The thoughts of everyone at Ultra-Trail Australia are with those who have been impacted by bushfires across the country. Like you, we have looked on in shock as this tragedy has unfolded and we would like to thank those who have done so much to fight the bushfires across the country and provide assistance to those in need.
We can confirm that from the 8km mark to 38km mark of the UTA100 2020 course has been directly affected by fires. We are working in close consultation with our local stakeholders and will be guided by their knowledge and expertise. Please refer to the information below regarding checking for track closures but at the moment the following tracks are affected:
- Affecting UTA100 only, Glenraphael Drive along Narrow Neck has been reopened completely but Tarros Ladders, Duncans Pass, Mt Debert and Medlow Gap Fire Trail have not yet reopened so Narrow Neck can only be run as an out and back at this stage. It is expected for these other trails to reopen sometime in late February or March.
- Affecting UTA100 only, Landslide and Golden Stairs are closed and will be assessed for damage over the next two weeks to see if they can be repaired in time for May or if Leg 1 needs to be amended.
- Affecting UTA100, UTA50 and UTA22, Kedumba Valley Fire Trail and Sublime Point Ridge Fire Trail are currently closed but are expected to reopen in the next two weeks.
- Affecting UTA100, UTA50 and UTA11, Amphitheatre Track which forms part of UTA100, UTA50 and UTA11 and has been closed since last June, will remain closed this year and courses will be rerouted to use the whole of Fern Bower Track as well a linking section on Prince Henry Cliff Walk including the very short section of footpath along Cliff Drive near Solitary Restaurant. This detour is the same distance as the normal course but with slightly more climb. The course maps and other course information and navigation tools will be updated in March to show this change.
As always, athlete safety is at the forefront of any decision regarding the event. We can confirm that Ultra-Trail Australia 2020 will go ahead.
Check the National Parks Website for track closures every time you go out training as track conditions will change with weather. Never enter a closed section of track. You will find temporary fences or parawebbing across closed tracks with closure notifications. Always respect and obey these closures for your own safety and reputation of the event. Tracks being open does also not necessarily mean that it is safe. Damaged trees are a hazard, so be extra aware whilst running, especially on windy or wet days.
If you do find anything unsafe or a tree across the track, please take a few good photos of the situation showing scale (if possible have a person safely in the photo). Also take and a screen shot of your location in Avenza maps and email to email@example.com. For information on Avenza maps, refer to 'The Course' section of the website under the heading 'Mapping Phone App' for each race.
We again ask that runners training in the area remain respectful of any trail closures, closely monitor air quality, and heed any warnings in the area to ensure that their health and safety are not put at risk.
So for now keep training, but stay safe.
Race Director - Ultra-Trail Australia