Runners from across Australia and overseas are gearing up for the 2018 Run Larapinta Stage Race, a four-day, four-stage trail running race along the most spectacular sections of the Larapinta Trail near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. All the action begins Friday 17th August with a twilight night race and continues with racing each day, finishing on Monday 20th August.
The event features races of two different lengths with The Malbunka, a long course option with stages between 20km and 45km each day, while The Namatjira provides a shorter option with stages varying between 11km and 30km over the four days.
This year Run Larapinta will be host to over 170 runners, up from 120 runners in 2017, with a 50/50 male/female split and a broad range of abilities and ranging from the recreational to the elite.
Deb Nicholl from Brisbane tackled Run Larapinta as her first stage race in 2017 and after running 136kms through the MacDonnell ranges; triumphantly crossed the finish line as the first female and third place overall. “Run Larapinta was just amazing. The four days running in the most spectacular area was something I will never forget with its mind-blowing, beautiful scenery. The event was so well organised. It was such a fantastic experience at Run Larapinta.”
Lars Oppermann who is returning from Melbourne will set a new record this year as the first to compete at every Run Larapinta Stage Race since its inception in 2015. Lars has run the Namatjira race (short course) at Run Larapinta for the past three years and says now it’s time to step up to the Malbunka (long course).
Ballarat endurance runner Mick Marshall has included Run Larapinta in his Guinness Book of World Record attempt for the Most Desert Races Ran in a single Year. “Run Larapinta has been on my bucket list of events to do for quite a few years, so it has always been on my radar. I have never been to the trail before and I am very aware of how spectacular it all is, I was looking for an event to slot in at that time and didn’t hesitate with Run Larapinta.”
Rapid Ascent General Manager Sam Maffett said he was looking forward to welcoming runners to Alice Springs for Run Larapinta 2018 next week.
“We love giving competitors experiences they won’t forget. The quality of the running along the Larapinta Trail combined with the incredible setting and the camaraderie between competitors makes it an exceptional experience.
“Ultra marathons are growing in popularity around the country but there are only 1-2 stage races like this, so the Run Larapinta Stage Race is unique in Australia – it also provides the ideal opportunity for runners to combine their love of running with a visit to one of the most spectacular destinations in Australia, the Red Centre.”