Full Pace Likely for 1/2 Marathon

May 31, 2023

In only 3 years, the Think Big ½ Marathon at the McGrath Launceston Running Festival has built a reputation of the quickest in Australia.

Snaking along the Tamar River, the course is as flat as they come in Australia.  Combined with cool temperatures, a ‘relaxed’ 8am start and relative shelter from winds, it regularly attracts the nation’s best distance runners.

2023 is no different, with the men’s and women’s fields set to be as deep as recent years.

After claiming the 10km crown two years ago, Olympic marathoner Ellie Pashley returns for the 21.1km journey of Launceston on June 11.

“I’m looking forward to coming back to Launnie, having run the 10km a couple of times but never the half. Fields are always really strong, good conditions and fast, flat courses.

It’s already been a big year for the 34-year-old physiotherapist.  In February she was Australia’s top placed finisher with 19th at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, then placed 13th in the London Marathon on April 23.

“I’m keen to spend winter racing on the roads and cross country to try and get fitter and stronger leading into a marathon later in the year,” Pashley said.

Her teammates course record of 71:04 sits within reach of Pashley, though she shows significant respect to the owner of it, being none other than Australian marathon record holder Sinead Diver.

“I’ll have a crack at it but any record of Diver’s will be hard to beat,” Pashley declared.

Joining Pashley on the start line with be Launceston’s favourite Milly Clark, who ran 71:09 for the win in 2021.

“We’re truly lucky to have an event of this stature in our backyard.  To be able to sleep in my own bed the night before and then line up in a world class race like this in my hometown is so cool.  We really are lucky to have so many awesome running events in Tassie and this one in my hometown is always special,” Clark said.

While the men’s field is quite likely the deepest in the events history, with eight men set to line up with personal bests under 64minutes.

Full fields for the men’s and women’s Think Big ½ Marathon are:


May 31 & June 1, 2025