The line-up for the Qube Mile at the 2019 WesTrac Bunbury Geographe Gift (BGG) is set to host the who’s who of Australian Middle Distance running, with national representatives Matthew Ramsden, Jordan Williamzs and Sarah Billings confirmed for the race.
The trio, who all train under Nic Bideau of Melbourne Track Club, will join training partners and dual Olympians Ryan Gregson and Genevieve Gregson (nee LaCaze) in Bunbury from the 1-3 March. With a huge $5,000 on offer to the first across the line in both the Men and Women’s event, it’s sure to be an exciting race, thanks to the support of Qube Ports & Bulk.
Ramdsen is a born and bred West Australian, hailing from Rockingham and recognises the opportunity the BGG provides for local athletes.
“[It] means a lot to the WA boys who have to travel so far to get their hands on a bit of prize money. High prize races not only give great competition, but create opportunities for locals to travel and run in bigger meets overseas,” said the IAAF World Junior 1500m Finalist.
Ramsden currently holds State Under 20 records in the 1500m and 5000m and will surely have his sights on Herb Elliot’s State 1500m record in the near future.
Local athletes will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take to the start line with these incredible athletes in the Qube Mile, a four-lap race that evens the playing field as competitors receive a handicap mark based on their past performances – a challenge that the elite embrace.
“I really like handicap racing, it’s super difficult to win which makes it all the better. It’ll be great to run against everyone on the level playing field,” said Commonwealth Games Finalist Jordan Williamsz, who boasts a personal best of 3:36.30 for the 1500m.
The $78,000 prize pool aside, the BGG will set Bunbury as the place to be this March, giving local and interstate athletes the opportunity to enjoy the South West. Billings, who has a personal best of 2:03.66 for the 800m, describes her excitement for the trip west.
“I love Western Australia. I have been on many family holidays to Perth and Broome. I love the beaches and the laid-back vibe. I’ve also raced some of my best races in WA so I’ll always jump at the opportunity to race there,” the IAAF World U20 Championships semi-finalist said.
With just two weeks left until entries close, time is running out to enter the Bunbury event, with races including Men’s and Women’s 120m, 70m, 400m and the Mile, in addition to Little Athletics and Masters events. Entries are available online at www.bunburygeographegift.com.au and athletes and spectators alike are encouraged to start planning travel and accommodation as soon as possible for a long weekend in Bunbury.
The Little Athletics program gives local junior athletes the chance to compete alongside the Gift races, and participate in clinics hosted by some of the nation’s best athletes. The program provides a great opportunity for West Australian junior athletes to be inspired and learn from Australia’s elite.
The 2019 edition of the BGG will offer free admission to all spectators, providing a great opportunity for the broader community to witness some of Australia’s finest athletes in action. The event will take place at Bunbury Recreation Ground from the 2-3 of March 2019 and will feature the Retravision Playground, catering for the whole family with a 20-metre inflatable obstacle course, miniature train rides, market stalls, car displays and shaded Food Lane.