29 July 2017
Full, Half, 11km and 6 km options
This marathon is set in the very heart of the Australian outback with views of the magnificent Ayers Rock and Katat Tjuta (The Olgas). This gives runners the opportunity to experience the true Australian outback as more than just a tourist. This marathon is predominantly off-road, with the course made up bush trails and unsealed access road so you will be running mainly on iconic Australian ‘Red Earth’. The course is relatively flat with only a few small inclines and sand dunes. An unforgettable event not to be missed.
The cutoff times are 8 hours for the full, 4 hours in the half, 3 hours in the 11k and 1.5 hours for the 6km.
The 6km and 11 km options for the Australian Outback Marathon are open to all ages. The half marathon options are only open to peoples ages over 15 and the full marathon is only open to those aged 18 and over on race day. Apart from exceptions approved by Australian Outback Marathons.
Drinks and aid stations
Drink stations will be approximately every three kilometres throughout the half and full marathon. There will be three drink stations for the 11km run and one for the 6km run at approximately 4km. There are several medically trained personnel at the start/finish line as well as at some of the aid stations. There are also medical centres at the Ayers Rock Resort and a helicopter will be on standby in case it is needed.
The average daytime temperature in July is 21 degrees Celsius however at night-time the temperature is likely to drop to around 5 degrees Celsius. Therefore during the Australian Outback Marathon you are likely to experience chilly weather at the start of the race but the temperature will steadily increase as the day goes on.
Most of the race is run off road on bush trails, unsealed roads and tracks. The 6km and 11km fun run are loops which are near Ayers Rock. The half marathon participants complete a 21.1km loop, while the full marathon entrants do this loop twice.
The Australian Outback Marathon is an amazing experience. My wife and I ran our first half and a full marathon for this event and it was truly one of the most satisfying experiences we have ever had.
Everything was taken care of. We were picked up at the airport and taken to our hotel. The day before was a sunrise tour of Uluru (very cold but coffee is provided) followed by a walk around the base of the rock and a visit to the information centre. The race registration on Friday afternoon was a breeze and the pasta party was truly beautiful.
The morning of the race was such a positive atmosphere. The ability to rub shoulders with people from all over the world was great. The race itself is very tough. There is a lot of soft sand and the temperature gets up into the mid-twenties. However, this only serves to make the challenge more satisfying. The positivity of the people when you finish is mind blowing. I am not a very fast runner so I didn’t expect anyone there when I finished: boy was I wrong! I felt like a celebrity! Name over the loud speaker, some guy encouraging me in Norwegian, didgeridoos playing- truly uplifting.
The Sounds of Silence dinner and star talk on the final night are moving. It is difficult to describe the experience- you just have to try it.
We chose to do the Kings Canyon add on the day after. Don’t be put off by the early start and physicality of the trip- it is well worth it. A wee hint is to take a pillow on the bus to have a sleep in the morning! We visited a camel ranch on the way home and had an amazing lunch.
The whole trip was one of the most satisfying things we have ever done. Going as a couple is great. There is something for everyone there: the youngest runner was 11 and the eldest was 79!!! Both did the 6km run and had a blast.
Travel Managers were fantastic in helping us achieve our goals and we won’t hesitate to use them again when we cook up our next big goal.