All entry fees are included as part of your package. NOTE: there are no Race Entry Only places available for the Australian Outback Marathon
There are no qualifying times for the Australian Outback Marathon
The Half Marathon will start at 7:45am
The Half-Marathon will have an 8 hour cut-off
All Half Marathon runners will be timed using chip technology
Your race packets will be available on your arrival at the the resort and will include:
- Your race number
- Your running shirt (not guaranteed for late entries)
- Your entry bands for your tours (please see relevant itinerary for specific details of included tours/events).
There will be no official pace setters for the Half Marathon
There will be drink stations approximately every 3km on the Half Marathon Course.
In addition all runners will be able to leave personal drinks out on the course at the 15km drink station
All personal drinks MUST be easily identifiable and should be left at the race briefing on the Friday before the race
Personal Refreshments and Clothing
Personal refreshments can be left on the 15km drink station
Personal clothing can be left at the race start and and at every drink station and they will then be available the following morning for collection once you have completed your event.
Note that ALL items not collected on the Sunday morning after the race will be automatically donated to charity
All transport for your itinerary is included as part of your package, including bus transfers from Connellan Airport (Ayers Rock Airport)
There is no expo associated with the Australian Outback Marathon
Finishers T-shirts, Medals and Certificates
All finishers will receive a specially created commemorative medal and a finishers certificate (available online)
The average daytime temperature is 21 degrees Celsius
The average night time temperature is 5 degrees Celsius
We will have Marathon-Photos.com with us during the event and ALL your race photography, including your course and finishers photo’s, are included as part of your package. There is NO ADDITIONAL FEE for your photographs
In addition, all participants will receive one (1) pass to the exclusive Australian Outback Marathon Pasta Party on the evening prior to the event
Australian Outback MarathonAUSTRALIAN OUTBACK MARATHON ⸺ 28 JULY 2018 As befits all things associated with the vastness of the Red Centre, the Australian Outback Marathon is one hugely awesome event. A marathon with a ...
AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK MARATHON ⸺ 28 JULY 2018
As befits all things associated with the vastness of the Red Centre, the Australian Outback Marathon is one hugely awesome event. A marathon with a difference. Even my time was massive! I never, ever thought that I would be proud of a time of a few seconds shy of 6 hours, but proud I am. It was tough, lots of soft sand (and even more soft sand), complete with sand dunes. All athletes were rewarded by the deafening silence of the desert and totally breathtaking vistas of Uluru and Kata Tjuta on the horizon. The brainchild of Mari-Mar Walton of Travelling Fit of Terrigal, the Australian Outback Marathon is Travelling Fit’s flagship. The team at Terrigal has every right to be totally proud of this event, the 10th anniversary edition of which will be held in 2019. It is a tribute to the diligence, dedication and attention to detail of the Travelling Fit team. It is a terrifically well-organised and well-supported event by any standard. Water/aid stations are every 3K, with sunscreen, Vaseline, lollies, gels and large collection boxes in which runners could deposit gear and reclaim it the following day. Each kilometre is clearly signposted. The course is tough with sand dunes, sand and more sand. Oh…did I mention the sand dunes?
Ziggy and I made the most of every precious minute we spent on this 4 day escape. Thank you to Sue O’Donnell for the kind lift to Sydney airport. On arrival at Connellan airport (a 5 min bus ride from the Yulara Resort), we checked in to our lovely hotel, Sails in the Desert and got our bearings. It was great to meet the Travelling Fit team. Race/event registration was seamless. We kicked off with a not-to-be-missed pre-race briefing by Michael Walton, Race Director and the team: the things you learn, too late to back out now…. followed by a carbo-loading dinner. Always a great opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and calm the nerves. These carbo-loading dinners are not usually a gastronomic feast, but this one more than compensated by the fact that we met a thoroughly charming 26 y/o UK athlete, Emily Reed, clearly a seasoned trail runner. (Note to self: Look out for Emily tomorrow!)
The event itself: Saturday, 28 July 2018, saw the 9th consecutive staging of the Australian Outback Marathon. At 6:30 am, in the 3° cold and dark of a winter desert morning, we were bussed to the race start. Plenty of nervous chatter with Race Director Michael Walton keeping up a warm and funny, upbeat narrative on the mike, very welcome! As the sun’s rays appeared stunningly over the horizon, at 7:45 am, the race start was, naturally, by didgeridoo! I was in for a shock: I experienced self-doubt in the first 500 metres. The terrain was compacted fire trail but on a heavily corrugated base such that no single footfall was reliably stable. I could not imagine fretting about the prospect of a twisted ankle/face plant for the entire 42K ….as my quads began a stern conversation with me, I did some astral travel and composed myself. It soon became clear that the quality of the fire trail and the depth of sand on it, was variable. Never easy (for this soft snowflake of a road runner) but then, this event was never going to be about a fast time for me.
The running gods were smiling on me as I met up with Emily from the dinner the previous evening at about 15K or so. We turned out to be excellent jogging/walking/chatting companions. Emily was plagued by a bad ankle (which quickly made firm friends with my bung knee!) so she was happy to dispatch this tough course at a sedate pace. I was entirely focussed on ensuring that I did not have a repeat of my Adelaide experience in August 2017. No wheelchair in the Outback for me! I ran lots of the course but I walked all of the soft sand sections, stopped for photos and a bit of small talk at aid stations. The ever-present vistas of Uluru and Kata Tjuta on the horizon were surreal. It was a total privilege to experience the desert scrub, spinifex, anthills, boab trees and awesome vegetation at the close range which 6 hours spent on the course, provides…. I am so glad I had my phone with me (a marathon first!) so that I could take photos. I was also able to ascertain when Ziggy finished the race: in a stunning time of 4:31. What a guy he is to wait for his mother, in the middle of the desert, for an hour and a half, while she finished her date with the Outback. I am also glad that I wore gaiters: although not critical, I saw a number of runners stopping to empty their shoes of sand and other accumulated desert gunk. We bussed back to our hotel, Sails in the Desert.
Ziggy and I had made a business plan of the things we wanted to achieve while in the Outback. Here is my executive summary of our achievements:
Marathon: Enough said already.
Sunset Camel Uluru Tour: No rest for the wicked! We quickly showered and changed. With plenty of red dust still in between our toes and in places we didn’t think we had places, we took off for our sunset camel tour. The camels were fantastic! Our guide, Judy was a descendant of cameleer parents and a cameleer herself, i.e., she races them! Judy was incredibly knowledgeable, interesting, warm and genuine. What Judy doesn’t know about camels, hasn’t happened to a camel. We also got a great view of an Uluru sunset on camelback. After returning to the camel farm, we enjoyed more running chatter at an outback version of wine & cheese in the form of beer damper & drinks.
Field of Light: A rapid turn-around and we just made our connection to the Field of Light excursion. This is uber-cool. We chose the evening option (sunrise version also available). Bruce Munro & co have done a stunning job. The Field of Light is made up of 300,000 individual components with over 380K of optical fibre. The Uluru Field of Light utilizes 50,000 stems and covers over 49,000 square metres (nearly seven football fields). All of the materials used in the Field of Light are recyclable and will be removed and used in another iteration of a Field of Light somewhere else on the planet. The website claims that the Uluru iteration has been extended to December 2020.
Morning trip Kata Tjuta: (Start getting used to calling the Olgas, ‘Kata Tjuta’!). There are three walking options:
- Karu walk – 2.2 km return
- Karingana walk – 5.4 km return
- Full circuit walk – 7.4 km return.
Ziggy and I did the full circuit walk (for bragging rights, as well as for the experience!). It is highly variable terrain, some clambering and inclines; nothing that will phase the reasonably fit but do yourselves a favour: wear shoes with good grip as well as caps/visors and sunnies! This place will blow your mind. It is H-U-G-E!
Celebratory Dinner Under the Stars: I had been told by several friends who have done the Outback event, that it is woven into the tradition of the Australian Outback Marathon, for Travelling Fit to host a magical dinner on the Sunday evening. The magic commenced with each of us, on exiting the bus, being met by the Welcome Tunnel: the entire Travelling Fit team, clapping for each of us as we made our way, past waitstaff with trays of champagne/wine/drinks, to a sensational lookout area, past the formal round tables set for a totally swish dinner! But, before dinner, we gathered at a brilliant lookout point while Michael Walton did what he does so well, ie, ran the welcome and congratulations segment while we sipped drinks and munched delectable bush-themed canapes. Then, á table! to mingle and chat with new-found friends and to enjoy a truly delicious bush-tucker-meets-gastronomic-excellence meal. Another highlight of this evening was the astronomer who, with his laser pointer, clearly and entertainingly enlightened us as to the wonders of the night sky. We were insanely fortunate to be in the Outback for the Blood Moon, the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century. As this was truly an international audience, the astronomer helpfully explained the features of the sky from ‘Down Under’. With zero pollution of any kind, the visibility of all constellations and other treasures visible in the southern hemisphere was perfect. For those who wanted better viewing (and who hadn’t had too much wine!), there was even a telescope! Is there nothing of which they don’t think? I found myself reflecting on my great fortune to be experiencing this all with my son…. can this trip get any better?”
Good Coffee: This is an important part of any trip for me. Although we didn’t do an exhaustive or comprehensive exploration, the best coffee which we had was from the Kulata Academy Café in the Resort Town Square.
I will wind up with some perspective as to the toughness of the course:
Australian Outback Marathon
- Course record: 2:54
- 2018 male winner: 3:09:58
- 2018 female winner: 3:34:32
- Ziggy Robinson: 4:31:18. Zig placed 61st out of 181 finishers, 47th male finisher.
- Ginta Viliunas: 5:59:39. Ginta placed 147th out of 181 finishers, 55th female finisher.
- 2018 male winner: 1:31
- 2018 female winner: 1:38
- 2018 male winner: 48:09
- 2018 female winner: 56:34
- 2018 male winner: 29 minutes
- 2018 female winner: 34 minutes
I am still on a high after the Australian Outback Marathon. My head is bursting with memories and images of the fantasmagorical things I saw, the people I met, THE RACE I FINISHED, the wonderful way in which the Travelling Fit team looked after us, everything. Ziggy and I had a great trip and an excellent experience. It was Ziggy’s first time in the Outback. I think it’s so cool that he did it in such a memorable fashion (and such a fast time!).
Long may that red dust linger in our clothes, our shoes and on our skin….
Don’t think about this one, JUST DO IT!
2018 Australian Outback Marathon Runner no 118
30 August 2018
Australian Outback MarathonThis was our 3rd Travelling Fit event and they again achieved a very high standard. If anyone wants to run an overseas marathon or the Australian Outback Marathon get onto these guys straight away. ...
This was our 3rd Travelling Fit event and they again achieved a very high standard. If anyone wants to run an overseas marathon or the Australian Outback Marathon get onto these guys straight away. They look after your every need.
Glenn Lockwood, NSW
It was so nice to meet you, Mari-Mar, Michael and the rest of the Travelling Fit team at Ayers Rock and we just want to thank you once again for such a wonderful trip. Running the Australian Outback Marathon was so very special and it truly was an amazing experience and location that neither of us will ever forget. Who could forget all that red earth, sand and of course those sand dunes. Brent and I had such a fabulous time away made even better by sharing it with the wonderful Travelling Fit team.
It was such a well organised event from the minute we arrived in Ayers Rock and continued right through until we left. The passion, enthusiasm,expertise and friendliness of the whole team was just incredible, so thanks again.
Joanne and Brent Pitts, NSW
I wanted to write to you to say a massive thank you for an amazing experience in Uluru over the weekend. The Outback marathon was unreal!!! I had such a great time. It was a wonderful, intermit event. The Highlight of the race was having my name announced running through the finish line, that was super super special THANK YOU!! A big shout out to the photographers, they were so friendly and it was great having their smiling faces out on the course encouraging me all the way, and the photos I received today are amazing, they capture the moment so well.
Sarah Beck – WA
I hope you have recovered after all the excitement of the Outback Marathon. I just wanted to thank you and Travelling Fit for your generosity, professionalism and support. I am looking forward to my next adventure with Travelling Fit.
Dave King (Dave & Bear), NSW
Can I take the opportunity to thank you all at travelling fit for a wonderful experience last week in the outback event. We had a great time and really appreciated all your care. A few good memories that will be high on the recall list for ever. Well done.
Ali Woodward, VIC
My sister, Lindsay Holland, and I would like to thank you both for the amazing event that you organised in the Outback. We were also both so pleased that we changed back to the full marathon and, although we were Walkers, we did not come last! The organisation was superb. The events that you arranged, especially the Celebration Dinner, were fantastic. The atmosphere of the Marathon, with such friendly volunteers manning the aid stations, was very enjoyable. It was not just a Marathon – it was a 4 day Experience! I would definitely recommend this Marathon to anyone looking for a marathon ‘with a difference’.
Sue Parsley, South Africa
Just arrived back yesterday from the Australian Outback Marathon and I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate all at Travelling Fit for such a well organized and wonderful event. From the first enquiry through to the actual event it has been a pleasure to associate with all concerned. Apart from the actual marathon the highlight would have to be the Sounds of Silence Dinner Celebration Dinner – a beautiful night.
Jackie Ginefra – VIC