Highlights on the Townsville Marathon course
With picturesque views of the sun emerging over a sleepy Coral Sea, the glistening of dewy palm trees silhouetted against a water-colour horizon and an electric ambiance softly humming among early-rising marathoners and spectators, The McDonald’s® Townsville Running Festival, is often lauded for its stunning backdrop and friendly atmosphere.
Townsville’s marathoners are immersed in a cultural and historical expedition as they encounter some of Townsville’s best views including Rowes Bay, ANZAC Park, the marina and an array of heritage-listed buildings, while fighting for the prestigious first place along Townsville’s multi award-winning esplanade, The Strand.
The course is peppered with some incredible landmarks; here are just a handful you can expect to pass on the Townsville Marathon course (and many of our shorter courses, too!):
Ocean Siren was the first instalment in Townsville’s Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA). The sculpture was installed near the Strand’s jetty in late 2019, meaning she’ll add to the atmosphere of the McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival for the very first time in 2020. The piece is illuminated at night time and changes colour in response to live variations in water temperature. It’s the only site in MOUA that can be viewed from Townsville’s mainland and cuts an impressive figure through the darkness.
Public Art along the Strand
Townsville is home to a rapidly growing collection of public art, with many pieces positioned along the Townsville Marathon course. Keep your eyes peeled for the 20m ‘fallen’ stadium light by Melbourne artist, Robbie Rowlands; the beautiful Spinderella, a silver orb spider 600-times the size of the arachnid that inspired it; and a menagerie of mosaiced sea creatures speckled throughout Soroptomist Park – just to name a few!
The Queen’s Hotel, opposite ANZAC Park, is one of Townsville’s most impressive buildings. Originally built in 1872 as a two-storey timber structure; it received it’s current impressive red brick façade during a series of remodels between 1902 and 1925. In its glory days, it was considered one of the best hotels in Queensland. If you’re not already breathless from your run, you will be when you spot this beauty in the morning sunlight.
On the other side of ANZAC Park is Townsville’s marina, filled with beautiful boats bobbing buoyantly in their safe harbour. While you’ll only get glimpses through ANZAC Park’s sprawling fig trees, it’ll be enough to assure you that you really are running in a sensational tropical
The Townsville Running Festival’s famed Party House
While it’s not technically a landmark, the Party House has become a well-loved Running Festival tradition. The Party House attracts more than 60 pyjama-clad revelers who love nothing more than cheering on passing runners. Over the years, many runners have said the friendly tom-foolery at the Party House helped them over the wall when they needed it.
Have we covered your favourite point on the Townsville Marathon course? We’d love to know what makes you smile during your run each year, or what you’re most looking forward to spotting in 2020.
The 2020 McDonald’s Townsville Running Festival will be held on Sunday, 2 August 2020. Register now.