Event Overview

Wednesday 21 April – Saturday 24 April 2021
OR
Thursday 26 August – Sunday 29 August 2021


Run Larapinta is a 4 day, 4 stage trail running race along the most spectacular sections of the iconic Larapinta Trail in Australia’s Northern Territory – a life changing experiece for anyone who gives it a go! Long course and Short courses available, along with single-stage entry options.

In 2021 we have TWO events to look forward to with not only the April event going (ahead after 2020 was postponed), but another 200 participants can also join us in August 2021!

Entires are still available for both the APRIL and the AUGUST 2021 events.

“I loved this event. It challenged me and I hope I am a better prepared runner because of it. The landscape we ran through is unbelievably beautiful and inspiring and I want to spend more time there. The event organisation was flawless and allowed us runners to just get on and enjoy ourselves.” Andrew, 2019 participant

2019 Highlights Video – get inspired!

The Course

The Larapinta Trail is one of Australia’s most spectacular walking trails and trekking experiences as it traverses an iconic 223km route from the Historic Telegraph Station at Alice Springs to the lofty summit of Mt Sonder in the MacDonnell Ranges.

The trail is quickly emerging as one of Australia’s most popular and renowned treks and is gaining more and more recognition internationally, with travelers coming from overseas to experience one of Central Australia’s most unique and spectacular attractions.

But why walk when you can run…

“The country we ran through is absolutely divine…the beauty brought me to tears at times… This is Albert Namatjira’s country… magical… red… heart -expandingly beautiful.” L. Jones, 2019 participant.

The Stage Race

As good as the trail is for multi-day hiking, it is even better for trail running with endless kilometres of single track stretching through an incredible landscape. The trail infrastructure allows for great running with a well-trodden route through the magnificent MacDonnell Ranges that is not too technical underfoot, includes ample trail signage, water tanks, emergency access points and endless views from start to finish.

As with any long journey, there are good sections and there are terrific sections and we have combined the best of the best to create the courses for the event… we’ve taken you straight to the heart of the trails – the most scenic, the most diverse, the most eternal.

This will be the run of your life – come and join us.

The Distances – 2 options:

Pick the course that suits your ability, OR if you cannot commit to all 4 stages you can select just the stages you want to do:

The Malbunka (the longer course)*:

  • Stage 1: 20km around Alice Springs to the Old Telegraph Station
  • Stage 2: 41km from Simpson’s Gap to Standley Chasm
  • Stage 3:
    • April: 31km from Birthday Waterhole turn off to Standley Chasm.
    • August: 30km from Ochre Pits to Ormiston Gorge
  • Stage 4:
    • April: 32km from Ochre Pits to Ellery Creek Water Hole.
    • August: 46km from Redbank Gorge to Mt Sonder and Glen Helen

The Namatjira (the shorter course):

  • Stage 1: 11.5km around Alice Springs to the Old Telegraph Station
  • Stage 2: 22km from The Old Hamilton Downs Station to Standley Chasm
  • Stage 3:
    • April: 20km Birthday Waterhole to Standley Chasm
    • August: 22km from Glen Helen to Ormiston Gorge via Ormiston Pound
  • Stage 4:
    • April: 26km from Counts Point turn off to Ellery Creek Water Hole.
    • August: 30km from Redbank Gorge to and Glen Helen

Both courses will be held at the same time, utilise the same event services and be conducted in the same friendly spirit.

*please note, the Malbunka course has a minimum entry requirement, and is aimed at trail runners. Walking the entire course each day will NOT meet the cut-offs.

The Race Atmosphere

It is fair to say that the Run Larapinta is far more a running experience than a race. Yes, you can bench yourself against your compatriots and race for a place, but far more people will be in it for the (incredible) experience of running through this timeless landscape.

We’ll all start together, most will stay together at the same hotel and we’ll be terrific friends at the end of it all as the race will build up a very friendly and inclusive atmosphere no matter how many times you stop to take photos along the trail each day. 

The Competitor Services

As runners and competitors ourselves we know that it is often the small touches that make a good event, a great event!

We can do just about everything to make sure you have a terrific trail running holiday. We…

  • transport you to / from each stage
  • transfer your gear to the finish line (water, change of clothes etc)
  • provide on course water points when you need it the most
  • coordinate social functions so you can relax with new friends afterwards
  • arrange a post-race massage if you come up sore
     

The Weather

The weather in both April and August is just about perfect for trail running and typically includes clear, cloudless days and mid -high 20’s in the shade, a slight breeze to cool your sweat.

Long term averages:

  • Average daily max 26 degC (April) and 23 degC (August) in the shade
  • Mean 9am temp 16 degC in the shade (April)
  • Average night min 8.3 degC (April) and 6 degC (August)
  • Average Rainy days 2.5 (April) and 2 (August)
  • Ave sunrise 7:00 am (April) 6:50 am (August)
  • Ave Sunset 6:00 pm (April) 6:20 pm (August)
  • 30% average humidity (April) 25% average humidity (August)

The Memories

The outback has an incredible awe and power about it that knocks the air from your lungs whenever you pause to reflect on the scale of this place. The landscape stretches out for ever below your feet and at night time the stars fill a sky that reaches all the way to the horizon.

Combine this with some incredible running, some personal challenges and hard won rewards, with new and old friends and you have the race of your lifetime. 

ITRA pts  /  UTMB qualifying race

2021: The Run Larapinta – Malbunka stage race is registered with the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) and will provide successful runners with ITRA points (to help runners qualify for large international races), and UTMB points as an official qualifying race for this iconic event::

Malbunka – 4 stage finisher receives:

  • ITRA rating: 3 Endurance Points, 3 Mountain Points and Finisher Rating of 250.
  • UTMB points: 3 Points (new system).

For further information on what the ITRA points mean click here and for more information on the UTMB (Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc) click here.

Video Summary

2017 summary: Here is a 3min video clip capturing the highlights and emotions of the 2017 event.

2015 summary: Here is a video show from the inaugural event with 76 runners.