Marathoning in Hobart

I have just run a half marathon in Hobart, Tasmania. One of my 2012 steps toward my fitness goal is 12 major runs of 12km (7miles) or more. Of those I aim to do six half marathons. A half marathon is 21km (almost 13 miles).

I am aiming to do a half marathon in Paris in March. Maybe one on the Gold Coast of Australia in July. Anyone want to join me?  Or for any of them? Open to suggestions of interesting places to run.

Today’s race: The Cadbury Marathon was relatively well organised. There were very helpful officials along the way and plenty of encouraging crowds. It started and finished at the Cadbury Chocolate factory in Claremont, a suburb of Hobart. The factory is about 15km from downtown.

I have some suggestions toward the end of this post for possible changes to improve the event if I may be so cheeky.

The morning started with rain but became sunny -with a gentle breeze. Perfect running weather through a stunning course.  I ran the first 15km (9 miles)

well and was in fact five minutes ahead of my target time. The last six kilometres was more problematic and I blew my time target. I ran the whole thing in a time that was somewhere between 2hours 15 minutes and 2 hours 20 minutes which is quite acceptable. My aim is to get under two hours.

My first thoughts regarding change are connected with the course. As I said, it  starts at the Cadbury factory in Claremont, a suburb of Hobart and winds its way along the river to the Derwent Entertainment Centre and back to the Cadbury Factory. On arrival back at the factory, traffic was a little crazy due to cars trying to make their way into the site as well. I was wondering why the organisers don’t make the finish line in then centre of Hobart city? The advantages:

  • it would be a more stunning finish- coming onto the waterfront in Hobart (no offence Cadbury, the finish is not very exciting)
  • there would be a tourist boost to the shops and restaurants downtown (many people would stay for lunch/brunch/a drink/ coffee and shopping)
  • there wouldn’t be the doubling up the course has to do to get people around each other
  • it would be easier for people to be picked up
  • there is public transport out of the city
  • Cadbury, the major sponsor, could get their signage downtown and be noticed by more people.
The disadvantages are that there would be more roads closed and downtown Hobart would suffer with road closures but they handle that for other things.

We were all given a sample bag at the end. As the race is sponsored by Cadbury contained a big block of chocolate and a small candy bar size choc. I have eaten the smaller one but will give the bigger one to my neighbour for watching my house! This also helps me watch my weight (remember my fitness goal!)

This is where things got a little pear shaped. I took a taxi to the course start because there was no public transport available. Bus services start later  on Sunday than the race start. The organisers of the race had arrnaged for two buses to go from one of the city hotels out to the course start. These buses were too early for my sleeping needs!

I had decided to get one of the public buses back to the city from the factory. Because of the road closures, all  buses going back to Hobart from Claremont had been diverted. But to where? I asked three policeman. None of them knew.  Metro Tasmania (which runs buses in Tasmania) had no information on their website. When calling their number, I found, they had a cheery announcement telling people that their phone lines are closed on a weekend (what no one catches buses on a weekend???). At the bus stop near the Cadbury factory, there were eight people waiting. Two had been waiting for almost two hours for a bus. There was no signage at the bus stop to say that buses would be diverted or for how long or where. I took a cab back to my hotel and regretted not hiring a car for the day! I thought this was a very poor effort on the part of Metro Tasmania for locals and tourists alike. It also makes this event a little less environmentally friendly.

Thankfully, I rested by enjoying an amazing Farmer’s market: The Tas Farm Gate. Great healthy vitamins in fresh juice from Juicy Lucy. Thanks guys!

Recovery Juice (Beetroot, Carrot, Apple, ginger and something else)



Enhanced by Zemanta



  1. Your comments about the course are interesting however I have a little insight into decisions NOT to have it finish in the center city.
    Two upfront reasons:
    *The circular suburban based route allows for a smaller number of volunteers to man drink stations, etc than would be required along a strung out to-the-city-route.
    *One of the primary decisions to keep it out near the factory site is the enormous and direct cost of paying for ALL extra Policing and other services required for closed roads. If this was to the city, the event would not be able to natch that dollar call.
    But yes, it would be great to have a more ‘scenic’ finish and the ideal would be a factory-to-sea route for the event.

  2. Thank you for the feedback. I was assuming that the increase in road closures would be a major deterrent. Good to have that confirmation. I live in hope for the ideal!

    I think not only is there the stunning finish but good economic reasons.
    If 1500 people entered the race and they all met a friend or family member at the end and everyone spent an average of $25 each on lunch or purchases in the city that would be an immediate $75 000 input.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *