Run Larapinta Stage Race Report – Tom Scott

Race: Run Larapinta Stage Race

Runner: Coach Tom Scott

Race Date: 08/12/2022

Location: Alice Springs, Australia

Results: 1st Overall, Long Course

Strava Activity Link:

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  1. The other runners – the camaraderie amongst all the participants was the best I’ve ever experienced, and I made so many new friends
  2. The location – the scenery is some of the best in Australia and the Larapinta trail which we ran on was simply amazing running
  3. The organisation – the race organisers take care of everything, so all you have to do is run! Transport, food etc. was all taken care of. They even had recovery gear like compression boots and massage guns for everyone to use!

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

Honestly there is nothing I would have changed about the race or my experience.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

The rocks! The trail is incredibly rocky and technical for some sections. So much so everytime I closed my eyes to sleep each night I literally saw rocks!

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

The main highlights for me were sharing time with the others runners on the trails, and the scenery! I feel like my nutrition and hydration were spot on, which is important in long and hot races. Also my recovery between stages went way better than I expected!

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

Practice lots of technical and downhill running. Also have your recovery techniques sorted out – recovering between days is important to perform at your best and enjoy the event to its fullest.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

The rocks! The rockiness brought a lot of people undone (seriously – there were multiple broken bones) who weren’t prepared for all the technical running.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

You run through multiple beautiful gorges and creek lines, as well as along several ridge lines with views for days!

Also summiting Mt Sonder (the highest mountain on the trail) at sunrise on the last morning is simply amazing.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

Both the long course and short course version are tough! Any running in this landscape and climate is hard work, and the technical nature of the trail makes it harder and slow going at times.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

This was the 8th running of the event and they’ve got it nailed. All the transportation is great, plus the event dinners after each stage were a great way to relax and meet the other runners. Rapid Ascent so a great job!

Competition – Is there a strong field?

The competition seems to fluctuate year to year, but there have been some seriously good runners in the past.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

The race has started selling out quickly so if you want to run, you need to nab an entry as soon as they open. I’d also recommend booking your accomodation straight away to make sure you get a room at the event hotel and a tent at the event campsite for the last few nights.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

Aid stations were relatively spare, mainly due to their remote location (water was helicopter dropped to some of them). They all had water, tailwind and some sort of food such as fruit cake or lollies.

Weather and typical race conditions

Mornings are freezing (close to 0 degrees Celsius) and rise quickly during the day and can be anywhere from 20 to 35. It’s also dry heat which can make it feel hotter if you aren’t used to it. Knowing your sweat rate and having a solid hydration plan is important.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?

There is a pretty big mandatory gear list and they are very strict with checking you have it all. Therefore you need a decent sized pack and need to practice carrying it all before the event.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Not particularly! The trail is pretty remote so not a lot of spots for spectators other than the finish lines. However the cheering from all the other runners makes up for it!

How’s the Swag?

The race entry includes a cool event t-shirt and there is plenty of other swag to purchase if you want.

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

5 out of 5 stars, and if you’ve ever thought about doing this race – definitely do it!

Tom Scott is a coach with Team RunRun. To learn more about him or to work with him, check out his coach profile.