Over the coming weeks and months there are quite few Australian ultra events for runners to get their teeth into, so we thought we’d run a quick outline of those that are around, before we move into what’s regarded as ultra-season proper from September onwards. Needless to say that we’ll be doing a preview of those too in a few weeks, but for now see if any of these tickle your fancy over the next few months in preparation for any of the biggies you may be attempting later on in the year.
Saturday July 14th: Kokoda Challenge – (Gold Coast)
Participants trek a 96km course that leads along fire trails, crosses 12 creeks and summits 5,000m of vertical elevation. The goal is to finish as a complete team of four in honour of the spirit forged on the Kokoda Track in 1942: mateship, endurance, courage and sacrifice. There’s also a nice fundraising piece tied with this as the event raises money for The Kokoda Challenge Youth Program. Contributions help young people to gain confidence, direction, life skills, new friends and the knowledge that anything is possible.
Sunday 22nd July: You Yangs 50-50 – (Victoria)
2012 will see the You Yangs as part of the Victorian Trail Running Championships It will be race 3 of the 4 races series with other events held at Maroondah Dam, Mount Macedon and the Series Finale on the Tan Track
Fri-Sun 27th-29th July: Caboolture 24 and 48 hour (QLS)
The Caboolture Historical Village sits on 4 hectares (about 12 acres) of land just north of Caboolture town centre on the old Bruce Highway. The runners for this event get to run around a 500m granite track in pretty cool surroundings.
Sat-Sun July 28th-29th: Bush Capital Marathon Festival (ACT)
The Bush Capital Bush Marathon Festival is an exciting 2-day off-road running and bush walking event from the centre of Canberra in Mt Ainslie, Mt Majura, Goorooyarroo and Mulligans Flat nature reserves. The events are fully off-road, nearly all on well-maintained management trails in the nature reserves. While there are a number of events, ultra runners will be interested in the 60km event that takes place on the Sunday.
Sun July 29th: Glasshouse Flinders Tour (QLS)
Another classic from the guys up in Queensland where the legendary Ian Javes holds the fort for this series as a prelim to the Glasshouse 100s. I raced here last year and it’s a fast flat course. Named after Matthew Flinders, who was the first European to climb one of the Glasshouse Mountains ( Beerburrum ) on this date in 1798.
Sunday August 5th: Mount Solitary Ultra (NSW)
This one is the canceled April race that’s now got a slot in August. One of the best courses going in Australia, it is truly spectacular. It has all the facets of what trail running is about – fast downhill fire/single trail, gnarly uphill, stairs, rolling single trail, creek/river crossings, rock clambering and diverse flora. Best of all, you will be tested to the hilt and be rewarded with stunning views all over the course.
Sunday 12th August: The Tan 50 and 100km (Victoria)
This one’s a pretty easy one to describe. Run around The Tan and repeat… lots. A great city location and a lovely track to run on with a few hills here and there to keep you interested.
So if you miss out on Kepler entry this Saturday (shhhh don’t tell anyone!), you might want to consider some of these very fine events.