Journeys made, lives changed at Run Larapinta Stage Race

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Run Larapinta Stage Race is returning to the West MacDonnell Ranges this winter with runners from across Australia and overseas expected to take part in this extraordinary event.

Run Larapinta is a four-day, four-stage trail running race along the most spectacular sections of the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory, from Friday 11 to Monday 14 August 2017.

Simpsons Gap to Standley Chasm, Run Larapinta

The event provides the ideal opportunity for runners to combine their love of running with a visit to one of the most spectacular destinations in Australia, the Red Centre.

The quality of the running along the Larapinta Trail, combined with the incredible setting and the friendly camaraderie between competitors will make it an exceptional experience for all participants.

“The landscape is unforgettable, runners form lifelong friendships and it all happens in the red heart of Australia and those points alone make us look forward to it year after year,” said Race Director Sam Maffett from Rapid Ascent.

“We love giving competitors in our races experiences they will not easily forget and for Run Larapinta that’s guaranteed thanks to the sense of adventure, challenge and accomplishment they experience throughout the event.”

Starting Stage 2, Run Larapinta

The event was first held in 2015 when 78 runners took part, 116 runners participated in the 2016 edition and over 150 are expected to compete in 2017 showing the popularity of this new race concept. More and more international runners are also expected to participate partly due to the uniquely Australian landscape runners get to enjoy.

“Run Larapinta is more than a race, it's an adventure, an opportunity for self-discovery in an iconic landscape of open plains, red rocks and blue skies,” said Marion McRae, 2016 participant.

The event offers two course distance options tailored for runners of all levels: The Malbunka – a long course option features stages varying between 20km and 45km each day, whilst The Namatjira - a short course option includes stages varying between 11km and 30km each day.

Ochre Pits Ormiston Gorge, Run Larapinta

Run Larapinta competitors can choose to do the full course or just select individual stages that suit their schedule, which is great for partners, supporters and local Alice Springs runners.

“All good trail running races should have three key ingredients,” Maffett said, “a breathtaking landscape, a sense of journey and a friendly camaraderie between runners – and the Run Larapinta stage race has all these and more. It is a real bucket list event for any runner who loves their fresh air and freedom.”

Finish Line, Run Larapinta

The Larapinta Trail is one of Australia’s most remarkable walking trails 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.

Event accommodation partners have been appointed and all race logistics will be provided - including transport, social functions and race support.

For an extraordinary running holiday, check out the Run Larapinta Stage Race at

Friendships, Run Larapinta



When: Friday 11th to Monday 14th August 2017
Where: Larapinta Trail in the MacDonnell Ranges, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia
What: A 4-day, 4-stage trail running race along the most spectacular sections of the Larapinta Trail with two course distance options:

The Malbunka (the longer course):
• Stage 1: 19km around Alice Springs to the Old Telegraph Station
• Stage 2: 39km 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: 18km 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
Find out more at

For a better idea of what the running is like at Run Larapinta check out this video:  

Run Larapinta video


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Media Information

Media passes are available to accredited journalists and photographers and entitle you to be positioned in a cordoned-off area immediately behind the finish line.

To apply for a media pass on race weekend or to simply enquire about access to editorial and photos, please contact Rapid Ascent on 03 5261 5511.

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