Season 14 of Running Wild is here and the committee is already madly running around organising the races, which we hope you will enjoy and continue to support.
First though, a quick recap on what Running Wild is all about. Running Wild was formed to fill a perceived void in organised, quality trail running experiences for athletes in NSW, with the goals of staging low cost trail runs and to foster, encourage and promote the experience and enjoyment of Trail Running.
We aim to set courses that are both challenging in nature and rewarding in scenery and/or experience. As the previous seasons progressed we fine tuned the art of marking a course to keep all runners on track and have bought in a first aid team to work with us in all our events. All Running Wild courses are well marked with pink ribbon at intermittent points, together with crosses/arrows at key decision points. Aid stations are provided at regular distances, but a mandatory item for each runner is to have the capability of carrying a minimum of 500ml of fluid at each event. This is both practical and sensible in light of the fact that our races are run through the summer season in fairly remote and inaccessible locations.
Season 14 will consist of seven races, four of which will be the short course mountain series events, with distances ranging from 12 – 21km. Each mountain series course is unique in its own right. We are also have a shorter course option for each of the mountain series events, as well as the full course distance. The exact distance of the shorter option may vary between races, but this is an option for those who love trails, but do not want to run the full mountain series race distance.
The remaining three events will be the long course races, which are Glenbrook Marathon (and associated distances), the Australia Day Knapsack loop course and our hugely popular Mt Solitary Ultra. Each of these races offer different things for different runners and are mainstays on the trail running calendar.
Our race calendar is found on the calendar page of this website, but the following information gives you an overview of the races that will be part of season 10:
LONG COURSE RACE 1 – GLENBROOK TRAIL MARATHON , 34k and 25k
Born from a previous ‘fat ass’ run that became too popular for its own good. With the creation of Running Wild, it allowed the opportunity to showcase this course in an official event. On the day there are 3 simultaneous events – 25 km, 34 km and 42 km.
All runners will start in Euroka Clearing, meaning ‘Sun and Warmth’ in Aboriginal and climb to Portal Lookout. After turning and descending Mt. Portal, runners will head over to Red Hands Cave Trail. This is a seldom seen/used piece of single trail snaking along Glenbrook Creek. After reaching the caves, runners will tackle a grinding fire trail back to Oaks Trail. At this point all 25km runners will make a left turn and head for home.
For the 34km and 42km runners, they will make a right turn and head out to Nepean Lookout. This offers spectacular views out to Mulgoa and south towards Warragamba Dam. After turning, runners will return to Pisgah Fire Trail track head. Marathon runners will take Pisgah Trail and run an 8km out/back section. From there both the 34/42 km runners will return to Oaks Fire Trail. The last 7km of the course for all runners is a gradual downhill, so keep some energy in your legs!!! After a few kms on Oaks FT, runners will make a right turn and head along Bennetts Ridge Fire Trail before returning to the start /finish area. This is a varied and challenging course, with it being entirely runnable.
In addition this race is on the last weekend before Six Foot Track registration. Both the 34km and 42km courses double as qualifiers for Six Foot Track. Cut times are 4:15 and 5:30 respectively
Starting in the peaceful Lawson, this seemingly quiet mid mountains town is not often thought of for iconic Blue Mountains Running. However situated on the north side of the Highway this course won’t disappoint packing in some hills and visiting Empire Pass, with some stunning waterfalls nearby.
SHORT COURSE RACE – KEDUMBA HALF MARATHON and 10k
For any road runners who want to test their road time against a mountain course, this is the one for you! We tout this as ’arguably the toughest half marathon in Australia’ and you should not be disappointed. This course is a brute. Runners start at the Old Queen Victoria Hospital at Wentworth Falls and will descend Kedumba Walls down to Kedumba Campground. Just to make sure all people are aware they are doing a trail race, we include a water crossing just prior to the turn. After 10.5km and approximately 700m of vertical quad bashing running, all runners will hit the turn and tackle the climb back to the hospital. This will sort the climbing prowess of all runners with a seemingly never ending climb back to the finish. Take the time to take in the views on this course. Runners will pass the historic Kedumba Ruins and should the weather behave, capture seldom seen views of the southern side of Mt. Solitary.
SHORT COURSE RACE – NARROWNECK NIGHT RUN 20k and 14k
What a blast this race has been in every season!
For a night time perspective and from the vantage point at the southern tip of Narrowneck, runners can be seen heading out like fire flies. This course is a simple out and back on Narrowneck Plateau – simple in the sense you cant get lost, but hardly easy. The course has plenty of ups and downs and will surely test your running mettle. The beauty of this run is the late afternoon start and runners are rewarded with a glorious sunset view out over Megalong Valley and south to Kanangra Boyd National Park. The sunset is stunning and an added view is to the left through Jamison Valley. If you thought the views would be gone come night fall, you are wrong. From Narrowneck you can look east and see the Sydney skyline and buildings all lit up. This is a unique opportunity to run with friends in a spectacular piece of safe fire trails in the Blue Mountains.
Owing to the limited parking at Narrowneck, a bus shuttle will be operating from Katoomba Swimming Centre. Race registration will be at the Aquatic Centre and runners will travel out from there. Keep this in mind and arrive with plenty of spare time for the start.
LONG COURSE RACE 2 – St COLUMBA’S 3HR/6HR LAP RACE
This is a day for running in teams or solo at our Knapsack Lap Race. The course itself is a 5km loop course over challenging terrain in Knapsack Park, Glenbrook. Runners will be on both single trail and fire trail and visit two lookouts. There will be the opportunity for runners to enter in both solo and relay categories. This is a day to enjoy a unique trail running experience.
SHORT COURSE RACE – WENTWORTH FALLS 16k ,11k and a kids 6k
When Charles Darwin visited the Blue Mountains in the 1800 he headed to Wentworth Falls, and it’s no coincidence we start on the track named after him.
Arguably our most stunning short course race. Runners negotiate numerous trails in and around the Wentworth Falls area. The majority of this course is on single trail and includes lots of stairs. Runners are rewarded with some of the most magnificent views of the Blue Mountains NP. Views of the various waterfalls along the way and of the iconic Mt. Solitary are truly wonderful.
This race in the short course series is at Glenbrook National Park starting at Euroka Clearing. Runners start next to Apple Tree flat picnic area and run up Bennetts Ridge Fire Trail before taking a left turn onto a single track that leads to the Nepean River. Runners will loop back into Darug Campground in Euroka Clearing before making the ‘billy goat climb’ out of the picnic area. At the top of the ridge, runners will make a right turn onto a glorious piece of single track that skirts Portal Waterhole. Runners will exit the single track at the base of Mt. Portal. From there it is a tough climb on fire trail to the top of Mt. Portal and onto Portal Lookout. Runners will turn around here and descend Mt. Portal. Back at the T intersection, short course runners turn left for the 1.5 ks to the finish, while the long course runners will make a right hand turn and take the single track back to the main roadway and veer up to the Campfire Creek walking track and make their way almost into the causeway but make a hard turn and head up the Red Hands Cave Track, take take an early exit at Link Trail and heading up a lesser known track into the Ironbark Picnic area to the final descent into Euroka. This is a great course for beginner trail runners and those wishing to blow the cobwebs out after the winter season.
This course excites us all on the committee and rightly so. In our opinion, this is one of the best mountain/ultra trail courses in Australia. Yes, this is a fairly ambitious claim, but until you have done this course you will never know the joys that can be had all over this course.
Runners start from Queen Victoria Hospital and make a long descent to Kedumba River. The first 5km is uneventful fire trail, before the fun starts. Runners take a single trail for the next 3 km and is surely one of the nicest pieces of flowing single trail used in races. After crossing the river, runners will start the 3.5km climb to the eastern col of Mt. Solitary. This is a brutal climb of over 800 vertical metres over the distance. After reaching the col, the climbing is not over. Runners will traverse the top of Mt. Solitary, but still climbing in elevation to the western side. A rocky descent is made, before the single trail fun starts again. Runners will pass the Ruined Castle and head around towards the Scenic Railway. For this year runners will climb to the top of either Furber Steps for the aid station. After refueling, runners will continue along the single trail at the base of the escarpment. Runners will continue around to Lila Falls, before the trail opens up to fire trail. The crossing of Jamision Valley starts with a descent to both Leura and Jamison Creeks, before a grinding 8km climb back up Kedumba Walls to the start/finish area.