128km – Ellery Creek to the Alice Springs Overland Telegraph Station along the Iconic Larapinta Trail taking the alternate high route on Section 3 between Standley Chasm and Jay Creek

OVERVIEW:

Is the 231km a bit more than you wanted to chew off? Come and run the 128km Ellery Monster trail ultra through some of the most spectacular and runable sections of the Larapinta Trail. Starting at lunch time on Saturday from the beautiful Ellery Creek Big Hole Waterhole. The route starts off with a fantastic flowing and gently undulating run across the Alice Valley on Section 6 of the Larapinta Trail.

Now that you have warmed up, enjoy the hospitality of the Hugh Gorge Aid station as you refuel for an epic evening traversing Hugh Gorge and then ascending the most spectacular Razorback ridge into the night. A relatively short but very technical leg will move you through to the amazing Standley Chasm aid station. Again, refueling here is a must as you are about to undertake another hard slog for the next leg. Traversing the rugged back canyon from Standley Chasm, up along the high route, most of this will be in the dark as the trail markers reflect your way forward for some distance.

That is enough of the hard slog for a while…you run through some more amazing winding relatively gentle single track to Jay Creek, Mulga Camp Aid Station and into Simpsons Gap where you only have 2 notable climbs and about 25km to go. Climbing up  Euro Ridge is one of the most rewarding views and your first glimpse of the destination, 13kms from the finish line and provides the final ‘sting in the tail’ before descending down to the finish line at the Telegraph Station.

The 128km event also incorporates a team relay option.

ENTRY FEE INCLUSIONS (Not applicable to buddy runners):

  • Hard Copy Course Maps and GPX Files
  • Race Bibs (front and Rear)
  • Aid Stations and supplies
  • Provision of on course Medical support
  • Event medals and trophies or equivalent
  • Race information booklet (hard copy and electronic 2 weeks before event date)
  • Camping/access fees at Larapinta Trail Campsites/trail heads during event for entrants only
  • The trail running experience of a lifetime!

WHAT THE ENTRY FEE DOESN’T COVER:

  • Transport to Race Start lines (WMM will provide an option at additional cost)
  • Park entry fees to see the actual Standley Chasm ($15)
  • Any meals before or after the event
  • Accommodation

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

A 128km Ultra Trail Marathon – what more could you want. Running on challenging, rocky, technical terrain interlaced with sensational sections of flowing undulating hard-packed single track.

An morning road trip of approximately 100km out of Alice Springs to the Start line at the beautiful Ellery Creek Waterhole. This is ‘the locals’ swimming hole, where most Alice Springs residents will come at least once each summer to hang out for the day!

Starting ‘on the beach’ – who would have thought…! You will join the Larapinta Trail in a hundred meters or so for the journey across Section 6 to the breathtaking  Hugh Gorge. Approximately 30km of flowing single track joins the Heavitree and Chewings Mountain ranges which provide endless vistas as you traverse the Alice Valley.

At the Hugh Gorge Aid Station, refueling is a must! From here you will scramble up the Hugh Gorge for 4km or so.This is kind of boulder hopping, navigation, river rubble and big steep cliffs either side until the exit from the riverbed where you turn right and commence your Razorback Ridge Experience! The ascent is technical, the ridge is technical and the descent into Standley Chasm – you guessed it – technical! But the rewards are phenomenal!

Razorback Ridge 

 

Beyond the Standley Chasm start line you will go into the most amazing back canyon, with  rocky technical sections and views up and down rugged ancient valleys full of Ghost Gums, Cycads Palms, Mulga Trees and spinifex. You will reach Millers Flat where you need to turn left and climb the high route option. The climb up this hill will test your endurance, and is the first of only three significant climbs between you and the finish line. It is the most spectacular and technical of all the climbs. Don’t forget to take some priceless selfies on top of this ridge.

Off this ridge, down through fish hole waterhole and continuing on to Mulga Camp – a well deserved check point, restock your fluids and eat some food. This signifies the end of the real hard stuff, with only two mild climbs in comparison to come. Easier running is your experience now through to Simpsons Gap checkpoint. From Simpsons Gap, 25km of fantastic running until the finish line. You may well encounter runners coming through, or indeed, you may pass runners from both the 231km and 65km events between here and the finish line. The last few kilometers takes you over Euro ridge, regarded as the best view of Alice Springs from the Trail and then, finally, down into the historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station finish line – wow!

Summary

Photo opportunities – √ Challenge – √ Rugged Beauty – √ Amazing Vistas – √ Some beautiful easy running interlaced with some extremely demanding, technical ascents and descents. Gaiters are not required to protect your legs, but some people opt to wear them. We do recommend as a minimum – good quality trail running shoes (and maybe a spare pair in your drop bags), hats, sunscreen, plenty of fluid intake and ongoing nutrition.  Some navigation is required to confirm you are on the correct path at all times – and remember – follow the BLUE arrows at all times!

Don’t underestimate the challenge this Ultra Marathon offers competitors. To finish this will require guts, determination and stamina. But we know you can do it – the reward will last forever!

 

EVENT PROFILE:

128km Ellery Monster Elevation Profile

COURSE MAP:

128km Ellery Monster Course Map

 

 

 

 

MAPPING:

GPX Map

GPX Download

KML Download

KEY DATES:  

128km Compulsory Briefing: Friday 22nd May, 5pm venue TBA

128km Start: Saturday May 23rd, 12:00pm from Ellery Creek Big Hole – (transport by event at additional costs)

128km Cut-off: Sunday May 26th, 11:59pm

REGISTRATION:

Online Registrations Open: October 1st, 2019

Earlybird Registration Closes: Midnight Nov 30th 2019

Online Registrations Close: April 30th , 2020

RACE FORMAT

Individual 128km Ultra

Or

Team of 4 relay, 1st leg 

Team planning tip: Leg 1 is long but relatively easy. Legs 2 and 3 are for your strongest runners with guts determination willpower. Leg 4 is a beaut run with two mild climbs – predominately down hill into the finish line.

BUDDY RUNNERS/PACERS:

Buddy runners are subject to some rules contained in the general event rules. They are eligible to run in the 128km Ellery Monster from the Standley Chasm Checkpoint (~63km). All buddy runners must attend the Compulsory Briefing and comply with the race rules including mandatory equipment carry to the same level as that of the competitor they are pacing.

REGISTRATION COST:

Individual Early Bird (before midnight Nov 30th, 2019) – $590

Individual Normal Entry (Dec 1st, 2019 – April 30th, 2020) – $690

Team of 4 Early Bird (before midnight Nov 30th, 2019) – $590

Team of 4 Normal Entry (Dec 1st, 2019 – April 30th, 2020) – $690

REGISTRATION CONDITIONS:

Due to the physically challenging nature of the event and associated risks the following entry criteria will apply for all individual 128km race entrants

Solo Runners:

  • Evidence of successfully completing a trail ultra marathon within the past 2 years during an official event or training run with evidence.

And

  • Being at least 18 years of age at the date of the event starting

Team Runners:

  • Being at least 18 years of age at the date of the event starting

CUT-OFF TIMES:

Generous cut-off times are in place as follows:

63km Standley Chasm Check Point – 19 hours (7am Sunday)

103km Simpsons Gap Check Point – 27 hours (3pm Sunday)

128km Alice Springs Telegraph Station – 36 hours (Midnight, Sunday)

COMPULSORY BRIEFING:

A compulsory Briefing will be held at the event Headquarters for all 128km runners, Saturday 23rd May at 9.30am.

CLIMATE INFO:

In  May, the average daytime temperature is 23 degrees with overnight lows around 7 degrees. There is approximately 11 hours of daylight and a low chance of rainfall. Generally, people find that due to the low humidity of the dry desert air, they need to drink more fluids than usual.

HELPFUL LINKS: