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Record prize money for 2017 Great Court Race

2016 Men’s Great Court Race winner Oliver Wightman (Photo: Geoff Lawrence, Creative Futures Photography)

University of Queensland students lining up at the 2017 Great Court Race will compete for the largest pool of prize money offered in the event’s 32-year history.

The multi-race event on Wednesday 24 May 2017 will be headlined by the prestigious Men’s and Women’s Great Court races—636-metre sprints around UQ’s state heritage-listed Great Court.

First-placegetters in the main races will receive a $1,000 bursary donated by Alumni Friends of The University of Queensland.

Alumni Friends Vice-President Dr Catherine Lawrence said the Association was proud to support one of UQ’s iconic sporting events.

“As an organisation that celebrates, supports, and encourages UQ’s ‘future alumni’, assisting the University’s student-athletes is an important part of what we do,” Dr Lawrence said.

“Alumni Friends’ members raise much of the money we donate to UQ students, researchers, and educators through our volunteer work—including at the UQ Alumni Book Fair.

“It is a privilege to support students who work as hard at their studies as they do their sport.”

A total of eight races will be contested at 2017’s event including Men’s and Women’s 70-metre sprints and four relays involving UQ’s colleges, clubs, and staff.

Due to the Great Court’s asymmetrical layout, each relay race consists of four irregular legs of 145 m, 156 m, 155 m and 180 m.

UQ Sport Chief Executive Bryan Pryde said the annual Great Court event was one of UQ’s proudest traditions.

“The Great Court Race was established in 1985 as a replica of Cambridge University’s Great Court Run, and our event has evolved to become a bucket-list event for competitors,” Mr Pryde said.

“The Great Court Race attracts the University’s finest student-athletes with several Queensland and Australian representatives featured on the honour roll.”

Previous winners include Olympians Mitchell Kealey (2005, 2006, and 2007) and Caitlin Sargent-Jones (2011, 2012, and 2013).

The main race is open to all UQ undergraduate students, while UQ staff and students (including postgraduate students) are eligible to enter the other races.

A total prize pool of almost $3,500 will be up for grabs—entries for all races close on Friday 5 May 2017.

Alumni Friends member and Great Court sculptor, Dr Rhyl Hinwood AM, also designed the perpetual sandstone trophy presented to winners of the Men’s and Women’s Great Course Races.

Former ABC Grandstand broadcaster Gerry Collins will provide on-course commentary throughout the event.

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