In just its 3rd year, the annual Run the Tan event which was held at Melbourne’s iconic Tan Track on Sunday 30 April 2023 is going from strength to strength as one of the most popular community running events in Australia to help raise much-needed awareness and funds for local mental health charities and showcase our Aussie elite middle distance athletes.

With more than 1500 competitors and spectators, the event raised over $67,000 for local mental health charities, which is a new record, and some of Australia’s best elite athletes put on a spectacle to set new all-time records around the iconic Tan Track.

Jessica Hull set a new record around The Tan in the annual Run the Tan 2023 showcase event in a blistering time of 11:31, 4 seconds quicker than the previous record held by Linden Hall (11:35). The elite female field was stacked with Jess edging out previous record holder Linden Hall 2nd in 11:36 (just one second off her previous best) and bronze commonwealth games medallist Abbey Caldwell 3rd with 11:46 (new PB).

Jess Hull dominated the race and earnt herself top place on the iconic Tan Digital Clocks whilst also taking home a handy prize cheque of $10,000, thanks to sponsors, Liberty, New Balance and Bennelong Foundation.

In the men’s elite race, Olympian Jye Edwards proved that he is back in form again after an achilles injury last year by taking out the honours with an impressive time of 10:23 and earning himself a spot on the all-time top 10 Hall-of-Fame. Matthew Clarke wasn’t far behind him coming in 2nd place in 10:26 and 18-year-old World Under 20 finalist Archie Noakes proved that he is going from strength to strength coming in 3rd with an inspiring 10:31 performance.

Michael Roeger also set a new para record at the Run the Tan 2023 showcase on Sunday with a time of 11:03 to defeat teammate and previous record holder Jaryd Clifford 11:15 and defending winner from 2022 Reece Langdon 3rd in 11:36. Annabelle Colman was the first para woman across the line in 14:10. Michael took away a nice little prize cheque of $5,000 for taking the win and breaking the para course record thanks to Allianz Australia.

There was plenty of action in the new ‘race within a race’ up the infamous Anderson Street Hill sponsored by Pillar Performance. National 800m champion Catriona Bisset took out the title for the fastest women up the Pillar Hill segment in 1:16 and young Box Hill Athletics Club athlete Dharam Deol clinched it in the men’s with 1:15, holding out Joe Deng who had a crack at a PB over the full course. Both winners earnt themselves a reward of $500 each.

The Battle of the Schools event was also a highlight of this year’s Run the Tan running carnival. With 20 schools and over 250 students competing for the Schools Championships and pride on the line for the All-Schools Participation awards, the atmosphere was buzzing.

Wesley College took out the honours for the School Championship male team defending their title from last year, and Ruyton snapped the trophy for the females. In the All-Schools Participation Awards, it was Trinity Grammar who took out the All-Boys (19), Mentone Girls Grammar – All-Girls (20), and Haileybury won the Co-ed (40). Overall placegetters for the males were 1st – Jhye Hadfield (11:13), 2nd – Wolfgang Cotra-Nemesi (11:20), and 3rd – Alexander Angus (11:23). In the females it was 1st – Emma De Jong (13:37), 2nd – Khushi Deol (13:37) and 3rd – Bella Fary (14:07).

In the open community Fun Run event, Riley Bryce was the 1st male across the line in 11:38 and Maddie Gwynne 1st female 13:10.

There was a separate feature event for Emergency Services for all Emergency Services workers, Health Professionals, Australian Defence Force (ADF), Veterans, and ADF civilians.
Josh Foo (VPOL) took out the men’s race in a very impressive time of 13:19 and Paris Rigney (Young Veterans) won the women’s in 18:18. Nothing like a bit of rivalry between badges!

Also joining in the cause and festivities in the Celebrity Challenge were Rob Mills, Dave Hughes, Bernard Curry, Alicia Loxley, Andy Maher, Steve Baker, and Archie Thompson. The annual Celebrity Challenge is held in honour and memory of Shane Warne who was the Ambassador for the inaugural Run the Tan event in 2021. His son Jackson Warne, daughter Brooke Warne and brother Jason Warne were all there participating and supporting the cause.

Hughesy who has participated in the event since its inception 3 years ago, finally cracked a win in the men’s Celebrity Challenge and Natalie Wood (Essendon AFLW coach) won the women’s. There were lots of laughs, good times, and positive vibes!

Opening the event for the second consecutive year, Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp praised the event for its contribution to the community and supporting such an important cause.

“Run the Tan is an event that draws thousands of people to the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens and Tan Track in Melbourne, all in the name of a good cause,” she said.

“As a community, we want to continue promoting awareness around mental health, and supporting the organisations that help those who are struggling.”

The event supports and raises funds and awareness for local mental health charities in Australia. It had 14 charity partners connected to the event this year such as Lifeline, One in Five, RUOK, Beyond Blue and a newly established charity, Ambers White Light. Participants can choose to create their own fundraising page to support the work of their preferred charity and the general public can make a direct donation to a selected charity.

Fundraising for Run the Tan is still open, so donate today to help support local mental health charities at


Photo:  Joanna Margiolis