park will smile down on you as you take your first steps of the course. Commencing in Bradfield Park you will run directly past the restored fun-park which was first opened in 1935. Luna Park is one of Sydney's greatest venues for music gigs, hosting regular concerts at the Big Top, and offers elegant cuisine at The Deck restaurant. Needless to say, it also offers million dollar views of Sydney Harbour which are best seen from atop one of the park's many exhilarating rides.
2. The Sydney Harbour Bridge – After running past the suburb of Kirribilli, famous for being the location of the Australian Prime Minister's official Sydney residence, you will approach a world-renowned iconic Australian landmark; the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Blackmores Sydney Running Festival offers runners the unique opportunity to cross the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge on foot and
As you run over the bridge don't forget to look up. From the deck below you can truly appreciate the engineering genius that went into the building of the world's largest steel arch bridge. You might even spot some people up there taking part in a Sydney BridgeClimb experience.
3. Sydney Opera House – As you continue along the deck of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, cast your eyes to the left and you will see the distinctive white sails of the world heritage listed Sydney Opera House. This world-class performing arts centre is a must-see landmark for visitors to Sydney and has become a symbol of both the city and the Australian nation.
4. Fort Denison – From the high vantage point of the bridge you can also spot Fort Denison, a small island right in the middle of the harbour. Fort Denison has had a varied past – it has been used as a fishing spot, defence structure, navigational guide, tide gauge station, weather station and time marker. Today, the tiny island houses an historic museum and a beautiful restaurant with a modern Australian menu. A five minute ferry ride from Circular Quay will drop you off at this incredible lunch spot on the harbour.
5. Circular Quay – As you hit the 4km mark on your run, the next leg of the course will see you pass Circular Quay on your left. The quay is an exciting place to be on a sunny Sydney day with buskers lining the fore shore delighting passers-by and ferries departing every couple of minutes to some of the city's major attractions on the harbour including Taronga Zoo and Manly.
6. State Library – As you head along Macquarie Street you will pass the iconic State Library of New South Wales on your left. This beautiful sandstone building is one of the world's great libraries and contains extraordinary collections that document the heritage of Australia.
7. Royal Botanic Gardens – After passing through the city's bustling harbour precinct you will take a left hand turn into the peaceful grounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens. In the heart of Sydney these tranquil gardens are a much-loved spot for the city's runners for the quiet environment and spectacular views.
Your run will take you right to the edge of the Gardens to one of the best vantage points in Sydney, Mrs Macquarie's Chair. Carved out of a rock ledge for Governor Lachlan Macquarie's wife, Elizabeth, this spot offers panoramic views of Sydney Harbour.
8. Centennial Park – After passing the Sydney Cricket Ground on your left you will enter Centennial Park, another beautiful inner-city parkland. Ambassador for the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival, Jesinta Campbell, describes Centennial Park as her favourite spot to run in Sydney, feeling removed from the city despite the park's central location.
“You feel like you are in a different world when you go there. There is something beautiful about it. “Running through the park, you will see people riding horses and lakes filled with swans, and in the cool early mornings a layer of mist covers the ground beneath your feet. It just feels so far removed from the city,” Ms Campbell said.
9. Barangaroo – At the 34km mark your legs may be burning but there's still plenty to see. Running along Hickson Road on your right you will be passing Barangaroo, which is Sydney's newest financial and business hub. Once complete, Barangaroo will feature thriving commercial, public and residential precincts.
A new waterfront park, Barangaroo Reserve, is already open to the public and to celebrate this beautiful new space a Barangaroo Welcome Celebration is taking place from 6 September 2015 until the end of November. This event offers 12 weekends of free music, art, culture, music, talks, tours and family events in celebration of this unique new location.
10. Darling Harbour – Finally, number 10 on the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival sightseeing list will see you race into the lively, urban precinct of Darling Harbour. Just a 10-minute walk from the city centre, Darling Harbour is packed full of sleek dining establishments, chic bars and popular tourist attractions, including SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and WILDLIFE Sydney Zoo.