About the Race Organisers
The Australian Outback Marathon was an event conceived by Mari-Mar Walton, the founder and Managing Director of Travelling Fit, after visiting Uluru with her husband Michael for the first time in 2004.
Mari-Mar had previously taken part in adventure races around the world and she wanted to bring the concept of an “all inclusive, fully hosted” Marathon holiday to Australia.
After six years of planning, gaining permissions and working out the logistics of putting on an event such as this in the middle of the desert, the inaugural Australian Outback Marathon took place with 187 runners on 31st July 2010, growing to over 400 participants in 2014.
Mari-Mar and Michael also enjoy looking after their two young children, Emma and Henry.
Mari-Mar Walton – Race Founder
Mari-Mar has been a runner since 1996 when she and a friend entered the City to Surf in Sydney on a whim. She loved the experience and since then has run well in excess of 50 Marathons and Ultra-Marathons all around the world, including most of the Marathon Majors. Her list of Marathons also includes races in many diverse locations, including France, China, Greenland, the Tibetan Plateau, Singapore, Greece, South Africa and Brazil as well as many Marathons in Australia. Most recently she was in Iceland for the Reykjavik Marathon.
Mari-Mar is also an accomplished Ultra-Marathon runner, having completed the Comrades Marathon on 3 occasions, the Marathon des Sables across the Moroccan Sahara twice and the Hida Takyama 78km race in Japan. She has also been the first female across the line in the Sydney Trailwalker 100km event.
Michael Walton – Race Director
Michael came to running and Marathon running relatively late, completing his first 42km race in 2001 at the tender age of 35. He has since gone on to finish 10 events all around the world, as well as many Half-Marathons and shorter distances.
Michael has an IT background, working as a database designer for a major law firm. He resigned his position in 2009 to concentrate fully on making the Australian Outback Marathon the best event it could be, bringing his passion for logistics and running together, allowing him to ensure that all the small details that make the Australian Outback Marathon so special are taken care of.
About Travelling Fit
Travelling Fit started as an idea in 2000 when Mari-Mar wanted to travel to London to run the Marathon but couldn’t find a travel agency with the appropriate level of knowledge to assist her in planning the trip. Having worked in the Travel Industry for most of her adult life Mari-Mar decided to create her own company and in the process also created an industry in Australia where none had existed before.
Travelling Fit has since grown to become Australia’s only travel company dedicated to the needs of runners and the wider running community, taking thousands of runners overseas every year to participate in some of the world’s greatest races, both big and small. Travelling Fit are also the only travel company in Australia offering guaranteed entries to all six of the World Marathon Majors (Tokyo, London, Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York).
All the staff at Travelling Fit know what it takes to participate in and finish a Marathon, most from first-hand experience, and with running as a passion and not just a job, the company’s core mission to “always put the runner first” is evident in everything they do.