The Australian Outback Half-Marathon course will be predominantly off-road, made up of bush trails, access roads and tracks as well as unsealed roads. Only a small amount of the course will be run on sealed roads. The running surface will consist mainly of the famous “red earth” that can be found all over central Australia, and stunning views of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) are waiting for you around almost every corner.
Setting off in a South-Westerly direction from the start/finish area, the ground underfoot turns from a graded bush road to a genuine bush fire-trail, with a combination of packed and soft, red earthy sand underfoot. After approximately 3km you will cross the Lassiter Highway and turn North-West for another 3km. Look out for stunning views of Kata Tjuta (The Olga’s) 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 8km 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. After crossing both Giles Road and Coote Road, a brief turn due North takes you back onto the red earth as you head up towards Connellan Airport.
You start to head back towards the finish area after approximately 12km and 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 15km mark sees you cross the Lassiter Highway and another short stretch of sealed road awaits you before you head off once again into the bush. After approximately 17km you will take a left turn where a 6km stretch of pure Australian Outback awaits you, and there are once again some truly amazing views to be had here. Don’t forget to take a look around as you make your way back to the finish line.
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.
Underfoot can get a little soft in places but this is “the red earth” after all!