“The Irrational S.O.U.T.H. (Southern Oz Ultimate Trails & Hills) 200 Mile – April 6th – 10th 2022”
What an amazing challenge this event will be with 29 competitors from all over Australia having registering for the event. Starting from Murray Bridge on Wednesday 6th April 2022 at 7am competitors will be aiming to all be in Clare by Sunday 10th April 2022. Note that our Banner title saying they will be here from the 7th April is approximate.
The competitors are running on the “Lavender Federation Trail” which is 325 Kilometers or 200 Miles in length and although this is an arduous task, the runners will do it with safety and thier health in mind. They will have a support crew and a large contingent of volunteers along the way to help the marathon function with various logistics to have various aid and sleep stations along the way. In our area there are: Keyneton (Sleep Station), Truro (Aid Station), Dutton (Sleep), Leakes Pass Road (Aid), Eudunda (Sleep) – this is at the Eudunda Caravan Park, Inspiration Point (Aid), Waterloo (Sleep). You can find out more on thier Information page.
The “Lavender Federation Trail” covers a wide variety of terrain, many parts quite rugged and beautiful, and the runners will be tackling the course both day and night, so there will be many challenges.
The Marathon was first run last year (2021) and these times are now a great indicator of the sort of times that can be expected over the trail. The first placed Woman, Jacqueline Cresp ran the distance in 73 hours 37 minutes and 6 seconds. Jacqueline is returning this year. The 7th & last placed woman was Kelly Bennett who ran the distance in 98 hours, 3 minutes and 52 seconds and she has not entered this year. We featured a story about the Marathon and Kelly as she passed through Eudunda last year – read that story here
In the 2021 Men’s, First Place Kieran O’Brien ran the distance in 52 hours, 50 minutes and 1 second. The 9th & last placed man Glen Books ran the distance in 99 hours, 41 minutes and 55 seconds – only just making the cutoff). Neither of these two runners have returned this year. Two men also recorded as DNF in 2021.
For anyone who has walked the Lavender Federation Trail is is not all nice level back roads (some parts are), and the competitors will find steep hills, an amazing number of creeks, narrow paths, rocks, rabbit and wombat holes, stiles (to get over fences) and more, much of this would be encountered in the dark.
We wish all the competitors, event organizers and volunteers a great event and encourage anyone local to drop in to the Eudunda Caravan Park.
If you see any of these competitors, please give them lots of encouragement and make them feel welcome to our region.