The Buffalo Stampede
With more than 4500m of elevation, 75km through alpine trails, and a super competitive field, The Buffalo Stampede is the real deal. Kicking off from the postcard perfect location of Bright, in Victoria’s Snowy Mountains, the race grinds its way through Mt Buffalo National Park in Victoria’s Alpine country. The steep climb to the Mt Buffalo Chalet is enough to make even the best risk bonking. It’s a must do race for any serious trail runner.
Six Foot Track Marathon
The 45km annual race along the Six-Foot Track is a staple race on the Australian trailing running calendar. It has been described as the ‘toughest marathon in Australia, if not the world’.
Beauty is another asset this race owns. Set in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, the race follows breathtaking trails between Katoomba and the Jenolan Caves. Hot temperatures, river crossings and endless hills. It’s epic.
For those utterly hardcore runners out there, the Alpine Challenge will sort you out. One of, if not the, hardest trail races in the Southern Hemisphere, the 100-mile race (160km) includes six major climbs (7600m of ascent/descent). Some of the major climbs include Mt Feathertop, Mt Hotham, Mt McKay, Spion Kopje, Mt Nelse and Victoria’s highest mountain, Mt Bogong. There are also half a dozen river crossings.
For those not quite up to 160km of pure pain, there are 60km (2000m of ascent/descent, and 36km options (1300 m of ascent).
Gaining massive traction over the last few years the Ultra Trail Australia event has won respect and is here to stay. Another race set in the Blue Mountains National Park, there are 22km, 50km and 100km options, but be fast, it sells out quick.
Definitely one of most talked about races on the Australian calendar. With stunning views, loads of stairs, some serious climbing and athletes from around the world. Ultra-Trail is a totally pure running experience.
Point to Pinnacle
The organisers have branded the Point to Pinnacle ‘The World’s Toughest Half Marathon’, and they may have a case. With over 1270m of climbing, gradients above 10 per cent and very challenging weather conditions, the race is tricky for even the most experienced of runners. Set in Hobart, the climb up Mount Wellington is nothing short of gut wrenching, but runners are rewarded with some amazing views.