A guide to the Australian Outback Marathon
If you’re looking for a marathon experience you’ll be talking about for years, take a look at the Australian Outback Marathon. This unique race occurs in the heart of Australia, in the shadow of the unique lone mountain rock form, Uluru (Ayers Rock).
The race was inaugurated in 2010 and remains a small but growing part of the running-as-tourism marathon segment. Competitors must avail themselves of a range of tour packages that allow them to take in the splendour of the Red Centre, learn about indigenous heritage and see part of Australia that tourists rarely journey to. There is no option to participate independent from a tour package.
The Australian Outback Marathon is not an easy race. The ground surfaces change frequently, ranging from rocky fire breaks, graded dirt roads to sealed roads and bush tracks. There are plenty of water and aid stations along the route, along with toilet facilities. The elevations are quite small, but the occasional sand dune will challenge runners unfamiliar with running on a moving surface. The generous 8-hour cut-off time reflects the complexity of the route.
There are half marathon, 11K and 6K races available on the day for those who are looking for the travel experience combined with a shorter running distance. The marathon starts early in the morning and the July date helps to reduce the temperature of the desert as the Southern Hemisphere winter is in full swing.
Family members are encouraged to come along to enjoy the area and support runners on the day. Local residents are also very supportive and welcoming to visitors who want to learn more about the hidden gem in the heart of Australia.
The entry fee for the race is included within the compulsory tour packages and range from around $1000 AUD (£570) for the most basic package through to around $4000 AUD (£2270) for the longest and most luxurious option. The Australian Outback Marathon is held on 28 July 2018 and is hosted by Travelling Fit, and adventure tour running company.
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