Thursday, January 11, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

The GIFT That Keeps Giving

Mark your calendars for an exhilarating showcase of athleticism as Harrup Park and the Great Barrier Reef Arena unveil the inaugural Great Barrier Reef Arena Gift, slated to electrify Mackay on March 23, 2024. This eagerly awaited event promises a dynamic spectacle, spotlighting Australia's top running talents across nine thrilling races. It’s a celebration that embraces athletic prowess and community unity in a grand display.

Set on the newly completed Great Barrier Reef Arena grass track, the event upholds the long-standing tradition of Gift races across Australia.

The running event has now announced that they will hold the largest prize pool in Queensland, a grand total of $28,200 will be given away across different race categories. Declaring the GBRA Gift as the wealthiest gift in Queensland! Registrations are now open for both junior and senior runners, providing a golden opportunity to compete for the massive $28,200 prize pool. The event welcomes seasoned athletes and aspiring runners alike to participate in the races, which will commence in the midafternoon. The Gift Finals, promising electrifying moments, will unfold under the vibrant lights of the Great Barrier Reef Arena.

Adrian Young, CEO of GBRA, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "This inaugural event not only highlights the exceptional skills of Australia's top runners, but also offers the chance to claim the largest prize pool in Queensland, supporting aspiring athletes on their path to success in the lead up to the 2032 Olympics.”

The event guarantees more than just riveting races. Attendees can expect a lively atmosphere filled with kids' activities, a mini eat street, and an exhilarating chili-eating contest. Families and sports enthusiasts are encouraged to be part of this historic event, ensuring an unforgettable night of sporting excitement. Moreover, entry is free for all spectators, ensuring that the Great Barrier Reef Arena Gift offers an inclusive experience for the entire community.

Athlete registrations are now open. For registration details and forms, visit GBRA GIFT - Great Barrier Reef Arena online.

Junior events include:

   • 120m 10-12 years for both girls and boys.

   • 120m 13-14 years for both girls and boys.

   • 120m 15-16 years for both girls and boys.

   • 120m 17-18 years for both girls and boys.

Gift events include:

   • 120m Open Men’s & Women’s Gift

   • GBRA Mile – Men’s & Women’s

   • 70m Open Men’s & Women’s

   • 70m Masters (30+) Men’s (Restricted) & Women’s (Restricted)

   • 1000m Open Combined (Men/Women/Masters)

   • 300m Open Combined (Men/Women/Masters).

Junior registrations are accepted at any time, up to and including the event day, but no later than 10 am on the day. Open and masters’ registrations close on Friday, March 8, 2024.

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