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YMCA Rat Race Frequently Asked Questions

What is the YMCA Rat Race?

YMCA Rat Race is a cheeky, cheesy and challenging 4km (new family event) and 8km Obstacle Race! Based around the Brisbane River and the Kangaroo Point cliffs, teams of 4 “Rat-sters” must protect their giant inflatable “cheese” and carry it across the finish line - after conquering up to 14 challenging obstacles.

Why is the YMCA Rat Race a “MUST DO” Event?

  • It’s a brand NEW event and you’ll have the chance to be a part of the RAT Race Revolution from the beginning!
  • Because it’s NOT another mud run – just a LOT of Cheese
    • You’ll be covered in “cheese”…
    • You’ll crawl through a cheese…
    • You have to protect your cheese
    • You’ll get to EAT cheese
  • Improve your lifestyle and get Fit more easily – Get fit and fab while training for Brisbane’s cheesiest event!! You’ll have no other choice but to become one of those “gym rats” with the Rat Race day on the horizon…
  • An Excuse to get your Dirty Rat on.. Be as cheesy and as ratty as you like! Dress as a team of out-there Rat-sters and you could win great prizes!
  • Because it’s a team event – more people to share the fun of the experience with- train together, race together and party together afterwards!
  • There is no “i” in TEAM…conquering up to 14 crazy obstacles while protecting your cheese will seriously test your ability to work together!
  • No early morning race start for our Adult Teams! All you rat-sters can Sleep in and make your way to the event, chill out in the Festival area under the Story Bridge with a great Di Bella coffee before heading out on the course around 10.00am! Run, walk, scamper, scuttle – whatever your best Rat style is – just don’t lose your CHEESE
  • Family Rat Race You do get the early start with wave times commencing at 7.30am! Don’t worry we’ll have coffee vans there for you for before and after the race!
  • There is an after party with Wine & Cheese at the end… Celebrate like a RAT-STAR at the end of the race! Hang out with your rat-ster teammates at the After-Party and re-live your Rat Race memories. Grab a well-deserved glass of wine or beer from the Bar, check out the cheese markets and chill out to some funky tunes while watching the sunset over the Brisbane River.
  • Give back to the community – all proceeds of the event will go towards the YMCA Kids Breakfast Program.

Who can enter?

YMCA Rat Race is a cheeky, challenging event for anyone rat-tastic age 7 years and older. The event is now divided into 2 separate Races.

FAMILY Event: Teams of up to 4 people with children of 7-12 years participating and accompanied by an adult.

TEAM Event: Participants must be 13 years and over to compete with a recommended base level of fitness.

What do I get with my Registration?

All our “Rat Racers” will receive the following:

  • Free T-shirt
  • Water bottle
  • Bandana
  • Rat sac with some Ratty Snacks and samples

Your team will also receive ONE large inflatable cheese for you to protect and carry with you through all obstacles and across the finish line. Don’t drop the cheese!

What should I wear?

Wear your Ratty’est fitness gear - something you’re not afraid to get wet and dirty as there is a good chance you’ll look like a sewer rat at the finish line.

What if I want to dress up as a CHEESE?

As long as your costume (including shoes) will not harm either yourself or your mates, you can be whatever you’d like for the day! Good running shoes with laces are advised and encouraged for the 8km race course.

Is there a prize for best dressed Team?

Absolutely! We encourage all teams to get their RAT’s on (or any other funny theme) and dress up for the challenge. Best dressed team will WIN a fantastic prize which will be announced on the day :)

Do I need to be some kind of RAT-tastic athlete to do this?

Round is a shape, correct? YMCA Rat Race is suitable for most rat-thletes of any size, shape and ability. Just be ready to have some fun, be able to at least walk, jog or scamper 8km and get a good ratty team around you! For those that haven’t had a chance to move much lately, you will find it challenging, but you will finish it!

Can friends and family come to the Rat Race Festival?

Yes, yes , yes! Absolutely! The after party in Captain Burke Park is free and open for everyone. Friends and family are welcome to spend the whole day in the park where we’re partnering with our friends from The Defiant Duck and you will be able to feast on wine, cheese, great food, LIVE music and lots of fun for the kids. Festival goers will also have the chance to see all runners conquer the last BIG obstacle – GET RATTLED – a 10 metre high inflatable water slide!

How long will the race take?

Depending on your fitness level, how well you handle your cheese and whether you’re planning on sprinting, jogging, walking or scuttling , we’re estimating most people will take between 50minutes – 2 hours for the 8km event and 40 – 90 minutes for the 4km Family event.

Will there be any swimming involved?

There is no swimming involved, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get wet! We have lots of cheeky and dirty obstacles planned for you so make sure you’re prepared to become a dirty rat!

Is YMCA Rat Race timed?

No, the Rat Race is a challenge rather than a race! In our opinion, everyone finishing is a winner! However, you can always self-time if you are keen!

How do the obstacles work? Will they be too scary, difficult or dangerous?

The obstacles were designed to be fun and challenging. You’ll be challenged to work together with your teammates and most obstacles will need a supportive level of team work to get through! If you are really stuck, there are plenty of cheeky volunteers at every obstacle to get you and your team out of your pickle.

There is no way I am crawling through that! Can I still participate?

If you definitely don't want to participate in a particular obstacle, it is your right and responsibility to say ‘no’. There is no punishment for being a “chicken rat”…. But we’d love you to have a go!

How Safe is the Rat Race ?

Well we didn't want to make it too easy for you! The course and obstacles are all very safe but you will be jumping, climbing, sliding, and sand running and much more, so of course there is a risk of injury, however all necessary precautions have been taken. There will be first aid at the event in case you need assistance. Medical personnel will be available to assist any participant that appears to be suffering or injured.

What happens if it rains?

A little rain will just add to the adrenalin and excitement of this event. In the unlikely event of a natural disaster or extreme weather conditions, check our facebook page on the day to check for any changes. As with all race events please note that no refunds will be issued should the event for some unlikely reason be cancelled.

What if one of my Team members drops out?

You can still compete in a team of 2 or 3! Let us know if you need help to find a new team mate and we will put the call out for you!

Can I transfer Registration?

Yes, you are able to change your registration via your team portal on the Registration webpage.

How much does entry cost?

Second Release tickets are now on sale until the 23rd of September. TEAM EVENT prices starting at $84 per person (plus booking fee), FAMILY EVENT prices starting at $106 per team (plus booking fee). Third Release tickets will be on sale until the 14th of October. Third Release prices start at $96 per person (plus booking fee) for the TEAM EVENT, and $118 per team (plus booking fee) for the FAMILY EVENT. Make sure you sign up early to save!

Can I enter on the event day?

Registrations will close online on Friday night at 9.00pm. Late entrys will be taken on the day with a late entry fee.

Can I receive a refund?

No, unfortunately not. BUT you can transfer your registration through your Team Portal on the registration webpage.

When will Race Wave times be released and how does it work?

You will receive an email 7 days prior to the event confirming your teams start time. The amount of race waves will depend on the final number of participants.

Can I change my wave time?

Yes, teams can have their wave time changed. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How long before our teams race wave time should we arrive?

We would suggest 90 mins to make sure you get parked, registered, grab a coffee, check out merchandise and the festival area, drop off your bag, bathroom stop and warm up. Earlier wave times are always busier so expect increased waiting for parking, rego and bag drop at these times.

Can I take a pram on the course?

Due to space restrictions on the course no prams will be allowed. However, the festival after party in Captain Burke Park is pram friendly so leave your pram there (with someone you trust), while you do the race.

Will there be parking available?

We recommend participants to use public transport (bus or ferry), be dropped off or walk :) There is very limited parking onsite. For participants living in or close to CBD we recommend catching the FREE City Ferry from Eagle Street across to Holman Street where the race starts. This Ferry leaves every 30 minutes. Should you wish to park in the city, Secure Parking will be offering $5 all day parking for Race Participants who Pre-book online.

Can I collect my Rat Sac before the event day?

All registrations will be on the Sunday morning where you will receive your race number and your teams’ inflatable cheese. You can pick up your Rat Sacs after you race!

What should I bring?

  • Copy of your confirmation email with the QR Barcode (printed or on phone).
  • License or method of ID.
  • Gold coin for bag drop if required.
  • Towel for you and an extra for your car seat if driving.
  • Change of clothes for the after party in the park after the race.
  • Plastic bag to put dirty clothes in afterward.
  • Sunscreen / Bug Repellent if you need it.
  • Cash or Card for food and beverage (wine & cheese ++) after the race.
  • Cash or Card if you want to buy any Ratty merchandise.

Should I bring a camera with me?

YMCA Rat Race has engaged a professional event photography company to capture memories from the day out on course. Due to the large amount of inflatable obstacles, we can’t have participants carrying equipment that may cause them or other participants’ damage. So feel free to take a bunch at the media walls before the start but when you are ready to go, check the phone and camera into bag drop and focus on having fun and let the professionals capture your experience.

Do I need to bring water and carry it with me?

No, there will be at least 5 water stations in different areas on the course. If you have concerns that this might not be enough, we suggest wearing a hydration pack versus a carrying a water bottle to keep your hands free for all the fun.

Will there be a bag drop area at the event?

Yes, we have bag drop available at the event for a gold coin donation. Located near the registration area, our staff will keep you gear safe and secure until you have finished your race.

Can I fundraise or volunteer for the YMCA Schools’ Breakfast Program?

Yes – that would be great! Did you know that 1 in 4 children in Australia go to school hungry? Too often children from disadvantaged and dysfunctional families go without breakfast or even lunch – and find it very difficult to concentrate in class. The YMCA currently serves more than 500,000 breakfasts in 85 schools across Brisbane. The children are taught basic nutrition and our volunteers provide a friendly nourishing start to their day!

Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information!