Four massive days of trail running have come to an end with records broken at the Run Larapinta Stage Race. Runners from across the continent and overseas travelled to Alice Springs to race along some of the most spectacular sections of the Larapinta Trail.
Records fell from the start, with Germany’s Felix Weber putting down a cracking time in the twilight night race, beating the Malbunka long course record by over four minutes in a time of one hour, 19 minutes for the and two seconds for the 19km first stage. Emma MacIntosh of South Australia was fastest female in 1:48:25.
In the Namatjira short course it was local Simon Duke, the holder of the Fastest Known Time along the Larapinta Trail, running the 11kms in a time of 46 minutes, 33 seconds and Lauren French (WA) 55:14.5 taking the stage wins.
Regarded as the toughest of the four stages, runners rose to the conditions of Stage 2. Weber continued his domination of the event with an impressive time for the technical 41kms in four hours, 23 minutes, 58 seconds. Emma MacIntosh also continued her winning streak taking the stage in six hours, 12 minutes and 20 seconds amid a field of 46 long course runners.
In the shorter Namatjira course (20kms) Christopher Allday of Western Australia was first male across the line (2:47:51), and Melissa Christensen (SA) first female in 3:03:52 out of 100 racers.
Sunday’s Stage 3 delivered some top running conditions with a shorter, cooler day across the less technical sections.
In another display of running prowess – Weber took his third stage win to retain the overall lead, finishing the 29kms fast in a time of 2 hours, 58 minutes, 32 seconds – beating another course record by over eight minutes. Rowan Brookes from Somers, Victoria was first female, in a time of 4:35:50.
Christopher Allday took his second stage win in the Namatjira 22km short course (2:10:32) while Brooke Cupples of South Australia was fastest female (2:24:48).
A freezing morning for day four made way for more glorious Central Australian sunshine with the lure of the finish line at Glen Helen strong.
Short coursers had 30km up ahead, and the Long Coursers had 45km to finish their journeys that would total 83km and 134kms of challenging trail running for the four-stage race.
Fastest again was Weber finishing in a time of four hours, 27 minutes, 10 seconds, to total 13 hours, eight minutes and 43 seconds for the event, going on to be crowned the Malbunka long course champion.
Rowan Brookes was fastest female (6:25) and with a total event time of 19:31:38 taking the overall long course event win.
In the Shorter course Allday clinched another stage win with a time of 2:46:24 and Brooke Cupples 3:08:12. Allday and Cupples with total times of 8:36:05 and 9:36:58 respectively were crowned the Namatjira Short Course champions for 2018.
Race director Sam Maffett of Rapid Ascent Adventure Sports Event Management was impressed with the fast times posted
“It has gone incredibly well, there have been positive vibes the whole time, and I was elated to see each runner cross the finish line happy, relieved and incredibly satisfied with their running efforts. A big highlight was when the last competitor crossed the line, everyone was there to celebrate with a corridor clapping and cheering – it was a really touching moment. The sheer enjoyment the runners get, and the satisfaction evident in completing the race makes it such a satisfying event to be part of,” Maffett said.
Run Larapinta featured races of two different lengths with The Malbunka being a long course option with stages between 20km and 45km each day, whilst The Namatjira provides a shorter option with stages varying between 11km and 30km over the four days.
The Malbunka Long Course Overall Standings
- Felix Weber 13:08:43
- Leif Christensen 14:26:13
- Damon Whish-Wilson 15:37:04
The Malbunka Long Course Overall Standings – Female
- Rowan Brookes 19:31:38
- Sarah Rathmell 21:04:09
- Kym Child 21:50:50
Namatjira Short Course Overall Standings
- Christopher Allday 8:36:05
- Stephen Van Rees 9:05:56
- Laurent Rossignol 9:28:52
Namatjira Short Course Overall Standings – Female
- Brooke Cupples 9:36:58
- Melissa Christensen 9:53:42
- Melissa Richards 10:00:52