Buggery, Despair and Horrible – The Great Southern Endurance 100 Miler Launches

Here at Ultra168 towers, we bemoaned the fact last year that the Aussie 100 miler was a dying breed with barely a handful to choose from. But since that article, the rumour mills have turned furiously, and today the utterly brutal Great Southern Endurance Run (GSER) 100 miler, starting at Mount Buller and finishing in the township of Bright launches.

Designed to be the ‘gem’ of 100 miler events in the southern hemisphere, the point to point journey is epic, the trails are predominantly single trail and the historical Australian Alps Walking Trail is used for parts of the course.

Total ascent is just a shade under 9,500m with a quad-bashing descent of 11,000m. This race does truly rival the likes of UTMB, set among the stunning Victorian Alps, full of single-track trail and the beauty is you don’t have to fork out over $2,000 in airfares to get to France.

And with passes over Mountains called, ‘Buggery’ and ‘Despair’, along with the rather aptly named, Horrible Gap, you know you’re in for a whole heap of suffering. This race will hurt you.

GSER 100 miler profile
GSER 100 miler profile

Sean Greenhill, part of the GSER management team said, ““In designing this course – we wanted people to get a pure experience of the Mountains in Australia, we looked for a journey, something that really spoke to the achievement of finishing, to say you have run from Mt Buller to Bright, across the mountains – it’s a formidable challenge in a special setting, that’s ultra running at its best”  

GSER will be offered as a 100 Mile event – with the categories of Solo or Team Relay in 2017. There’s no 100km soft option either, it’s 100 miles or nothing and you can choose to do it alone or in a team.

Indeed, so brutal is this race that it’s applications only, and they will open 1st July 2016.


So what does it take to even be considered for this race? 

Qualifications are broken into 3 categories, with an “A qualifier” carrying the most weight on the application, followed by B and then C, meaning that an applicant who has an A qualifier will be accepted over an applicant with a B, and a B over a C qualification. You only need one qualifier, but if you want to be assured of a spot, make it an ‘A’.

A: Qualifier

Applicant must have run and completed under the cut-off, a 100Mile race with a minimum of 6000m ascent and a minimum of 3000m decent, within the last 18 months from the date of application. Or have completed the GSER100 under the cut-off within the last 3 years (for 2018 onwards).

B: Qualifier

Applicant must have run and completed in the last 18 months and under cut-off, a 100Mile race with less ascent and descent as described in the “A qualifier. Or have run and completed in under cut-off, two 100KM races where, when added, the elevation equals the A qualifier elevation standard, and also within the last 18 months from the date of application.

C: Qualifier

Applicants must show an endurance based effort (maybe any sport), that in the view of the race committee, is similar or equal to (in physical effort and mental toughness terms) those required in A or B above, completed within the last 18 months from the date of application.

This is one of the reasons why entries for consideration open next month and you have over a year to get your qualifiers in place. The strict criteria means that anyone lining up for this race in 2017 will need to be in tip-top shape and have some serious experience under their belts.

15 discounted spots up for grabs in the Ultra168 Supporters Club

We’re also very excited to announce that Ultra168 has been given 15 spots in the inaugural event at a 15% discount on the standard entry fee. This means 15 lucky people will save over $50 on their race entry. But you have to be a member of our supporters club to qualify. If you need more information about joining, click on the Supporters Club logo below. Entry details and how to claim your discount will be provided when entries open at the start of July.



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I'm a mediocre runner who can bat above his average when I train hard. A man of extremes, I do enjoy everything life offers and consider it an absolute pleasure just to be able to put one foot in front of the other and let my mind wander somewhere different.

8 thoughts on “Buggery, Despair and Horrible – The Great Southern Endurance 100 Miler Launches

  1. I don’t any 100km race is a soft option (although it may have been in jest). It does lead to people feeling pressured to run the longest event all the time even though they may not be up to it.

    1. Hey Wes, yes it was said in jest. But, I’m not sure why anyone would feel pressured into running this race? You can’t just turn up to it like you can at UTA with zero running experience, which is highly evident in the DNF rate at UTA, which on the face of it, is a pretty ‘chilled’ course. Let’s be frank here, to qualify for this race, you’ve got to run either Alpine or GNW 100 miler- the kind of people running those races are not the kind of people who feel pressured into signing up to a 100 miler of this calibre. If people want to run a nice gentle 100kms, there’s plenty of options out there and the qualifications for this race will filter out a massive proportion.

  2. For sure Dan I agree with your thought process totally. I think this particular event is great and have no doubt that the field of runners will be aware of what is required to complete an event of this nature.

    But my experience of late is that often people are influenced to do things as a result of the dreaded FOMO and in ultra running there are definitely more runners falling into the trap of wanting to run the races others do. As a coach I have to constantly remind my athletes that they should run races for their own gains and to their ability but with large social groups (online) the pressure to fit in with others is on the increase. With events becoming more popular it is important that runners are aware that ultra running is not something to be taken lightly and that your body should be respected when preparing for, competing in and recovering from an event.

    Perhaps there is a though process that needs to occur within running groups that addresses the peer pressure aspect of running within running groups? I often train alone so I don’t really have to worry about this but know of many who struggle with the notion of not being at an event that all their training buddies are.

    But this is taking away from the main point of the article, the launch of a bloody good Aussie Miler! Which I have no doubt you would be super excited for!

    Cheers mate.

  3. About a week from Alpine Challenge? That might be too much choice in Milers? Are there the numbers to support both? It’s not like Alpine Challenge has had massive numbers. Good luck backing up and doing both.

    1. Indeed, certainly a consideration Rob, but I think we also need to look beyond our own borders now. Australia needs it’s own UTMB style of race, not just in terms of the course, but the sense of occasion and experience that it can provide to runners – we need to start attracting the big overseas talent to this one too. UTA has done a great job of that at the 100km level, time to step things up me thinks.

  4. Wow, sounds like another great ultra added to the calender.
    Might have to venture off the road again one day for this one

  5. Would like a qualifier for the flat landers who used to run long and have been waiting for something big to motivate them to return. Within the last 18 months have run 2x 100K with 1000m +/- (bugger all) but in 16.5 hours.

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