Event Overview

Run Larapinta event overview

August 16-19, 2019

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.

"What a wonderful experience! The journey of training for a multi stage, to the amazing scenery we got the opportunity to run through.  I am thankful and grateful for being able to complete this event." - Liz (2018 participant)


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 travellers coming from overseas to experience one of Central Australia’s most unique and spectacular attractions.

But why walk when you can run…


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: 19km around Alice Springs to the Old Telegraph Station
  • Stage 2: 41km from Simpson’s Gap to Standley Chasm
  • Stage 3: 29km from Ochre Pits to Ormiston Gorge
  • Stage 4: 45km from Redbank Gorge to Mt Sonder and Glen Helen

The Namatjira (the shorter course):

  • Stage 1: 11km around Alice Springs to the Old Telegraph Station
  • Stage 2: 20km from The Old Hamilton Downs Station to Standley Chasm
  • Stage 3: 22km from Glen Helen to Ormiston Gorge via Ormiston Pound
  • Stage 4: 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.


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. 



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 in mid August is just about perfect for trail running and typically includes clear, cloudless days and mid 20’s in the shade, a slight breeze to cool your sweat and zero rain.

Long term averages for mid August:

  • Average daily max 25 degC in the shade
  • Mean 9am temp 16 degC in the shade
  • Average night min 8.3 degC
  • Average Rainy days 2.5
  • Average Cloudy days 7.6
  • Ave sunrise 7:00 am
  • Ave Sunset 6:00 pm
  • 30% average humidity



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. 



1. Enter Run Larapinta - fee details here
2. Book your transfers - race start/finish and airport transfers
3. Book your flights
4. Book your accommodation - at both Alice Springs and Glen Helen


ITRA pts  /  UTMB qualifying race

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.



The Alice Springs Running Festival for 2019 will be held on Sunday 18 August, making for a great weekend of running in the Red Center. There's something for everyone... trail running at Run Larapinta, and for road runners, you can jump in on an event within the Running Festival.

So grab your family and friends and join in this great weekend of running! For more visit their website HERE


Here is a 3min video clip capturing the highlights and emotions of the 2017 Run Larapinta Stage Race.

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