We are counting the days to the end of the year and like all good runners do, you would likely be setting your running goals and events to enter in 2018. If you have been running on the roads only, you may want to try running on the trails to be closer to nature, and save those knees. Or if you have only been running locally, the lure of runcations and overseas running stories from your friends may just tempt you to have a shot at a race abroad.

Well, you may just end your year on a high note! The good people at Ultra-Trail Australia – popularly abbreviated to UTA – is providing a free complimentary entry to PACE UTA22 for our lucky reader.

UTA’s history dates back to 2008, when it started as The North Face 100, and included the Marathon Pairs Category. In 2013, the 50km category was added. 2016 was a landmark year with the introduction of the 22km, 951-step challenge, event expo, and the name change to Ultra-Trail Australia. UTA is also part of the Ultra Trail World Tour.

Taking place in the breathtaking World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park of Australia, UTA has limited participation to 4,500 runners in total to ensure high standards of safety, warm hospitality and sustainability of the trails. As context, the biggest trail events in South East Asia barely touched 3,000 runners; so UTA is indeed a big trail running festival.

Photo Credit: Mark Watson / inciteimages.com

Still Thinking To Register?

When registration opened in late September, the 100km and 50km categories were sold out within the first few days. The waitlist for 100km category is still available, but the 50km waitlist category is already full too. No doubt at all on how popular UTA indeed is.

Currently, entries are still available for PACE UTA22 km category, and the Scenic World UTA951.

However, if you would like to sign up for the sold out categories, you may still do through travel packages that come with confirmed race entries. Packages from Singapore and Indonesia are provided by F1 Runners and YukTravel, respectively. Please check their websites for the latest information.

Back in September, I visited Scenic World and stayed at the Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains, courtesy of Destination New South Wales tourism agency. I was fortunate to meet Scott O’Neile, the general manager of the resort, who is also a multiple-finisher of the UTA 100km category and counts The Blue Mountains as his trail playground. I bushwalked in the area and indeed, the UTA course is beautiful and does not seem too technical.

It did not take me long to decide to sign up for the 100km category. Last month, a group of UTA 2018 hopeful runners met up to discuss on the equipment requirements and travel planning. Indeed, new friendships are forged, and an informal ecosystem established to support one another.


The PACE UTA22 category will be in its third year in 2018. The event will start at Queen Victoria Hospital and finish at the Scenic World, with an elevation gain of 1,200m. PACE UTA22 will take place on Friday 18 May, as part of the whole festival on 17-20 May.

The weather in May is arguably the best time to run in The Blue Mountains. Daytime temperature hovers just under 20 deg C, and drops to about 4 deg C at night. This timing is just prior to the winter months when temperature drops much more drastically.

Now is your chance to win a complimentary entry to PACE UTA22.

Please share this article with the hashtag #RunSocietyUTA. Contest ends on 31 December 2017, and the results will be announced soon after. Winners will be randomly selected. Do Message us on Facebook when you have done so we can get in touch with you promptly.

Congratulations to Irene Goh for being the winner of the complimentary entry to PACE UTA22.

Good luck and wish you end your 2017 running journey on a high note!

Featured Photo Credit: Ultra-Trail Australia

Iskandar Shahril

Iskandar has a soft spot to run overseas and in ultra distance events. He is currently smitten by the trail running bug and foresees multi stage racing to be his next poison. If he’s not competing on foot, you’ll likely to bump into him racing on four wheels.

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