World Athletics Label for Launceston Half Marathon

March 7, 2024

The McGrath Launceston Running Festival has joined an exclusive group of events around the globe, being awarded a World Athletics Label.

World Athletics Label Road Races are races that World Athletics designates as one of the ‘leading road races around the world.’  The Labels are assessed and awarded each year. Race organisers have to apply to the World Athletics for recognition, and show that their race can meet a number of criteria. The criteria vary for the different levels, with the McGrath Launceston Running Festival being awarded the entry level classification for the Think Big Half Marathon event.

In 2023 there were just 257 races globally to receive a World Athletics Label.  A minor percentage when considering the number of running events in all communities around the globe.

Criteria includes attendance by Sport Integrity Australia to conduct anti-doping tests, ensuring the course is certified and measured, along with a range sustainability areas.

“The World Athletics Label system is about quality - providing assurance to participants of all levels from weekend warriors to Olympic aspirants that when they take part in a race, the distance is accurate and they receive a time that is correct.  For Australian athletes it will also increase the opportunity to earn higher World Athletics ranking points," said Brian Roe, World Athletics International Officials Manager.

City of Launceston Mayor Matthew Garwood said it was exciting for the region, particularly on the first weekend of winter.

“The City of Launceston is truly proud to support the McGrath Launceston Running Festival to grow into a world class community running event.  It’s already widely known as one of Australia’s best running festivals, now with a World Athletics Label, we can start to attract participants from around the globe to Launceston.  

“There are millions of runners around the world who regularly participate in events.  As a recipient of a grant from our Major Signature Event Funding program, we look forward to working with the organisers to encourage as many people to participate as possible.  

“I may even look at doing the community mile on the afternoon of Saturday June 1,” Mayor Garwood laughed.

In continuing with the festival theme, the event is also embracing a new 2 day format, with the timetable now confirmed as;

Saturday 1st June
• Liv-eat Competitive 1-Mile – 3:00pm Start
• Liv-eat Community 1-Mile – 3:15pm Start
• 5km – 3:45pm Start

Sunday 2nd June
• Think Big Half Marathon – 8:00am Start
• Launceston 10km – 10:15am Start


May 31 & June 1, 2025