ultra runner
A racer navigates the deeps woods at the Ultra-Trail Australia event; photo by Lyndon Marceau Photography

Ironman’s Friendly Takeover of Ultra-Trail Australia

One of the biggest names in the triathlon space, Ironman will bring global attention to the Ultra-Trail Australia 100K as its new owner.

Ultra-Trail Australia
A racer navigates the deeps woods at the Ultra-Trail Australia event; photo by Lyndon Marceau Photography

Ultra-Trail Australia is the second-largest ultra trail running event in the world. The destination race takes place annually in mid-May in Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia. It kicks off about 90 minutes from Sydney. Some 6,000 competitors enter the event each year.

Ironman acquired the iconic event to help diversify its portfolio.

“Ultra-Trail running is the new frontier of endurance sport, and Ironman welcomes the opportunity to be expanding its existing interests in triathlon, road running, cycling, and mountain biking and to be taking a step into this market,” said Dave Beeche, Ironman Oceania managing director. “Ultra-Trail Australia has captivated runners locally and internationally and has quickly grown to become one of the most talked-about endurance events in Australia.”

Ultra-Trail Australia 100K

100K Race In Four-Day Ultra-Trail Australia Festival

The featured 100K trail running race is part of a four-day festival and expo. The event winds through Australia’s World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park, home to the stunning Three Sisters rock formation and a vast network of trails.

Ultra-Trail Australia’s main distance-running event is known for its vast views and challenging stair sections. The race gains 4.4 kilometers over 100 kilometers.

running 100K in Australia
Photo by Lyndon Marceau Photography

But there are other race distances for runners who haven’t trained for a 100K length or technical terrain. At half the length, the Ultra-Trail Australia 50K gains 2.4 kilometers of elevation and follows the second half of the 100K route through the Kedumba Valley.

Additionally, the shorter Pace UTA22 trail run gains just 1,200 meters of elevation. It concludes at Scenic World, a tourist destination with a skyway, walkway, cableway, and railway for taking in mountain views.

Appealing to families, there’s also a participatory trail race called the Injinji 1K-4-Kids. Every child receives a medal.

Ultra-Trail Australia 100K
Photo by Lyndon Marceau Photography

Ironman: Building Legacy In 100K Community

Ironman plans to capitalize on the race’s existing legacy.

“An integral part of its success is the camaraderie of the competitors, family, and friends, which we hope to preserve and build on,” said Beeche.

“Our philosophy when taking on new events as iconic as Ultra-Trail Australia is to think of ourselves as custodians rather than owners, and, in doing so, ensure that we respect the history, the athletes, and the stakeholders to ensure that we continue its success and continue to improve the athlete experience.”

Applications for the 2019 Ultra-Trail Australia 100K will open in late September 2018. Top male and female finishers in the 100K currently take home $1,500 AUD.

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Julie Kailus

Associate editor Julie Kailus has spent a career covering people, places, and products in the outdoor industry. Julie can be found testing the latest and greatest in her favorite activities — trail running, mountain biking, swimming, snowboarding, and the underrated endurance sport of chasing two sons around the mountains.

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