Run Larapinta stage race about to kick off

TrailRunMag 20.04.2021

The Run Larapinta stage race gets underway tomorrow in the four-day, four-stage event, which will see participants take in some of the most spectacular sections of the iconic Larapinta Trail in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Held from Wednesday to Saturday, 21-24 April, this is the rescheduled 2020 event after it was postponed due to COVID-19 last year.

The popular stage race has developed a cult status among trail runners since its’ conception six years ago, and organisers Rapid Ascent can’t wait to share the Outback experience with the 140 participants this week.

“Run Larapinta really is far more a running experience than a race. Yes, you can challenge yourself and race hard, but far more people do it for the opportunity to run in the MacDonnell Ranges with like-minded people,” said General Manager of Rapid Ascent, Sam Maffett.

“It’s definitely become a bucket list event on the ultra-running calendar, and it’s easy to see why!” continued Maffett. “Participants will come away with life-long friendships and an incredible sense of awe after spending time running through the timeless red centre landscape.”

Two different course lengths will be staged: the Malbunka long course features stages of 20km – 41km each day and The Namatjira stages of 11km – 26km.

Both course lengths will experience running in the heart of the West MacDonnell Ranges from Alice Springs to magical places such as Simpsons Gap, Standley Chasm, and Birthday Waterhole.

Stage 4 on Saturday will see participants finish at the serene Ellery Creek Waterhole where they will get to cool off and celebrate their achievements with an unofficial party in the water complete with ‘pool’ floats.

Designed for runners of all types, the terrain is rough and rocky; but is unlike any other landscape in Australia, adding to the drawcard for participants.

In fact, as you are aware, 2021 will feature a second Run Larapinta Stage Race on 26 – 29 August with entries to this event reaching capacity earlier this year. Rapid Ascent has a self-imposed field limit of 200 runners.

“We feel it is very important to preserve the experience for all runners rather than compromise the course and runners’ experiences for the sake of more people,” said Maffett.

The popular event would not be possible without the support from the NT Government, which has helped event promoters Rapid Ascent market the event at a national level and reach capacity fields.