In need of an awesome holiday? Want to experience a World Heritage Area in a unique way?
Then register for the Australian Outback Marathon on Sunday July 27. Experience Uluru (Ayres Rock), the world famous enormous red stone rock, and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), a series of dome shaped rocks in a once in a lifetime opportunity. Unlike any other running events, you will be too busy taking in the breathtaking sights that you'll soon forget about the long road ahead, your aching body, your burning lungs and being out of breath. Instead, this inspiring backdrop will give you so much adrenaline that you'll soon enjoy the delicious wind rushing by and your legs will be running on autopilot.
The Australian Outback Marathon is popular with the locals, but for most, this annual event is a once in a lifetime experience. There are all kinds of events to suit all levels of runners from novices to professionals. These include the full marathon, half marathon, 11km and 6km fun runs. The course has a few hills and sand dunes; however, it's mostly fairly flat. There'll be unsealed roads, trails and bush tracks and best of all, you'll be running on the world-famous Australian red soil.
Whether you're a marathon enthusiast or someone yearning for a super challenge, register for the splendid full marathon. Beginning in a south-easterly direction from the start/finish area, competitors will be running on graded bush roads, a bush fire-trail and sealed roads.
You'll loop and navigate over small dunes, see spectacular views of Kata Tjuta, pass through the cool village of Yulara, and gasp several times at the magnificent sight of Uluru. At one point (about 36km mark), you'll be hit with a double whammy of the glorious Kata Tjuta on your left and stunning Uluru on your right. When you see this, I'm sure it will motivate you to push harder and rocket to the end of the race.
The whole course is quite flat though; there are several inclines every so often. Don't let the running up of sand dunes slow you down. Just think of the little surprise waiting for you at the top. Also, don't let the distance of 42km make you think it's impossible. Remember Nike? Just do it.
If you're less of a hard-core runner, then perhaps the half marathon is more your thing. The course is largely off-road with bush trails, access roads and tracks as well as unsealed roads. You'll begin in a south-westerly route from the start-finish area. The course is pretty much the same as the full marathon except for the last few kilometres. Although not as hard-core, I still think finishing a half marathon is an amazing accomplishment.
If you are a moderate runner or a beginner wanting to experience this amazing run, then the 11km/6km fun runs might be for you. It might seem minute compared with the whopping 42kms, but believe me, it will make your heart pound madly, sweat generously beading your face and lungs constantly gasping for fresh air. Of course, this is all worth it because like the full and half marathons, you'll be rewarded with striking views of Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
At the end, to acknowledge your hard work and effort, all finishers will be rewarded with a shiny Commemorative Medal, an extraordinary race photo and an exclusive certificate will be available online.
So you've decided to experience the red dirt underfoot and register to be part of this unique experience. Why not take it further and make it into a holiday? Plenty of travel packages are available ranging from 3 days/2 nights to 6 days/5 nights. Each itinerary has its own set of inclusions, meals and tours. See here for more information.