City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

The New Year Sprint


By edg - Posted on 27 October 2015

Event details
Time: 
Friday, December 30, 2016 - 11:00am
Time: 
Sunday, January 1, 2017 - 12:30pm
Telephone (info): 
0131 663 6472

The New Year Sprint is an open 110m race, with a handicap start, that has taken place around New Year's Day annually since 1870. Professional and amateur sprinters compete for a £4000 first prize. The Sprint is part of a series of open, ladies, and youth races taking place over a distance of 60 metres up to 4 furlongs (approx 800 metres).

Musselburgh Racecourse, in Musselburgh, 6 miles east of Edinburgh, usually hosts racing of the equestrian variety, but it's also open for this historic event each year.

Heats and supporting events take place on the 30 December at East Lothian Athletics Arena in Prestonpans, and the  New Year's Sprint Final takes place on New Year's Day itself (times TBC). Musselburgh racecourse opens for horse-racing at 10.45am with the first race in the traditional Christmas National Hunt horse-racing at 12.20pm. The Sprint is due to be broadcast, along with the National Hunt, on Channel 4.

In the event that the National Hunt meeting is cancelled, the second day's running will be held alongside the new year's National Hunt meeting a week later. Cancellation of that horse race meeting will not result in a further postponement of the running.

Prize money

The New Year Sprint is a professional event, but the meeting has been sanctioned by the Scottish Athletic Federation and British Athletics Federation for competition by amateurs, who may keep any prize money won.

There is a £20,000 bonus for any scratch runner who can beat the World Professional Record of 11.14 secs over 120 yards (approximately 110 metres) set by George McNeill in 1970.