Australia’s first 200 mile race, the Altra Nerang 200 (320 kms), is set to take place at the end of September. It forms part of the Nerang Trail endurance festival which takes place from 27-30 September, 2018.
Set in the Nerang National Park, just behind the Gold Coast, the festival effectively brings trails to suburbia. The event is headquartered out of the Nerang cycling velodrome and is conducted on a 25 km loop (trail) course. The venue is just 45 minutes from the Gold Coast (Coolangatta) airport and one hour from the Brisbane international airport.
There are several events on offer ranging from 25 kms to 200 miles (320 kms) but the feature races are the Altra Nerang 200 miler and the Asia Trail Master Nerang 50 miler. The events have attracted entrants from most Australian States and from Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and the USA.
The Altra 200 miler has a line-up of stars including Kevin Muller, Sam Weir, Jeri Chua (Singapore), Lisa Spink and Kerrie Williamson. Muller is the current Australian M45 record holder for 6 hours (81.4 kms), is a former world M40 record holder for 48 hours and has won numerous long distance events including the highly acclaimed Coast to Kosciuszko (240 kms). Weir won the Anzac Day 450kms ultra event in 2014 and is well known for his win in rowing across the Atlantic Ocean in 2017. Chua, Spink and Williamson are all seasoned long distance runners and are veterans of the Coast to Kosciuszko event.
The Asia Trail Master is expected to attract entrants from all over Asia once established. The upcoming event is the inaugural event but already is attracting keen interest.
Event organiser, veteran ultra-runner Ian Cornelius says “The loop course is ingenious. It provides the opportunity for frequent rehydration & food intake and lends itself to frequent crewing care, not normally available on point to point courses.”
Some suggest that the Nerang course, set in heavy forest, does not offer views available from the alpine regions elsewhere. Cornelius argues that glimpses of the Gold Coast skyline and beachfront are hard to beat and that runners’ welfare and safety come first anyway. The loop setup is considerably less expensive to maintain than traditional point to point 200 milers on offer in the USA and, as a result, entry fees are less than a half. The Altra Nerang 200 is the first 200 miler in Australia. The event distance is hugely popular in the USA.
More information is available at www.nerang200miler.com