Six Foot Track Marathon - The Course
The Six Foot Track Marathon follows the exact same path as the walking track from The Explorer's Tree, Katoomba to Jenolan Caves. It is 45.0km. This is basically the same route as been followed since the days of the first european explorers to the area.
Over the years though the route has altered in a minor way (particulary in the Megalong Valley) as land has changed ownership. Also some of the latter sections have been amended due to changes in access along the logging roads. The route of the race has also changed in these areas from time to time. The most major course changed occurred for the 2001 event when the 5km section along Caves Road was removed to take advantage of the new section of walkway that had opened some years previously, and in doing so makes the run 100% off-road and a lot safer for runners.
The course varies from narrow, rocky track near the start in Nellies Glen, to meadows, sandy gravel track, and dirt fire-trail road - of course with a number of hills (big and small) and rivers (big and small). Please read the Detailed Course Description for more information.
The exact route of the race was accurately measured for possibly the first time (on 12th January 2003) using as close as possible to the official race certification standards using mountain bike, GPSx2, Jones Counter, Altimeter, and map. The course measurer was Stephen Jackson, an official course measurer who has measured amongst other races, The 2000 Sydney Olympic Marathon and Triathlon.
Key measurements (in Km)
- 235m From Explorers Tree to the Start Line which is at 1050m altitude
- 0.0 Race start location (close to shelter)
- 1.7 to the bottom of Nellies Glen (down to 725m)
- 8.066 to the cattle grid at Megalong Valley Rd (570m)
- 14.36 to the Swing Bridge (not crossed as part of the race)
- 15.5 to the Jenolan-side of the Coxs River (270m)
- 18.6 to the drink station at the Fenced Yards
- 20.0 is right on top of Mini Mini Saddle (740m)
- 22.5 is halfway and at the creek crossing at the bottom of the Pluviometer hill (only 550m)
- 26.0 to the Pluviometer (990m)
- 34.7 to the corner at the start of the Deviation at Black Range Campground (1195m)
- 37.9 at the Caves Rd crossing (1215m)
- 45.00 Finish - by the manhole in the road outside Trails Bistro at Caves House (795m)
The course climbs a total of 1,528m and drops a total 1,788m giving a net drop of 260m (it's a downhill course !!)
A spreadsheet is available that contains all altitude data and GPS readings of every kilometre position here .
Signage & Aid During The Race
There will be accurate distance signs displayed at each water stop on the course (how many km gone, how many to go). There are 17 water stops, in the same location every year. A document that shows what the signs say is available here . The distances have been calibrated against the new 2003 course measurement. A document that shows where the aid stations are and what is served at them (Water, High5 etc) is available here .
Course Profile (click to enlarge)
A printable version is available here .