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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Bay Sheff set to become Australia's richest footrace

Bay Sheff set to become Australia's richest footrace

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CONFIDENT: SA Athetlics League president Brendan Golden.

Bay Sheff on track to become Australia's richest foot race

by Alice Monfries
Guardian Messenger
12 January 2011

ORGANISERS of the Bay Sheffield are on a mission to make this year’s event - the sprint’s 125th running - Australia’s richest foot race.

The two-day 2010 Glenelg carnival wrapped up on December 28, but plans are already underway to boost prize money and attract more runners to this year’s event.

SA Athletics League (SAAL) President Brendan Golden said doubling the prize money to more than $100,000 would just eclipse the total purse on offer at the Stawell Gift Easter carnival in Victoria and overtake it as the nation’s most prominent sprint race.

“We already have the biggest crowds and we’re currently the athletes’ favourite carnival but we want the number one mantle to put it beyond dispute,” he said.

“To officially be the biggest, we need more prize money and we need more heats for our major race - so that means more runners.”

“We feel the bigger prize money will do enough to attract more runners, particularly those interstate.”

Mr Golden said the SAAL had been “actively recruiting” more entrants for the carnival, held at Colley Reserve on December 27-28, by introducing under-17 and under-14 race categories.

“We brought that in two years ago and we’re starting the reap the benefits from that now and it will keep snowballing,” he said.

Mr Golden said the SAAL was “quietly confident” of raising the extra $50,000 prize money, through sponsorship and a black-tie dinner in August to celebrate the race’s 125th anniversary.

“The prize money will get more athletes to the carnival, which will help us to better promote it and it will get a better return for our sponsors,” he said.

Meantime, Mr Golden said between 3000 and 5000 spectators turned out at last month’s carnival, which had a record 746 entrants.

“Crowd numbers were up on previous years and we ran out of beer with 10 minutes to go, which is always a good indication - we’ve never done that before,” he said.

“We had a record number of athletes which was always going to get more people down there.”

Brighton Secondary School student Jordan Caldow, 17, became the second-youngest runner to win the prestigious race when he crossed the line first in the final last month.


“We already have the biggest crowds and we’re currently the athletes’ favourite carnival but we want the number one mantle to put it beyond dispute,” he said.

According to who?


Hmmm Interesting

What would people prefer to win? Bay Shef or Stawell? It would allow nicely for a double peak to have a crack at both though. Would this affect the Tassie events? Personally, I started running because of Stawell and watching it on TV as a kid, so would still prefer Stawell.

Definitely not having a crack at Bay, it would be great if they can increase the exposure of our sport.

TV? Perhaps someone like ABC might pick it up? 9 would have the Cricket on, 10 have Stawell, so maybe a package deal for both? 7 may want something to go agaist the Cricket maybe. With the extra channels, surely someone would pick it up.

Iron Maiden

The Bay Sheffield has many things other events don't have.

Most other events require you to drive 2hr+ to get to. Glenenlg is pretty much right amongst it. It is very close to the beach, accommodation is everywhere and the weather is usually perfect in the twilight.

The Rye Gift boasts 3500 spectators last week, Maryborough would have at least this many and Stawell more than all over the 3 days, yet all require a few hours to drive.

For an athlete's prep there would be a conscious choice to fire here rather than Devonport, then a softer compromise on either Maryborough or Burnie. An attempt at the double peak is worthy if the value is added.

Bring on more cash I say. They need to this with the rise of other interstates prize-pools to rank themselves considerably higher than the rest.

TV is an added feature creating an icing on top of these amazing prospects.

How would the prizemoney be distributed with this increase?


3500 spectators at Rye? Was this number generated by anyone actually at the event? They wouldn't have even topped 1000.

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