Entries for the Sunshine Coast’s biggest one day sporting event are officially off and running.

Organisers for the eighth annual 7 Sunshine Coast Marathon running festival have set their sights on achieving new records for the event with up to 6500 runners anticipated on Sunday August 4.

Atlas Multisports managing director Jason Crowther said the groundswell of hype around the August 4 event on social media was pleasing but not being taken for granted.

“Competitors have a lot of options these days with several events to choose from,” he said.

“We work year-round to improve this festival not only to ensure it’s an event the Sunshine Coast community can be proud of but one that appeals to runners of all abilities and those who travel from outside the region, interstate and overseas to take part.”

The event will continue to be a major fundraiser for organisations such as major beneficiary Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) adding to the $1.6million already raised for dozens of local community groups in the past three years.

“Aside from promoting health, fitness and community participation our goal has always been to use the event as a vehicle to raise as much money and awareness for local community groups and charities,” Mr Crowther said.

Mooloolaba State School was the largest school team at the 2018 event with teacher Angela Hoppe running in the 21km; training with other staff to achieve their goals.

“The kids love the excitement of the whole process – registering, training, setting PB’s, getting their team singlets, picking up their race packs, competing and then showing off their medals. They enjoy hearing about the Mooloolaba staff training and competing with each other too. It’s just such a great way for our school community to be involved in an event that’s in our own backyard,” Ms Hoppe says

“I decided to do the half marathon a few years ago as I had previously competed in the 10km and thought I would challenge myself. I had no main goal, just to finish it. Every year since then, I’ve trained better and harder and continued to set a PB each year.”

“Early registration is definitely key. Once you register, there’s no backing out. It also gives people time to test out what distance they want to compete in and set a goal.”