Super-fit in bush battles, on foot and two wheels


2467 Mountain biking OKMountain bikers around Alice and competitors who will hit the Larapinta Trial running will be at their starting lines this week and next.
Bikers from across Australia will race in The Redback, a four-day, six-stage bike race that attracts Australia’s elite riders down to keen amateurs.
First held in 2008 – the race formerly known as the Ingkerreke Commercial MTB Enduro will celebrate its 10th anniversary, from August 17 to 20.
“When we conducted the first race in 2008 there were plenty of trails that the locals had built but we had to work hard to convince interstate riders to come and race,” says Race Director John Jacoby.
“But now it is widely known that the Red Centre trails are some of the best in Australia.”
Event Manager Sam Maffett from Rapid Ascent says: “There is an endless network of hand built single track that weaves its way through this incredible outback landscape.”
“The stages for 2017 have been tweaked to include many of the new trails that have been built recently, from 40-50 kilometre cross country racing, an ANZAC Hill Climb, individual time trial and the 22km Night Race.
“Although the racing is fast at the front, no stages are too long or hard so there’s plenty of time to socialise and hang out around the pool after each day with a great sense of camaraderie established between riders as they knock off each stage one race at a time,” Mr Maffett says.
All races start and finish within rolling distance of Alice Springs so riders do not need a support crew or a hire car. Unlike many other stage races they can stay in the one hotel for the entire event.
There is also the flexibility for riders to either do all stage races or pick and choose just the stages that suit them, ideal for working locals.
The 2017 event coincides with the famous Rotary Club’s Henley On Todd Regatta on Saturday next week, a spectacle family event involving boat races in the dry Todd River.
2467 trail runner 2 OKThe Run Larapinta Stage Race is returning to the West MacDonnell Ranges is a four-day, four-stage trail running race along the most spectacular sections of the Larapinta Trail, from August 11 to 14.
“The landscape is unforgettable, runners form lifelong friendships,” says Mr Maffett.
The event was first held in 2015 when 78 runners took part, 116 runners participated in the 2016 edition and over 150 are expected to compete in 2017 showing the popularity of this new race concept.
More and more international runners are also expected to participate.
“Run Larapinta is more than a race, it’s an adventure, an opportunity for self-discovery in an iconic landscape of open plains, red rocks and blue skies,” says Marion McRae, 2016 participant.
The event offers two course distance options tailored for runners of all levels: The Malbunka – a long course option features stages varying between 20km and 45km each day, whilst The Namatjira – a short course option includes stages varying between 11km and 30km each day.
Run Larapinta competitors can choose to do the full course or just select individual stages that suit their schedule, which is great for partners, supporters and local Alice Springs runners, says Mr Maffett.
“All good trail running races should have three key ingredients, a breathtaking landscape, a sense of journey and a friendly camaraderie between runners – and the Run Larapinta stage race has all these and more. It is a real bucket list event for any runner who loves their fresh air and freedom.”
The Larapinta Trail traverses a 223km route from the Telegraph Station at Alice Springs to the summit of Mt Sonder.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here