Red Centre event attracts ultra runners from across Australia

The iconic Larapinta Trail in the stunning West MacDonnell Ranges is a bucket-list hiking destination for thousands of people each year, and this weekend it will welcome a slew of ultra runners who will test themselves on the 231km track.

The West Macs Monster Trail Running Festival runs from 21-23 May 2021. This year more than 250 runners will tackle distances ranging from 5km, 25km, 65km and 128km right up to the full 231km. Around 130 of the runners are travelling from interstate to attend, and will be bringing family, friends and support crews with them to make the most of their time in the Red Centre.

Race Director Marc Woods said he was proud of the event’s volunteers who had worked hard to put the festival on the world stage.

“I think the sheer ruggedness of this event makes it stand out. It is 231km of exclusively single track, which is hard to find anywhere else in the world, and there are some epic summits and valleys, with nearly 8,000m of climbing across the length of the course,” he said.

“There is also an incredible sense of community among participants and our volunteers, some who man aid stations for up to 36 hours, which is phenomenal.”

This is the second year of the event, which is already garnering attention from international runners, several who signed up this year but have had to defer due to international travel restrictions. Shane Johnstone from Perth set the current course record in 2019. He took 40 hours, 55 minutes and 18 seconds to run the full distance.

The Northern Territory Government supports this event through the Northern Territory Major Events Company. To find out more visit