The original seven runners
Ian Hutchison (the organizer)
Big Chris Stephenson
Bob Marden (winner of the race)
History of the Six Foot Track
The Six Foot Track Marathon is not just held between two random points on a map - it follows a defined trail that has been there over 100 years and has its own history. The track is close to the Blue Mountains National Park (now a World Heritage Site) although the track is generally on Crown Lands. The Blue Mountains themselves have been inhabited for thousands of years, although evidence of this is hard to see unless you venture away from the main towns of the area into the bush. The Blue Mountains play a key part in early exploration attempts by white settlers in more recent times.
You can learn more about the history of the track and the wider area, by clicking on the links below:
History of the Marathon
The best article about the history of the race would be by Max Bogenhuber, one of the original sixfooters:
Over the years the route of the race has altered. The original course was measured by wheel, by Chris Stephenson and Helen Charters in one of the early years of the race. It measured 46.5km. In the second running of the event in 1985 the race was run in reverse, starting in Jenolan Caves and finishing at the explorers tree.
There were minor amendments to the course in the years following in the Megalong Valley as land changed ownership as well as some of the latter sections due to changes in access along the logging roads.
There were two changes in 1989. The race start was moved from the traditional explorers tree, to the gate at the top of Nellies Glen and the route through Megalong Valley was changed to follow the fence line, which cut off some distance.
The most significant course change occurred for the 2001 event when the 5km section from the end of the Black Range to the turn off at 5 mile ‘Binda Cabins', was removed to take advantage of the new section of firetrail (Deviation) that had opened some years previously. In doing so, it made the run 100% off-road and a lot safer for runners. This reduced the course distance to 45km however added 3-4 short, sharp uphills. The course records were left unchanged because it was estimated that the degree of difficulty / total time was similar.