Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Ultra

The hills and trails of Canberra

Exploring the natural heart of Canberra, on foot. For solo runners and relay teams of 4

Bathe in Canberra's scenic beauty
A bush race in the heart of the nation's capital
Race solo or in a 4-leg relay
The best way to experience this unique city
Well-marked, easy-to-navigate course
Friendly, supportive atmosphere
Well-stocked drink and refreshment stations
HEED sports drink supplied by Hammer Nutrition
Post-event buffet meal for all runners and helpers
Full results published online same day

About the event

Canberra has some of the best trails of any city in the world.

Originally staged as a 100 km race to commemorate the Centenary of Canberra in 2013, this unique run is a celebration of our "Natural Capital" – part adventure, part scenic tour and part epic endurance challenge.

The journey wends through the hills, nature parks and open spaces of central, south and north Canberra, describing a wide loop starting and finishing at Rond Terrace, at the foot of Anzac Parade on Lake Burley Griffin in the Parliamentary Triangle.

Why not have it all? – this run combines the exhilarating immersion in Nature of a genuine trail race, with the convenience, safety and proximity to city services of an urban environment. Come and experience why so many runners choose to live and train in Canberra year-round.

The course is extended by 1 kilometre each year, to keep abreast of Canberra's age: in 2015 the race is 102 km.

Runners can challenge themselves to attain the glory of completing the entire 102 km solo; or else join with friends or colleagues to cover the distance in a relay team of 2 – 4 members.

AURA members receive $10 discount on entry prices, and will be required to show proof of current AURA membership at Registration.

HEED and other sports supplements are generously provided by Hammer Nutrition.

View a full listing of current entrants in the 2015 event.


103 km

Start time

  • 6:00 am for solo runners
  • 6:30 am for relay teams


  • Pre 5 pm, Wed 14 September: $130 Solos, $160 Teams
  • Post 5pm Wed 14 September: $160 Solos, $200 Teams
  • Online entries close at 5pm on Friday 23 September


Prachar Stegemann
0404 071-327
Send Email

Award categories

  • Medals for all solo finishers
  • Trophies for top placegetters in solo categories
  • Trophies for 1st 3 teams in each category

Proudly supported by

  • Hammer Nutrition

The route

Starting and finishing at The Rond Terraces, the route explores central Lake Burley Griffin and the national momuments of the Parliamentary Triangle, Parliament House, Red Hill, Isaacs Ridge, Farrer Ridge, Mt Taylor, Mt Arawang, Cooleman Ridge, Stromlo Forest Park, the National Arboretum, Cork Oaks, Black Mountain Reserve, Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie. 

The full course takes in most of the significant sights of Canberra.

Download the gpx file for the entire course (click on "download track" link), along with the elevation profile.

Download and print complete course descriptions and detailed maps for each leg.

We recommend the OsmAnd app for smartphone as a backup for staying on course. The advantage of OsmAnd is that it works offline and doesn't rely on a data connection.

You will need to:

Download OsmAnd (free version) to your iPhone or Android phone.
Download Australia map (warning - a fairly large file!)
Then you will need to download the GPX track for either the whole course or an individual leg from this site. You will need to open the track in the OsmAnd app. (Depending on your phone, this can be straightforward, or possibly not so straightforward!)

View, download and print detailed course maps for each leg:

Leg 1 Leg 2 Leg 3 Leg 4

Map 1 Map 7 Map 13 Map 19
Map 2 Map 8 Map 14 Map 20
Map 3 Map 9 Map 15 Map 21
Map 4 Map 10 Map 16 Map 22
Map 5 Map 11 Map 17 Map 23
Map 6 Map 12 Map 18 Map 24
      Map 25


Event Information

For all pre-entered Solo Athletes and Relay Teams, compulsory registration – including a pasta meal for all pre-entered athletes – will be between 5 pm and 7 pm, Saturday 26 September at "My Rainbow-Dreams" cafe, Dickson Place, Dickson (opposite the Post Office).  This will also the final opportunity to lodge late entries (pending the discretion of the event organisers).

If you have made changes to the composition or order of your team, you will need to have these recorded at Registration.  You will also sign a waiver form, collect race numbers and information on any last-minute course alterations.

Hammer Nutrition are proud supporters of the race. Please read their comprehensive Nutrition Guide prepared for participants in this event.

Replacement of team members is allowed, provided the replacement does not alter the category of the team (eg all-female to mixed). Replacement members must sign a waiver form at Registration. Also at Registration, names are to be confirmed for each member doing each leg. Changes to this schedule will be permitted on the day, provided transition marshals are informed of the change in advance of the leg concerned.

Solo Runners- Every Solo Runner who will be commencing the final leg of the race after 4:30pm, must provide his or her own helper/pacer OR must run with another competitor for this leg. Each helper/pacer may only be responsible for one runner. Helpers may provide assistance of any kind anywhere on the course, with the exception of pacing during the first three legs (ie running with the athlete for more than 30 seconds), or physically assisting the runner to move in a forward direction (ie pushing or towing the athlete). Helpers may touch the runner as long as he or she is stationary, and may assist with clothing, equipment, food & drinks, as well as motivational, inspirational and directional advice. Helpers may not interfere with or impede the progress of any other competitor. To do so will incur the disqualification of the helper's runner, even if he or she has no part in such interference.  The helper/pacer – with mobile phone, headlamp or flashlight – must accompany every solo runner commencing the final leg after 4:30pm.

Relay Teams - Teams must provide their own assistance and transport, which must be limited to a maximum of two (2) vehicles. Only members of a team can provide assistance to a team member in the course of the event. All other conditions are the same as apply to the solo runners' helpers. Any team member impeding or interfering with the progress of any other competitor or team will incur the disqualification of his or her entire team.

The race will start in two waves, from the grassy bank at The Rond Terraces (off Parkes Way, at the southern end of Anzac Parade).

Solo Runners will start at 6:00 am.  Note that sunrise will be at 5:47 am on Sunday 27 September, so there will be no need of headlamps for the early part of the run.

Relay Teams will depart at 6:30 am.

Please assemble near the start for final check-in fifteen minutes prior to your start time. Final briefing will commence five minutes before the start time for both Solo Runners and Relay Teams.

Sunset is scheduled for 6:03 pm on Sunday 27 September.   The race finishes where it began – on the grassy bank at Rond Terraces.

Upon the completion of each relay leg, it is the runner's responsibility to ensure that his or her number has been recorded by the timekeepers, before tagging the next runner (for Relay Teams) or proceeding to the next leg (for Solo Runners).  Besides these transition compounds, there will be several number checkpoints on each relay leg. These will be marked with a sign, and attended by an official. It is the runner's responsibility to ensure that his or her number is recorded by the official. Failure to be recorded at a number checkpoint will incur a minimum time penalty of 30 minutes. Locals will be aware of many potential short-cuts, but should remember that to take a short-cut may mean missing a crucial number checkpoint!

Race numbers are recorded at number checkpoints and relay transition compounds throughout the race. Anyone whose number is not recorded within a reasonable time will become the object of a search (and, if necessary, rescue) mission. For this reason, any individual or team member choosing to withdraw from the event must inform, or have their helper inform either an Emergency Services marshal or a race official at an aid station or a relay transition compound.

In the event of a relay team member being unable to complete his or her leg, another team member may complete that leg on his or her behalf, provided race officials are informed of the details and circumstances before the replacement team member proceeds. The resulting split time for that leg will not be credited to any team member, and the team will not be eligible for awards. Otherwise, the team may choose to leave that leg uncompleted and another team member may start the following leg, commencing from the advertised cut-off time of the previous leg. In this case, the team will be allowed to proceed, and other team members' split times will be recorded, but the team will be recorded as a DNF, ineligible for awards.

Each Relay Team runner must check-in with officials at the transition 15 minutes prior to their anticipated start-time. The team-member completing the previous leg must complete his or her course and be recorded by officials before tagging the next runner, who is then free to depart.

There will be full aid station supplies at each relay transition point. These will include water, sports drink (HEED), fruit, sweets, First Aid kit, vaseline, sunscreen (all of which are available to competitors only), and either public toilets or Port-a-loo.

Access to transition compounds is restricted to race officials, Solo Runner's helpers, media and team members involved in the changeover.

Transition compounds will be at the following locations:

Leg 1 / Leg 2 - the dead-end of Waldock St, Chifley, near the base of the north side of Mt Taylor.

Leg 2 / Leg 3 - Boundary Rd, behind the public car parking area, National Arboretum.

Leg 3 / Leg 4 - grassy area adjacent to the intersection of Phillip Ave and Majura Ave, Dickson.

Aside from the transition compounds, there will be aid stations offering fruit, sweets, water and sports drink, approximately every 10 km along the course. It is compulsory for every Solo Runner to carry a minimum of 500 ml of water or sports drink – 750 ml to one litre is recommended.

Solo runners who wish to prepare drop-off bags with special drinks etc to be collected at the transition points, must bring these, clearly labelled with their name, race number and transition number where they are to be collected, to Registration on Friday evening, or else to the start at least 15 minutes prior to the race start.

In addition to the transition compounds, aid stations will be located at the following points:

Leg 1

a) Hindmarsh Dr tunnel, northern end – end of Hartigan St, Garran
b) Crossing of Athllon Dr

Leg 2

c) Corner of Eucumbene Dr and Hindmarsh Dr, Duffy
e) Near Stromlo Forest Park roundabout entrance (Dave McInnes Drive)

Leg 3

f) Car park adjacent to Black Mountain Dr, after summit loop of Black Mountain
g) Roundabout at Fairfax St and Dryandra St, O'Connor

Leg 4

h) Mt Majura summit
i) Mt Ainslie summit


For safety, NO RUNNER may wear an iPod, radio or other listening device during the course of the event.


For Solo Runners: every solo runner must carry the following equipment with him or her for the entire event.  This equipment will be checked prior to the start, and may be checked at other points along the course:

* Mobile phone
* Minimum of 500 ml of water or sports drink – it is recommended to carry 750 ml to one litre
* Every solo runner starting the final leg of the race after 3.30pm must carry a headlamp or torch
* Every solo runner starting the final leg of the race after 4.30pm must be accompanied by a helper/pacer, who must also carry a mobile phone and headlamp or flashlight OR must run with another competitor for this leg

For Relay Team Runners: every relay team runner must carry the following equipment with him or her for their entire leg.  This equipment will be checked prior to the start of each relay leg:

* Mobile phone
* Every relay team runner starting the final leg of the race after 3.30pm must carry a headlamp or flashlight

Most of the course of the Sri Chinmoy Canberra Ultra Trail Run is within Canberra Nature Park, which includes Red Hill, Isaacs and Farrer Ridges, Mt Taylor, Mt Arawang, Cooleman Ridge, Black Mountain Reserve, Bruce and O'Connor Ridges, Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie – as well as through Stromlo Forest Park and the National Arboretum. We are very fortunate to have been granted permission to stage this event through these areas. The authorities of Environment ACT have been extremely cooperative and helpful.

However, please be aware that this event takes place in a public domain. We do not have exclusive use of any of these areas, all of which are used by many people on weekends. Please treat other users with courtesy, especially walkers.

ALL RUNNERS MUST GIVE WAY TO ALL TRAFFIC AT ALL ROAD CROSSINGS. While marshals will be stationed at major crossings, they will not be stopping traffic, but simply assisting you to make a safe crossing. Please be patient and cautious. In the context of an all-day event, a short delay at a road crossing may be used as an opportunity for a brief rest.  Failure to give way at a road crossing, or failure to obey the instructions of a marshal at a road crossing, will result in immediate disqualification from the race.

Athletes must show due courtesy and concern for all users of public cycle paths, including giving way to all pedestrians and recreational cyclists.

All gates in Canberra Nature Park, the former Stromlo Forest and the National Arboretum which are normally locked will remain locked for this event. Where a gate is closed, you may open the gate to pass through, but must then close the gate behind you. Where a gate on the course is locked, it must be climbed.

Please note that all competitors who have entered or have been entered into this event online, whether as Solo Runners or Relay Team members, must sign the participant waiver before commencing their respective leg or legs of the race. Copies of the waiver will be available at each transition area.

Any competitor who commences a leg without first signing the participant waiver is subject to immediate and automatic disqualification, and is no longer deemed a participant in the event.

In the event that any area of the course is closed to the public for any reason – including but not limited to fire, flooding, traffic or other accident – an alternative route through or around that area will be sought, and advertised at Registration or else signposted on the day of the race.  In this case, it cannot be guaranteed that the amended course will be the same distance of the originally advertised course.

In the event that the entire Canberra Nature Park is closed to the public for any reason, the event will be postponed to another date.  All entries in an event thus postponed will be held over to that later date, or else may be redeemed for any future running of the event within 3 years of the originally advertised event.

The event is being attended by members of the ACT SES and Sports Medicine Australia. SES will have radios at critical points on each course. Trained personnel will be on hand to treat injuries. Every competitor will be carrying a mobile phone.

This is an endurance event, where a spirit of mutual assistance will benefit all. No amount of planning can adequately protect a 102 kilometre course through bushland, and many sections are without medical personnel or marshals for several kilometres. If you encounter another runner in difficulty, please stop to ascertain their condition and lend assistance where possible, and be sure to report the situation to the next marshal you see.

All times listed are in 24-hour clock time according to Eastern Standard Time, which assumes that the race commences with the start of the Solo Runners at 0600.  These times apply to both Solo Runners and Relay Teams (even though Relay Teams commence 30 minutes after the Solo Runners).

Relay Leg 1 - 1000    
Relay Leg 2 - 1430    
Relay Leg 3 - 1900    


After these times, there will be no marshals, checkpoints or aid stations on the course, and split times will not be recorded.

Solo Runners: Any runner commencing the final run leg after 1630 must be accompanied either by another competitor OR by his or her helper/pacer, with a headlamp or flashlight. A sweeper will follow the backmarker throughout the course.

Relay Teams: In the event that a team member fails to complete his or her leg before the designated cut-off time, another team member will be allowed to start the next leg at that time. In this case, the team will be permitted to proceed, and all ensuing team members' split times will be recorded, but the team will be recorded as a DNF, ineligible for any awards.

The race finish and communications HQ will be at The Rond Terraces. Updates on results will be posted here from 3pm onwards. The nearest hot showers are available at Civic Pool. Relax with a drink, cheer on your friends, and share stories of the day's exploits.

The awards ceremony will be held at The Rond Terraces at 8pm. Awards will be presented to all Solo Runners who complete the course; and the first three all-male, all-female and mixed Relay Teams.

Check any of the following vantage points for stunning vistas...

1. Mt Majura (4th relay leg) 888m
2. Mt Taylor (1st relay leg) 855m
3. Mt Ainslie (4th relay leg) 843m
4. Mt Stanley (1st relay leg) 841m
5. Black Mountain (3rd relay leg) 812m
6. Sheaffe Trig (1st relay leg) 793m
7. Mt Stromlo (2nd relay leg) 782m
8. Mt Arawang (2nd relay leg) 756m
9. Davidson Trig (1st relay leg) 749m
10. Red Hill (1st relay leg) 720m

Note that these records were set on the 2013 course of 100 km

Solo Male Under 50: 9:48:48 – Thomas Brazier (2013)

Solo Male 50 and over: 14:11:08 – Colin Wiley (2013)
Solo Female Under 50: 11:24:57 – Susan Keith (2013)
Solo Female 50 and Over:

1st leg Solo Male Under 50: 2:04:57 – Thomas Brazier (2013)
1st leg Solo Male 50 and Over: 2:25:24 – Colin Wiley (2013)
1st leg Solo Female Under 50: 2:25:22 – Susan Keith (2013)
1st leg Solo Female 50 and Over:
2nd leg Solo Male Under 50: 2:45:28 – Paul Cuthbert (2013)
2nd leg Solo Male 50 and Over: 3:50:00 – Colin Wiley (2013)
2nd leg Solo Female Under 50: 3:18:52 – Susan Keith (2013)
2nd leg Solo Female 50 and Over:
3rd leg Solo Male Under 50: 2:27:19 – Thomas Brazier (2013)
3rd leg Solo Male 50 and Over: 3:26:59 – Colin Wiley (2013)
3rd leg Solo Female Under 50: 2:43:41 – Susan Keith (2013)
3rd leg Solo Female 50 and Over:
4th leg Solo Male Under 50: 2:24:35 – Andrew Donaldson (2013)
4th leg Solo Male 50 and Over: 4:28:45 – Colin Wiley (2013)
4th leg Solo Female Under 50: 2:57:02 – Susan Keith (2013)
4th leg Solo Female 50 and Over:

Relay Teams

All-Female Team: 9:17:56 – "Here We Go" (Aimee Davenport, Margaret Helmsley, Hannah Every-Hall, Tiffany Bonasera) (2013)
All-Male Team: 6:59:46 – "@runcanberra" (Matt Fenech, Rob Walter, Martin Dent, Philo Saunders) (2013)
Mixed Team: 8:10:09 – "Enough of the Puffs" (David Osmond, Louise Sharp, Elizabeth Humphries, Stuart Doyle) (2013)

Relay Leg Records

1st leg male: 1:43:25 – Matt Fenech ("@runcanberra") (2013)
1st leg female: 2:11:23 – Aimee Davenport ("Here We Go") (2013)
2nd leg male: 2:06:38 – Rob Walter ("@runcanberra") (2013)
2nd leg female: 2:30:49 – Hannah Flannery ("Formaggi che corrono") (2013)
3rd leg male: 1:26:02 – Martin Dent ("@runcanberra") (2013)
3rd leg female: 1:59:58 – Elizabeth Humphries ("Enough of the Puffs") (2013)
4th leg male: 1:42:58 – Stuart Doyle ("Enough of the Puffs") (2013)
4th leg female: 2:08:50 – Sarah Buekerfield ("ANU MC-Hammer") (2013)

Story Archive

Some of our entrants have contributed their own stories – you can read them in the Story Archive.

Previous Results

  • 2015 Sep 27th
    Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Ultra, 102km, 27 September 2015

    When a perfect day comes, you just have to cherish it. You know there will be wet, cold or super-hot, dusty and blustery days when just to put one foot in front of the other is a supreme effort – so when the sky is blue, the air calm and the sun mild; when birds are singing, balloons hovering and the very trees are smiling … these are days to be grateful for.

    50 solo runners and 72 relay teams lined up at The Rond Terraces on Lake Burley Griffin for the dawn start, to venture forth along Canberra’s tracks and trails, wending an enormous circular route around the nation’s capital, cresting the peak of almost every hill and savouring a smorgasbord of superb vistas along the way. 102 kilometres would honour the 102 years this wonderful city has graced the Limestone Pains.

    Paul Cuthbert and Sarah Fien are locals who know these trails better than most. Paul had come in second place both years this event has previously been held – in 2013 and 2014 – and this year, though his 10:17:57 was slower due to a more challenging course, his persistence triumphed with a front-running victory, having led the field from the first 100 metres. Sarah had also experienced disappointment here, having been forced to withdraw last year, but came back stronger and more determined, winning the women’s race in 11:35:18. placing her 7th outright. Both looked fresh and relaxed throughout the race, never more so than at the finish line.

    Rob Mason (10:45:06) and Andrew Donaldson (10:55:46) both came in under the 11 hour mark, both working their way through the field to finish “on a roll.” Glenn Gielissen took out the Men 50-59 category in 14:07:37; and last year’s women’s winner, Pam Muston the Women’s 50-59 in an excellent 13:21:09. Deep respect and congratulations to all solo runners for their courage, vision, faith and heroism which permeated the whole race and only intensified the beauty and glory of this memorable day.

    Having tasted winning teams in previous years, Martin Dent and Rob Walter decided to handicap themselves this year by each running twice as far as their competitors in the All-Male teams. Each ran 2 of the 4 legs for Team “2614”, and found it very demanding to back up for a second leg, yet still ran out convincing winners in 8:13:40 – 40 minutes clear of their rivals. Martin’s 1:59:38 was over 10 minutes clear in the 29.3 km leg 2.

    Team “Malteesers” were convincing winners in the All-Female teams category, winning by 50 minutes. Tiffany Bonasera, Margaret Hemsley, Kyralee Bunt and Alison Mungoven were each in the top few for their legs, their combination proving unbeatable this day.

    The “race du jour” was in the Mixed Teams category, between “StuLouElizDave” (David Osmond, Elizabeth Humphries, Louise Sharp and Stuart Doyle), and “The anu’s” (Joelle Ducommun-Dit-Verron, Richard Skelton, Jessica Amies and Emmanuel David). Both teams sprinted out at the start, with Dave and Joelle running the fastest male and female times for this leg. The anu’s drew away on leg 2, as Richard took the fastest male time for this leg and Jessica went further ahead on leg 3. Heading out of T3, Stuart was faced with a 9-minute deficit (abetted by Louise managing to run an additional few scenic km), and ran his heart out over Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie to bring his team victory by a mere 90 seconds.

    Gratitude to all helpers, supporters, onlookers and well-wishers: especially to the Gungahlin SES; to Sports Medicine Australia; Triathlon ACT for the loan of equipment; to the staff of NCA, Environment ACT, the National Arboretum Canberra and Stromlo Forest Park; Martin Fryer for designing an outstanding course; the course markers, sweepers and clearers; to the transition and drink station attendants and marshals; to Shane Rattenbury for presenting the awards and supporting the race so wholeheartedly.

    Enjoy Steve Hanley's photos of the day, along with the SCMT photo album from all over the course.

    The race will return next year, maturing as Canberra does, to 103…

  • 2014 Sep 28th
    2014: Kathryn Alley's Race Report

    sri-chinmoy-101k-kathryn-alley1_0.jpgI am never running another 100km race ever again. These were my first words to friends and family when I finished the 2013 Canberra 100K.

    After telling myself that I have ticked the ultra-marathon box, and that I don’t need to put myself through such physical and mental torment again, the thoughts of going back to Canberra for another go, to better my time and place started creeping in. Before I knew it, I had committed to a training program and signed myself up. I wanted to compete against the girls this year. I wanted to come in under 13 hours and most of all I wanted that podium finish.

    But let’s start from the beginning. In May this year my husband (and amazing friends) surprised me for my 30th with an entry into the New York City Marathon which is to be staged in November. I was excited and started dreaming of how fast a time I could do. But then my mind turned to Canberra. Could I still do the 100 and then back up 5 weeks later for my first ever marathon? I had to weigh up priorities. To do well in New York or do well in Canberra? The temptation of smashing out a solid 100km time in Canberra took out the top spot. My goal for the year now was to give Canberra a good crack and just go out and have a good time in New York.

    In much the same style as last year, I started my training about 10 weeks out. I enlisted the services of super coach Brendan Murray (BME Endurance Coaching – look him up, he’s a legend and gets results!) and the ‘fun’ began. We didn’t have a heap of time to build up to the mileage most ultra-runners get to for a race like this but rather we went in with high quality sessions. I was conditioned to deal with pushing through solid sessions on tired legs and a tired mind. Some days it felt like I was dragging myself out of the house kicking and screaming. It seemed like the weather was always cold (for the Gold Coast anyway), dark and windy and most sessions were done alone. I won’t lie, it was the pits. But I remained focused knowing that this sort of conditioning would be exactly what I needed when I am in the depths of the race and I needed to rely on my mental strength to get through. sri-chinmoy-101k-kathryn-alley2.jpg

    I scoped out the start list and saw that there were some ladies with very strong ultra backgrounds. Third place from last year was also returning so I knew I had a big task ahead if I wanted to get a place. My thoughts were going from ‘just go out and have a good run’ to ‘get out there and give it everything’. I figured it would probably come down to Pam Muston and Sarah Fien to take out the two top positions so my game plan was to keep them in sight and see what happens.

    Race morning came around and in true Canberra style it was nearly freezing conditions. When we took off, just a tad after 6.00am, the temperature was a cool one degree! The fog was blocking the sun so it took a while before I warmed up. Trying to make conversation with other runners when your face is frozen is quite difficult! Anyway, I settled into a rhythm early and after a couple of kilometers I was the lead female. The gap between me and the next girl gradually grew and it was at this point I thought to myself I have two options here. I can settle down and be sensible, remembering there is still a long way to go, or just go for it. Run without fear (thanks Stacey!) and hang on for dear life…for the next 90+km! I thought what the hell, I’ll just go for it!! For the rest of the leg I continued to stretch my lead out. I was going at a pretty easy pace and I was still being sensible when it came to hills but from here on I wasn’t really prepared to lose the lead I had. I came into check point 1 a couple of minutes ahead of the next girl (who I now know to be Kristy Lovegrove). As soon as I saw the other girls starting to come in, I was off again.

    The next fsri-chinmoy-101k-kathryn-alley3.jpgew km into the second leg I had company following closely behind me (Natalie Best). It didn’t worry me too much and I figured that if she did take the lead I would remain cool and just hang on to her. A few kilometers passed and I turned to notice I had lost her. This leg was hot, really hot! The sun was really beaming down and there wasn’t much shade on offer. Around the middle part of this leg I began to feel quite dehydrated and my calves were starting to cramp. At first it was only on the hills but after a while it was happening on the flats, causing me to stop and walk or stretch them out. It was really slowing me down. The few kilometers leading into the Arboretum I was starting to struggle. I was having a lot more walking breaks than I had hoped for and I was really longing for the check point so I could see family and get the boost that I needed. Just as I remembered last year, the climb up to the Arboretum was not very nice but with my dad running alongside me (in his cycling kit and cleats!!) I charged up the last few hundred metres and was cheered into the checkpoint. 55.5km in and still leading!

    The next section was the shortest of all the legs (22km) but it took in Black Mountain which is a killer climb. I left the transition smiling and with a bit of a spring in my step commenting to my support crew that it was only 22km until I see them again – easy! I had kept a watchful eye on the runners coming up the hill to see how close the next female was. By the time I had left none of them had made it through. However, I was informed a little later that they came through a few minutes after I had gone. I knew I was in for a fight to keep the lead from this point.

    I was really trying my best to limit the walking breaks but I was completely zapped of all energy. The sun was still so hot and no matter how much I drank I just couldn’t seem to quench my thirst. It was around this time that I was starting to feel really ill. Coming into Dickson around the 75km mark was where I hit a wall. I knew the next check point wasn’t very far away but it seemed like I was taking forever to reach it. I was dehydrated, sunburnt, sore, exhausted and over it! And I was expecting the next female runner to overtake me any minute. My spirits were dropping rapidly. I needed to get to the next check point without completely losing it (and losing my lead!).


    I shuffled into checkpoint 3 where I was met first by my dad. He asked me how I was feeling - horrible at best. I felt quite emotional, almost like I couldn’t hold it together for much longer. I told my support crew that I don’t think it’ll be long before the next female comes through. Well sure enough, within minutes, Pam Muston made her way through the transition. It was almost like it was in slow motion as I watched her support crew run alongside her, handing her food and supplies and off she went on her way for the fourth and final leg. I had lost my lead! I have to say though, there was still some satisfaction with the fact I had led for 77km! But the rasri-chinmoy-101k-kathryn-alley4.jpgce wasn’t over yet. I had to re-gather and get on my way before the next female got me too!

    Off I went for the final 24km with my sister, Sarah-Jane, alongside me for this leg. SJ remarked that it was only 5 parkruns to go. That was possibly the worst breakdown ever and I thought let’s just get to the top of Majura and then deal with the rest. I could see Pam only a couple of hundred meters ahead. We kept her in sight right up until the top of Mt Majura but after that she found another gear and was gone. If I wasn’t hurting enough before this point, I was certainly hurting now. My breathing was really labored, I was in agony and I was really nauseous (apparently also looking very pale). On our way down Majura we saw third place, Georgia Bamber, making her way up. Sarah-Jane was doing her best to keep my mind distracted by talking to me but the best response she could get out of me was either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or a grunt. It was at this point that I knew I couldn’t catch Pam. I had absolutely nothing left and it just became a fight to get to the finish in second place. It was somewhere between Mt Majura & Mt Ainslie that I made a promise to myself that I would never do this again! I asked myself to remember the amount of pain I was in at that moment the next time I even thought about entering another ultra-marathon. The kilometers were slowly ticking over and I continually looked over my shoulder to check for Georgia. Luckily she wasn’t in sight. I was hanging for the climb up Ainslie because it meant there was only ONE parkrun to go from there!

    It wasn’t long before we commenced our way up the steep trail of Mt Ainslie. I didn’t remember it being so hard last year. My legs were in so much pain! After an agonizing climb it was an amazing feeling to hear a booming voice yell ‘Go Kathryn’ from above! Gary & Denise Clarke were waiting for us at the top of Mt Ainslie to cheer us on. What legends! Gary asked how I was feeling and all I could manage was a head shake. Not good, Gary. But we were so close now. I wasn’t letting anything stop me from here. Next was the harsh descent down the mountain and I just needed to make sure I didn’t trip on anything. My legs were so tired and I had to make a conscious effort to pick my feet up. Mum and Dad and the Clarke’s were waiting for us at the base of the mountain for a final cheer before the finish. I was in a bad way and just wanted to get there. Again, on the brink of tears we made our way down Anzac Parade which was a refreshing slight downhill on the pavement. We were catching other runners on tsri-chinmoy-101k-kathryn-alley5.jpghe way too. I can’t even remember if there was conversation happening here. We made it onto the path along Lake Burley Griffin and I caught a glimpse of Regatta Point. It was so close. I had to ask Sarah-Jane if that was in fact the finish because I couldn’t believe we were that close. I was overwhelmed with emotion as I realised that I had done exactly what I set out to do. I think I commented to SJ words to the effect of ‘I did it’! We picked the pace up as we neared closer. Then we had to slow down to let mum and dad get to the finish before us – had to get that finish photo!! And then it was upon us – the final hill up to the finish line. I wanted my sister to cross the line with me because without her I wouldn’t have been able to hold it together in those final stages. She pushed me at the right times and got me to the end, just like I had asked her to. What a feeling it was to cross that line!

    In 2013, I ran this race in 13hours 55mins in 5th place. This year I ran it in 12hours 26mins in 2nd place. I know it was a slightly different course, not taking in Mt Stromlo, but it was longer so I am definitely claiming it as a PB. A big one at that too! When I crossed the line I barked at my Dad ‘If I ever talk about doing this again, make sure you stop me!’. My Dad calmly replied ‘I will ask you again on Wednesday’. He knew.

    Maybe I’ll come out of retirement for a sub12 in 2015, or maybe I’ll retire satisfied with my efforts in 2014 – we will see what happens!

    My goal for Canberra has been accomplished. Now to go out and have a great time in New York!



  • 2014 Sep 28th
    Sri Chinmoy Canberra 101 Trail Run, Canberra, 28 September 2014 – Results


    The Sri Chinmoy Canberra 101 Trail Run was staged in and around Canberra on Sunday 28 September 2014.  Full results, both overall and by category follow, along with the top 3 times for each leg by category:

    Sri Chinmoy Canberra 101 Trail Run, 28 September 2014, full results by category including leg split times>>

    Sri Chinmoy Canberra 101 Trail Run, 28 September 2014, full results overall including leg split times>>

    Sri Chinmoy Canberra 101 Trail Run, 28 September 2014, top 3 times for each leg by category>>

  • 2014 Sep 28th
    Sri Chinmoy Canberra 101 Trail Run Race Report

    When the human being – body, vital, mind, heart and soul – is focussed on greatness, then astonishing strength, power, goodness, love and creative capacity flows from within to reveal in our little, limited world something infinitely marvellous.


    When several hundred souls gather with one magnificent, transcendent goal, then we glimpse the glory that is our very best.

    This glory is in the striving, in the pain as much as the joy, the stumbles alongside the confident strides, the so-called failure hand in hand with the triumph. For it is in striving to go beyond ourselves that we glimpse who we truly are.

    The Sri Chinmoy Canberra 101 Trail Run brought together a family of champions. Every participant – solo and relay runner, helper, volunteer and well-wisher – gave their all to a day-long symphony of celebration, a soaring song of the human spirit.

    Every individual performance was remarkable. Every achievement was sublime. Every participant should take a bow.

    Full results are published – by category and overall, along with a photo album from around the course.