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Adventure Events in Alice Springs & Uluru to get the Adrenaline Thumping

Whether you’re joining one of the Alice Springs races or competing in an Uluru marathon, there’s an adrenaline event in Central Australia that’ll be nothing like you’ve ever competed in before. 

When you think of The Red Centre, what comes to mind? Probably not the steady thud of feet on red rock, the screeching of bike tyres as they flick up dust skirting around a tight bend, or the sight of thousands of people, of all ages, competing in the biggest sporting event in the Northern Territory. 

But Alice Springs and Uluru are hubs for adventure events that’ll get the blood pumping, the adrenalin thumping, and the heart racing. Here are some of the most exciting adventure events Central Australia has to offer. 

Alice Springs Events & Races

1. West Macs Monster Trail Running Fest 

Location: Tjoritja / West MacDonnell Ranges
Dates: 20-22 May 2022
Cost: From $120

 

If hiking the 230km Larapinta Trail sounds a little too easy, maybe you’d prefer to run it instead? 

West Macs Monster Trail Running Fest runs for a whole weekend in May and offers a range of race lengths that take on the impressive ridgelines and gorges of Tjoritja / West MacDonnell Ranges. The longest race sees runners take on the entire Larapinta Trail, crossing the finish line at the summit of Mt Sonder. 

For those trying to preserve their sanity, there are a few shorter options available, all starting from Mparntwe / Alice Springs;

  • 128km Ellery Monster to Ellery Creek Big Hole
  • 65km Standley Monster to Standley Chasm
  • 25km Simpsons Monster to Simpsons Gap

There’s also a 5km family fun run loop so you can start training your kids from day dot.

West Macs Monster

West Macs Monster

2. The Redback MTB Stage Race

Location: Mparntwe / Alice Springs
Dates: 18-21 August 2022
Cost: From $28 for single stages 

 

If you’re a mountain bike fiend who devours single-track for breakfast, The Redback MTB Stage Race is made for you. This award-winning, four day, six-stage race takes on the plethora of snaking trails that surround Mparntwe / Alice Springs, with over 175km of single-track to smash. 

The Redback MTB Race prides itself on having the easiest logistics of any stage race, as every day of the event starts and ends in Alice Springs. That means no hire car or support crew is needed, and riders can stay in the same accommodation the entire time. Like coming home to roost every night! 

Riders can either lock themselves into all six stages, or pick and choose what appeals to them. What are you waiting for? Get on ya bike!

Redback MTB Race 2

Redback MTB Race

3. Run Larapinta

Location: Tjoritja / West MacDonnell Ranges
Dates: 22-25 April 2022 & 12-15 August 2022
Cost: From $142 for single stage entry

 

A four-day, four-stage trail running event across the most scenic sections of the Larapinta Trail, Run Larapinta is a pick-your-own-adventure style trail run, with the option of running the entire course or picking the stages that work for you. 

This year there are two events happening, one in April and another in August, to make up for when the race couldn’t be run in 2021. 

All skill levels are welcome, so long as you’ve got your game face on. To quote the Run Larapinta team, ‘You don’t need to be fast but you do need to be determined’. 

Run Larapinta

Run Larapinta 2

Run Larapinta

4. Easter in the Alice

Location: Mparntwe / Alice Springs
Dates: 15-18 April 2022
Cost: From $90 for single stages

 

Easter in the Alice is a three day, three-stage race that takes on the technical and flowy single-tracks found all around Mparntwe / Alice Springs. 

Riders can choose between the 115km Full Distance option, which includes a 70km marathon stage on day one that laps around a 23km course, or for those still finding their riding legs, there’s the Midi Race that covers 60km over three days.

The best part is you don’t have to be an expert to race – so long as you’re of reasonable fitness and know what you’re doing behind the handlebars, you’ll be set. The races start early each morning so there’s ample time for swimming in waterholes in the arvo, beaut!

Easter in the Alice 2

Easter in the Alice

5. Alice Springs Masters Games

Location: Mparntwe / Alice Springs
Dates: Postponed to 2023, details to come

 

The Alice Springs Masters Games aka ‘The Friendly Games’ is a Masters sports event that goes down in the red dirt of Central Aus every two years.

Over eight days, competitors from right across the country and of ALL ages and skill levels (seriously, this is open to everyone!) compete in a variety of sporting events where winning isn’t the main aim, but rather a strong camaraderie and good spirit between participants – hence The Friendly Games! 

In 2020 there were 36 different sports to compete in and over 4000 participants – it’s like a mini Olympics! Choose between running, swimming, cycling, baseball, volleyball, hockey, lawn bowls, athletics, archery – the list is as long as a race track!

Uluru & Alice Springs Ultra Marathons

1. Australian Outback Marathon

Location: Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park
Dates: 30th July 2022
Cost: From $895

 

Possibly one of the most iconic marathon courses in the world, the Australian Outback Marathon trails along the red sand bush tracks and unsealed roads of The Red Centre, taking in the unforgettable views of Uluru and Kata Tjuta along the way. 

Choose to run the full or half marathon, or the shorter 11km or 6km courses. 

With a long line of package options available, which include race entry and accommodation for up to five nights, there are plenty of ways to turn your race into a full-blown holiday. 

Outback Marathon

Outback Marathon runners

Outback Marathon

2. The Track Australia

Location: Alice Springs & Uluru
Dates: 17-26 May 2023

 

This is a seriously hectic race made for people who are up for the challenge of a lifetime. The Track Australia is part of a series of ultramarathons held across the world. 

It sees competitors run 520km over 10 days from Alice Springs, through the West MacDonnell Ranges, down to Finke Gorge National Park, before reaching the finish line near Uluru – I told you it was serious! 

Not only is this race a test of endurance, it’s also a test of self-sufficiency. All racers are required to carry their own food and equipment with them as they run. Organisers provide competitors with a bivouac to sleep in every night – the rest is on your back!

The Track Australia

The Track Australia

3. Uluru Camel Cup 

Location: Yulara
Dates: 2022 postponed

 

Ok ok, you got me. This isn’t an Uluru ultramarathon. But it still makes the cut because boy does it get the adrenaline racing! Now in its 10th year, the Uluru Camel Cup is held in the tiny town of Yulara, just outside the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. 

Over two days locals and visitors alike strap in to watch this iconic and unique spectacle take place in the heart of the nation. Eight races happen on the main day, plus a reptile show, whip cracking display, and outback Fashions on the Field to keep the crowd entertained between runs. End the day with some boot scootin’ to a live band!

Uluru Camel Cup

Uluru Camel Cup

Adventure Tours All Year Round

Can’t make it to an event but still want to experience the best The Red Centre has to offer? Don’t fret! There’s a smorgasbord of adventure tours happening all year round in Alice Springs and Uluru.

Whether you want to start your morning in a hot air balloon high above Alice Springs, or end your day watching the sun set on Uluru from the back of a camel, you’re bound to find an adventure tour that’ll take your holiday to the next level.

 

Article guest written by We Are Explorers. See more from We Are Explorers on their website.

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