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Big Red Run to Finish

It is with very heavy hearts that we are announcing that the Big Red Run will not be going ahead in 2019, and that 2018 was the last run.


In 2017 we did allude that the ongoing future of the run was uncertain, and sadly and regrettably the time has now come for us to make this difficult decision. 


We are of course very disappointed that we are no longer able to continue staging this iconic and inspiring event, the only event of it's kind in Australia. We know that each and every runner who has participated has been well looked after and left Birdsville and the Simpson Desert with an amazing and often life changing experience. 


We are however very proud that since 2013, 6 editions of the run have provided around 400 runners with amazing experiences, and enabled them to connect with others from all around Australia and develop long term connections and friendships.


We are also very proud that the event has raised over $1.1m for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation making an important contribution to ongoing research for Type 1 Diabetes. Not only that, but the Big Red Run is what gave birth to one of the most iconic and amazing music festivals in Australia, the Birdsville Big Red Bash, which in 2018 drew over 9,000 people to the outback, and generated over $11m in much needed tourism spending and economic activity to the many small towns throughout the outback. 


We would like to say a huge thanks to all of the amazing runners who have taken on the challenge and supported the event over the past 6 years, helping to raise funds for JDRF, as well as the many many volunteers who have generously given up their time and travelled to Birdsville to help us stage the event. Without these volunteers the run would have never been possible in the first place. The event is one of the most logistically challenging running events in Australia to deliver given its remote location, duration, harsh terrain and extensive off track running - all of which has only been made possible due to our highly skilled and experienced event team, so we extend a huge thank you to this team, many of whom have been involved since the inception of the event in 2013. 


To help you understand our reasons behind this difficult decision, a short explanation is outlined below:-


The Big Red Run requires a team of around 80 crew and volunteers. Looking forward to 2019, and reviewing the overall costs of running the event it has become clear that at the current entry fee level, the event requires close to 90 participants for it to remain financially viable. Having operated the event over the last 6 years, we have had a maximum of just over 80 runners back in 2015, and over the past 2 years that number has reduced to just over 50 each year. 


We have been happy to continue to provide significant financial support to the event given the funds it raises for JDRF and Type 1 Diabetes research, hoping that it would grow to become sustainable. 


Although we’ve given it our best efforts and support, that hasn’t occurred and we feel is unlikely to occur, given it hasn't reached that level over the last 6 years. We are unable to cut costs to address this issue, as the event is logistically and operationally challenging to deliver, and cutting corners in such a remote environment would compromise both the quality of the event and the safety of the participants, neither of which we are willing to compromise on.


So unfortunately there comes a time for us to face reality that an event of this format and cost structure in this location is not going to be financially viable over the long term. 


Since the Big Red Run started in 2013 the Ultra running scene has exploded, and so too has the number of events on offer in Australia and overseas, which we believe is one of the many reasons which makes it challenging for a niche event such as Big Red Run to attract the numbers needed to become viable.


So in a nutshell that’s an open and honest explanation of the reasons behind this very difficult decision.


Again a huge thanks to everyone involved over the years. Not only has the Big Red Run raised a significant amount for Type 1 Diabetes research since 2013, it has created so many special moments and memories that will last a lifetime!






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