The Yurrebilla 56k Ultramarathon: A trail race that offers it all
Reviewed by Damian Espinase Nandorfy | Trail Running Expert
19 September 2022
Yurrebilla ultramarathon is South Australia's ultimate trail race, spanning over 56kms through the scenic Adelaide hills. Enjoy a thorough recount of the Yurrebilla running experience by 2019 race winner and RunAsOne athlete Kieran Rooke.
Yurrebilla 56k Ultramarathon
From winding technical single tracks, steep fire trails, and some short road sections which link two National Parks and four Conservation Areas across Adelaide’s Mount lofty ranges, the Yurrebilla Ultramarathon is an epic local adventure. The race on September 28th offers a mix of trail running terrain, excellent aid station support and varied weather from light rain (or hail) to scorching sunshine.
Beginning at the historic Belair National Park Train Station, runners start with a fast downhill section into single track trails overlooked by numerous Koalas in the trees, the trail leading athletes to the most claustrophobic part of the race... Echo tunnel! But don’t despair; look for the light at the end!
From here, you start getting a small taste of the hills to come...
Popping out of Belair National Park at Sheoak road, runners zigzag down the Pony Ridge switchbacks, over 40 of them, that descend into Brown Hill Creek. The creek road and trail offer a deceivingly gentle downhill section where many a runner has pre-emptively exerted themselves over the years, only to pay the price later in the race.
From the base of Brown Hill, the Yurrebilla trail winds upwards with a sweeping single track behind Carrick Hill and through the newly maintained Waite Conservation Area, a hidden landscape dotted with grazing cattle, sheep and the occasional bull who seems to dislike runners.
Now the real work begins, a steady 15km hill climb along The Old Freeway, cresting at Eagle On The Hill and entering Cleland National Park. Home to many mobs of kangaroo, runners follow Wine Shanty track which exits the park onto a brief road section that connects the conservation parks of Horsnell Gully and Giles with Norton Summit and also signals the halfway mark of the race.
Yurrebilla Ultramarathon veterans have a love-hate relationship with Morialta Conservation Park. Fantastic trails, scenic views, and flowing waterfalls all await to distract patrons from challenging descents, trip hazards and warm temperatures. Runners now tick over the marathon point in the race and inevitably start to wonder, ‘what the hell am I doing? Usually while muttering “not another hill” under their breath.
A long swooping downhill will lead athletes across Montacute road to the last aid station of the race. Now for Black Hill Conservation Park. As the name implies, it is the cruellest of all these climbs; the best is saved until last. The solid hike up will drain whatever energy was left. Cresting the summit, runners begin to hear whispers of the finish line cheering, only a few more kilometres of descent down Summit Track. Wildflower Track signals the beginning of the end and marks the final dash towards Athelstone’s Foxfield Oval - the finish line. The crowd roaring with approval, athletes of all ages, backgrounds and abilities bask in the glory of completing one of South Australia’s oldest and most iconic Ultramarathons – Yurrebilla Ultramarathon (YUM).
PREPD Hydration for Ultramarathons
PREPD products are a fantastic way of ensuring your body can endure races such as Yurrebilla, with hydration-enhancing effects and over 20 years of medical research to back it. Consumed pre and post-regular exercise, PREPD has been scientifically proven to increase water uptake into the bloodstream and has been shown to help athletes maintain better hydration during exercise by 27%. However, in an ultramarathon, PREPD Recover can be used during the event – runners have seen positive results consuming a PREPD Recover every 4 hours to continually top up sustained fibre in the gut allowing for greater fluid absorption in the latter stages of the race. Additionally, PREPD Recover also provides a slow-release carbohydrate energy source to help fuel you throughout the race.
For more information about how PREPD can be effectively used in an ultramarathon race plan, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.