The MSF Sugar Great Pyramid Race takes place on Saturday 18 August with a new venue and a new look running schedule.
Now in its 59th year, the 2018 Pyramid Race has received a major revamp following feedback sourced from past and present runners, who collectively shared their thoughts on what makes the Great Pyramid Race ‘Great’.
According to Pyramid Race Committee President Clive Murray, “while the 2017 event was a big success, we received some feedback after last year’s race about the timing of events and identified an opportunity to look at how we stage and promote the race in future years.
“As a committee, our aim is to grow the race and attract more runners from across the country. To achieve this, we needed to understand what runners really thought about the race and how we could improve, so we decided to formally gather some research and ran focus groups with runners earlier this year”.
The research showed that while the ‘community event’ approach was attracting local runners and spectators, the race didn’t rate a mention on the national running circuit and the focus on market stalls and entertainment on the day had taken away from the great race itself.
“Using the research gathered earlier this year, we set out to refocus the event around the main race” said Clive.
“While the committee got stuck into rescheduling the day, we worked with our sponsors MSF Sugar and their advertising agency BSL/Savi to rebrand the event and the result is a new look, new venue and a new running schedule”.
MSF Sugar has been a sponsor of the race for 20 years, and is proud to be associated with the iconic event.
As MSF Mulgrave Mill Manager Chris Hoare explains, “aside from it being a major event for Gordonvale, the Great Pyramid Race has a close association with the sugarcane industry. Rumour has it the race began as a bet between cane farmers, so it’s an important piece of history and we’re happy to help keep the legacy going”.
The revamped program means that for the first time, the main race will start at 8.30am in Alley Park. In previous years the start time has been 2pm and the former venue was Norman Park in the heart of Gordonvale.
The move to Alley Park has multiple benefits for the community as there is easier public access, easier parking, and more opportunities for spectators to see and cheer on the runners as they head out to the base then sprint for home.
While online registrations have now closed, gates open at 7.00am and registrations are available on the day up until 7.30am.
The top runners are expected to make their way back to the finish line around 10.00am.
Event Fast Facts:
- The MSF Sugar Great Pyramid Race has been running for 59 years
- The current record for the 12km race stands at 1:15:34 set in 2007 by Neil Labinsky, a mountain specialist runner from the Sunshine Coast. The Women’s record is 1:32:06 set in 1997 by local runner Anita Appleby
- The start/finish line is at Alley Park, Gordonvale. Race registrations are open until 7.30am on the day (Saturday 18 August)
- The Main Race starts at 8.30am. Additional races include the 1800m Race (8.45am start), Run for Charity (11.00am start) and Race to the Base (2.00pm start)
MSF Sugar has been a sponsor of the Great Pyramid Race for more than 20 years
Above: The start of the 2017 MSF Sugar Great Pyramid Race shows a combination of emotions from the runners. In 2018 the main race will start at 8.30am.