DREAM RUN: Transcend Ultra

TrailRunMag 03.03.2022


WHILE MOST PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF AUSTRALIA think the country’s nothing but red desert and dirt with hardly a watering hole in sight, the west coast is fifty shades of emerald green and a host to overflowing rivers when winter kicks in.

Showcasing the very best of the Avon Valley National Park, which is set 80km north-east of Perth in Western Australia, the Transcend Ultra was created in 2021 by mates Shane Johnstone and Mitchell Craig. Having travelled together for a number of years to search for the best hikes and endurance events, they got a taste for high quality trail races but were left wondering and asking themselves why the same wasn’t conducted ‘at home’.

Their original mission was clear – to bring the quality and experience of international trail events right to their doorstep in Perth, and there was no better place for runners to traverse than the Avon Valley, which had never been run in its entirety via a foot race before.

The route allows Transcend Ultra athletes to run from Walyunga National Park to Cobbler Pool near Toodyay, which is a 65km distance with 2700m of elevation, and includes running through a number of privately managed properties, two national parks, a regional park, a wildlife sanctuary and two LGAs.

Transcend Ultra comes alive in winter with rivers, rapids, water falls, lush green flora and so much abundant wildlife you’ll be whipping out your phone camera every few minutes. The region also has a strong cultural association with the Whadjuk and Ballardong natives as well as a historic background with early settlers in Toodyay including iconic figures such as Yagan and Moondyne Joe.

With a massive shift in event demands towards outdoor experience rather than inner city based events, the Transcend Ultra is for both solo runners and relay teams with this year’s edition being held 26 June, 2022.

For more information visit transcendtrails.com

Photo: Marco Noe