Port Douglas Esplanade
With the start line being Four Mile Beach and the sun rise over the Coral Sea being the start "gun", there really is no other event like it. The 42.195km Great Barrier Reef Marathon (Steve Moneghetti Marathon) truly is a unique adventure marathon course unrivaled in Australia.
The first 4.5km running on the compact beach sands of Port Douglas sets the scene for how spectacular this race will be.
At the end of the beach runners will turn inland and weave through the resort town streets before heading out into the Mowbray Valley along Mowbray River Road, past the sugar cane fields and towards Black Mountain, crossing over the historic Diggers Bridge before heading down Connolly Road to face the infamous Bump Track.
The Bump Track itself is a historic trail where gold & tin miners used to transport their finds from the Atherton Tablelands all the way down to the Port Douglas sugar wharf with carts and bullocks. It is also the point where everyone should train for.
The first part of the Bump Track ascends 360m in just 2.2km, it is very steep and most people will walk it. Please include steep hill climbs in your training plan. Take your time and breath, there are remarkable views along the way with the Mowbray River Waterfalls to the right roughly 3/4 of the way and the best view in the region at the top, the view looks all the way across the Mowbray Valley and across the Coral Sea to Low Isles. There's even a bench for a rest if you need! This is known as The Landing.
From The Landing it's a further 4km to the top of the Bump Track, this part is shaded, undulating and not nearly as difficult. Once runners have reached the top, you'll get to turn left onto Black Mountain Road and head towards East Black Mountain Road for approximately 3km - from here, runners turn around and it's all down hill from here. The course then continues back down the Bump Track before heading back in towards Port Douglas with the final 5.5km weaving through the streets of town with a final straight past The Sheraton Mirage Resort. The last 1500m brings you back to the start/finish area with a glory lap of the Port Douglas Esplanade in front of a great crowd.
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