The 2019 Wild Earth Ultra Trail Gold Coast: It’s Everything You Want and More
The challenge you’ve waited for has just been calendared for 24th to 30th September. It’s your chance to make friends, see Australia and find out why runners can’t resist the ultra that tests their mettle!
Don’t be embarrassed to admit it: Just about everything about running that winds up as gold is immensely appealing, so perhaps the Wild Earth Ultra Trail Gold Coast is the event that not only gets your mojo going but finds you finishing with a prize, too.
Are you feeling intimidated? Don’t be. The Wild Earth Ultra Trail Gold Coast also happens to be the friendliest race on the Asian Pacific rim, so even if you don’t win gold, you’ll win friends and acquaintances that are worth their weight in gold from the moment you show up at the Nerang Cycling Velodrome, located at 1 Hope Street in Nerang.
Go for the gold. Go for the experience. Most of all, go for the memories. You won’t regret making this commitment—especially if this is to be your first ultra.
Your first excuse to run in Australia? Welcome to the club
If you’ve never been to Australia, we feel compelled to deliver the bad news first: You won’t find kangaroos and koalas hanging about on every street corner. Brisbane and the Gold Coast are thriving metropolitan cities populated by runners who wait all year for this high-profile event to roll around.
But you won't dodge traffic because the run course is within the Nerang National Park just 20 kms inland from the Gold Coast's famous beaches. The venue is just an hour way from both the Gold Coast and Brisbane international airports. Sound easy? That’s because it is.
Yes, this race is arduous—and prestigious
There’s no denying that the word “ultra” is enough to set up expectations. But organizers are so diligent in their planning, you couldn’t get lost if you tried. The 25km looped course is rife with challenges, no matter which category athletes choose: 25; 50; 100; 175; 325 or 500km. There’s a 4-x-25km relay category for teams. The 895 metre elevation gain per loop forces participants to adjust on the fly, but as a reward, there are ITRA points to be had.
In addition to claiming free commemorative race singlets, finishers achieving their 100; 175; 325 or 500km goals are awarded pewter skull tankards and wannabe champs signing up for the 25- or 50-km categories leave Australia with commemorative medallions. Athletes finishing at the top of their forms (first; second; third) receive trophies as do all members of winning relay teams.
As an ITRA certified meet, the Wild Earth Ultra Trail Gold Coast will be staged with every amenity runners desire: lots of hydration stations and loos, on-premises medical care and when you’re done, your accommodation will likely be just 15 minutes away (even if you camp) so you can crash with a smile on your face.
How important is this ultra race?
Very. It’s a qualifier for UTMB and other major events, part of the prestigious Asia Trail Master Championship series and it’s known as the longest, toughest trail race on the planet. In fact, the prestige associated with the Ultra Trail Gold Coast is so universally acknowledged, official photographers are on hand to capture athletes reaching Coombabah Crossing and Heartbreak Hill, named for its ability to challenge even the fittest runner.
What happens after you achieve your goal? You gather your mates and party, of course. In fact, the race site turns into party central even before the event when participants set up tents and unpack everything they need to settle in before and after the fact. Folks you’ve never met become friends. Food is shared. Music is provided for those who still have enough energy to bust a post-ultra move or two!
Hear it yourself from the past participants and CEO, Gold Coast Ultras, Ian Cornelius.
Have you cleared your schedule so you can be part of this monumental event? You’ve got lots of time to condition your body for the longest distance, so will 2019 be the year you claim Wild Earth Ultra Trail Gold success and show off photos taken as you reach Heartbreak Hill?