Overview of Mountain Running in Australia


Mountain running events are held in all States and Territories of Australia. The largest events each year are:
  • National Running Week at Thredbo, NSW during the second week of January, with more than 400 participants. Events include the Crackenback Challenge and Kosciusko Classic.
  • Six Foot Track 45kms, 2nd Saturday in March, in NSW from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves, with more than 500 competitors.
  • Bright Four Peaks Alpine Classic, over 4 days finishing on Melbourne Cup Day in November in the alps of Victoria, with around 200 runners.
  • Brindabella Classic 54kms, 1st or 2nd Sunday in November, in the ACT from the summit of Mt Ginnini to the Cotter reserve, with more than 200 individual and relay competitors.
There are World Championships held in September each year. In even years (1998, 2000, 2002 etc) the championships are uphill, finishing on a mountain summit. The elevation gain is usually around 700 metres for the 7km women's and junior men's races; and around 1200 metres for the men's 12km race. In odd years (1999, 2001, 2003 etc) the championships are up and down a mountain, usually finishing in the same place. Distances are about the same as in the even years, but the elevation gain reduces to about 400 metres for the 7km course and 500 to 700 metres for the 12km course.
There is an Australian Championship each year which acts as the principal selection trial for the world championship. State championships are held in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.
Mountain runners come from many backgrounds:
  • Cross country runners.
  • Ultra distance runners.
  • Orienteers and triathletes participating as supplementary fitness racing and training.
  • Cross country skiers participating as off-season training.
  • Recreational runners.
The best mountain runners tend to be elite cross country and ultra distance runners, orienteers and cross country skiers who include significant hill training and/or bike riding in their training.
Created: Tuesday, March 28th, 2006 01:32:59 pm by Hits: 4039