Australian Outback Marathon & Half-Marathon, 11K,6K
Ayres Rock, Australia
July 30, 2022
The start of the Marathon course has you with your back to Uluru – this means that you are perfectly positioned for an amazing “start line” photo!
Setting off and turning left has you following a graded and slightly corrugated track for approximately 1.5km before a right-hand turn leads you towards the Camel Farm and the first of your drink stations (positioned approximately 3km apart through out the course). At teh 4km mark you will cross over Yulara Drive and another 500m beyond that you will cross the Lasseter Highway for the first time. Look out for stunning views of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) on your left.
The course then turns in a north-easterly direction for another 2km and the ground changes once again from a desert track back to an unsealed but graded road. After approximately 7km you hit one of the few sealed roads on the course, Mala Road, which takes you through the village of Yulara on your way to more off-road trails. A left turn up Giles Road takes you once again onto graded tracks for a 6km “out and back” section. Once again there are some seriously good views of Kata Tjuta to be had on this section.
After returning to Mala Road you will take a right turn and cross Coote Road, turning due North towards Connellan Airport. There are a few small dunes to navigate here with some spectacular views of Uluru awaiting you over almost every tiny bump in the road.
The 21km mark sees you cross a different section of the Lassiter Highway and another short stretch of sealed road awaits you before you head off once again into the bush. There is a great selection here of the various types of “outback road” conditions and at around 23km you enter and amazing section of pure Australian Outback trail, and there are once again some truly amazing views to be had here.
At around 27km you take a left turn and you start the trip home. Utilising some of the tracks near the resort, you take a long, meandering loop over a small dune and continue on until you hit the raod again at the 28km mark. This marks the way back to the finish and you are now 3/5ths of the way back.
After once again crossing the Lassiter Highway you will get to see some fantastic views of Kata Tjuta, especially in the 30km-32km stretch. Back through Yulara village at around 32.5km sees you once again on Mala Road, the only sealed section of the course, with the red earth once again waiting to welcome you at around 36km. Here you will also get to see the twin sights of Kata Tjuta on your left and Uluru on your right.
From here it is plain sailing all the way to the finish line, with yet more breath-taking views to inspire you over the last few kilometres.
The entire course is relatively flat from a topographical point of view but there are a few little inclines here and there. A couple of short sand dunes also make an appearance and whilst they are not long or high they will certainly feel like a challenge when running up them. The views at the top will certainly make the effort worthwhile.
Please note that the course can be quite “sandy” and soft under foot.