Starting line underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge with the course running anti-clockwise through the CBD. Inaugural race had an entry tally of 3,075 and was won by Sydneysiders Andrew Lloyd and Sue Mahony.
Tally rose to 4,120 in just its second year, with Steve Moneghetti winning his first of three titles. Kerryn McCann, who was placed 2nd in the inaugural run, wins first of three Half Marathon titles.
A very special year. Course record and Australian best domestic time for a Half Marathon set by Queenslander Pat Carroll. Second placegetter Steve Moneghetti has said that this run was “the most significantly underrated run on Australian soil, ever”. However, the awesome display of powerful road racing was all-but over-shadowed by the winner of the women’s division, Heather Turland. The mother-of-four from the Southern Highlands town of Bowral burst onto the athletic scene with her first major victory.
With changes to roads within the CBD area, particularly around the Opera House, the course was changed. The race start moved to Lower Fort Street and the course has remained essentially the same until 2003. Moneghetti and McCann win second titles.
A Carroll Double with Pat Carroll taking out the men’s division and New Zealander Nyla Carroll the women’s (they are unrelated). The diminutive New Zealander caught finish line officials unawares when she set the women’s course record of 70.53 relegating the great Lisa Ondieki to 2nd placing.
Race favourites Steve Moneghetti and Heather Turland took out the major placings. Entry tally ceiling of 4,000 runners reached and no late entries were accepted on race morning.
Saw the emergence of Kenyan athletes with a one-two victory to William Kiptum and Godfrey Kiprotich. Australian Lee Troop finished third in his first attempt over the distance and stayed with the Kenyans until the last 5km.
Victorian nurse Lisa Dick made an emotional return to the victory days following a horrific car accident the year before, which occurred at an altitude training camp at Falls Creek. Entry tally capped at 4,000 entrants and no late entries.
Once again Kenyan athletes took out first and second placings, this time with young Stephen Kiogora first, followed by perennial second place-getter Godfrey Kiprotich. Race organisers were delighted to learn that after his 1998 race, Kiprotich returned to Kenya and gave his new born son the middle name of ‘ Sydney’.
Sydneysider and regular trainer over the course, Liz Miller, stormed home ahead of Olympians Krishna Stanton and Susan Hobson.
Entry tally of 4,000 entrants reached beginning of race week – no late entries accepted.
Another Kenyan took out line honours, this time FILA-sponsored Joseph Waweru, in a relatively slow time of 64.05 due to the cool conditions and slippery road surface from overnight rain.
Heather Turland took out her third women’s title.
The 115kg, retired Sydney Swans’ full forward Tony Lockett raised over $50,000 for the Sydney Paralympic Team by completing the 21.1km course – Lockett stated after the race that it was the hardest thing he had ever done.
Entry tally of 4,000 runners reached at beginning of race week.
Entry tally of 4,000 runners reached five weeks before race day. More than 1,500 entry forms were returned by race organisers to disappointed potential entrants.
Race favourites Brett Cartwright and Dean Cavuoto took out the first two placings (the first Australian male victory for three years), while sentimental favourite Pat Carroll stormed home to finish 4th.
Liz Miller showed why she was the race favourite, taking her second SMH Half Marathon. Triathlete Emma Carney was second, racing over the 21.1km distance for the first time.
The entry tally of 4,000 was reached eight weeks prior to race day. Again more than 1,000 disappointed runners received their entry forms back, as the “house full” sign went up.
Scott Westcott broke away early and virtually ran the whole race on his own. Rod de Highden and John Henwood had negative splits but were unable to reel Westcott in.
Kerryn McCann was using the race as a build up to the Commonwealth Games marathon ( Manchester in July where she scored a gold medal) and finished only 13 seconds off Nyla Carroll’s race record. Second placegetter Liz Miller broke 74 minutes for the first time and was delighted.
Course revised in 2003 to ease some of the traffic problems caused by disruption to through traffic in the city. The new course, which goes no further south than St Mary’s Cathedral, and was well received by all the stakeholders involved in the event’s organisation.
“House full” sign went up less than a month after the 10th March launch and timing transponders used for the first time.
The 2003 event will be well remembered, especially by competitors and officials. Shortly after the gun was fired at 7.30am the heavens opened with rain (heavy at times) falling throughout the race. Despite the wet weather talented Susie Power finished 11th outright winning the women’s event, in the third fastest time recorded. Rod De Highden crossed the line in first position, followed by Scott Westcott and Magnus Michelsson.
Launched on 22nd March entries closed at 6pm on Tuesday 13th April – just 22 days after the first entry forms were available. 61% of the field entered via the on-line facility and timing transponder use was expanded to also record start times for all competitors.
Olympic bound Sisay Bezabeh and Kerryn McCann lived up to their reputations – Bezabeh outsprinting Brett Cartwright and McCann virtually ran on her own winning by more than 3 minutes.
Most of the ‘talk’ about the 2005 event was the return of former winner and legend of distance runner in Australia Steve Moneghetti. Retired since the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Monner runs events he enjoys and welcomed the opportunity to return to The SMH Half Marathon. At the media conference he said that the Half Marathon distance was his most favoured event.
Brett Cartwright left nothing to chance in the race and was a clear winner in the time of 63.29 finishing almost a minute later was Scott Westcott (64.25) and the veteran Steve Monghetti third (64.33). Haley McGregor took line honours in the women’s division in 72.38 followed by Susie Power-Reeves (73.42) and Jackie Fairweather (76.18).
With the Commonwealth Games being held just a few months earlier in Melbourne the 2006 race was an opportunity for several runners to get onto the winners podium. ACT athlete Martin Dent had a comfortable win by 1minute 16 seconds and there was a similar difference in the first two women with Victorian Anna Thompson receiving the winner’s cheque after two seconds and a third placing previously.
After hovering at 28% for a number of years the number of women runners rose to 30% this year.
The 2007 race proved a tough meet. With stellar weather conditions the course again took its toll on many competitors. The standouts were both previous winners with Anna Thompson backing up her 2006 win with a repeat performance, which saw her step into the top five times of all time for women. Brett Cartwright mimicked his 2005 performance with another win (albeit slightly slower) in 2007.
Again a major change occurred for the race with the start and finish lines being moved to the picturesque Hyde Park. A record field turned out with over 6,000 finishers for the first time ever. Martin Dent took first prize in the men’s division with Eliza Stewart backing up her previous year’s second place to take out the women’s.
A Kenyan Olympic champion and a runner bound for the Deaflympics were the stars on the course, but it was the late and much-missed Kerryn McCann who dominated the spirit of the 2009 SMH Half Marathon, presented by Colonial First State. With Greg McCann and children Benton, Josie and Cooper proudly watching on, more than 8,500 runners lined up - many wearing pink bandanas – to run 21.1km in honour of the four-time Half Marathon champion, who died of breast cancer in December aged 41.
The first over the finish line, in 64min 18s, was 3000m steeplechase gold medallist from the 2000 Sydney Games, Reuben Kosgei, but it was Blue Mountains athlete Melinda Vernon who stole the hearts of thousands of spectators in taking out the inaugural Kerryn McCann Trophy, winning in a personal best 75min 26s. The profoundly deaf 23-year-old mounted the winner’s dais and told the crowd how honoured she was to hold the trophy dedicated to the dual Commonwealth Games marathon gold medallist and long-time Half Marathon supporter, McCann.
Eye-catching performances from two young guns in 2010, Cassie Fien and Harry Summers, gave thousands of runners and spectators a glimpse of the future.
While 31-year-old Canberran and 2010 Commonwealth Games representative, Martin Dent, collected his third winner’s trophy, it was the then 19-year-old second place-getter Summers who impressed the running elite, with a daring display of racing.
In the women’s event, Queensland-born Fien, 24, blitzed her more experienced rivals to record an imposing victory in the fifth-fastest time of the 21.1km event’s 19-year history.
Martin Dent won his fourth Half Marathon in 6 years, running 65 minutes flat, and beating Anthony Haber and Harry Summers over the line. Nikki Chapple, first timer of the event, waltzed to victory in 72.55, more than 4 minutes ahead of Belinda Martin and Tara Prowse a further 50 seconds back.
Acclaimed Paralympian Kurt Fearnley led a small group of wheelchair participants testing the course for future wheelchair competition and gave the course the thumbs up.
More than $700,000 was raised for Australian organisations including charity partner Breast Cancer Network Australia in the 2011 Half Marathon.
More than 10,900 runners took part in the event, with Alastair Stevenson crossing the line first in 1:06:46, ahead of Stephen Dinneen and David Mainwaring. Jane Fardell took it out for the females (1:15:35) followed closely by Clare Geraghty and Celia Sullohern.
For the first time in the event's history, more than $1.1m was raised for charity.
Liam Adams edged out Harry Summers to win the Half Marathon in a time of 1:04:36, while in the women's Nikki Chapple repeated her 2011 performance bringing home the Kerryn McCann Cup (72:44), well ahead of 2nd place-getter Claire Ashworth (76:17).
Richard Nicholson was a sole elite wheelchair competitor and finished in a time of 56:05. 2013 also saw the introduction of a relay to the event, making the Half Marathon distance achievable for all abilities. Team Jorg took the inaugural honours in a time of 1:15:21. For the second year running more than $1.1m was raised for charities across the country.
Close to 12,000 runners took part in the 2014 SMH Half Marathon with Michael Shelley taking out first in a time of 1:03:19, just shy of the tenth best time of 1:03:17. 2013 winner; Liam Adams followed 2 minutes later and Ben Moreau came in third in a time of 1:05:28.
There was also plenty of action in the womens field with 2013 9th best time record holder; Nikki Chapple once again coming in first to smash her record and earn her the third best time of 1:11:24. Belinda Martin followed over 5 minutes later in a time of 1:16:39 who was followed closely by Cassandra Fien.
Over $570,000 was raised for 124 worthy Australian charities.
Almost 13,000 runners participated in The SMH Half Marathon, raising more than $820,000 for hundreds of charities around Australia. Liam Adams from Melbourne crossed the finish line first in the men's field in a time of 01:04:25. Jeffrey Hunt from Sydney came in second and Matthew Cox from Moorebank third with times of 01:07:35 and 01:09:54 respectively.
The first female across the finish line was Olympian and local girl Eloise Wellings who ran a time of 01:13:20. Second and third was Cassandra Fien and Sarah Klein from Queensland and Victoria who closely followed with times of 01:15:21 and 01:16:02.
The first relay team across the line were Rohit Budha and Ritesha Rai, Nepali Gurkhas in Sydney for the event, who finished in a time of 01:25:59.
Australia’s largest and most prestigious half marathon celebrated its silver anniversary with over 12,000 participants, who ran the 25th SMH Half Marathon on May 15, 2016.
There were two big name winners in both the men's and women's races with Australian Olympians Michael Shelley and Lisa Weightman stretching their legs ahead of the Rio Olympics and taking the honours ahead of the rest of the field. Shelley crossed the line first with an excellent time of 1:03:59 in the men’s field ahead of Matthew Cox (1:07:20) and Harry Summers (1:08:32). Weightman finished strongly in a time of 1:12:07 followed by Tarli Bird and Danielle Allen in 1:16:52 and 1:18:59 respectively.
In the history of The SMH Half Marathon there have been 12 entrants who leave you in no doubt where they can be found on every third Sunday in May. Congratulations to each and every Legend and good luck for your next SMH Half Marathon.
|The SMH Half Marathon Legends - Completed Every Half Marathon since 1992|
|Gary Aitkenhead||Michael Rochford|
|Laurie Coleman||Peter Strachan|
|Roger Hillsdon||Ross Walker|
|Peter Livers||John Willcocks|
|David Matheson||Rob Zikmann|
|Stephen Mifsud||Rod Phillips|