The 20th anniversary running of the Katherine Ultra Challenge was held on Sunday, with 230 competitors getting among the action from dawn in the spectacular Nitmiluk National Park.
The race started at 7am with a 3.2km swim at the second gorge followed by five more sporting disciplines as the huge rolling ball of humanity charged down the river corridor to the finish line at the Katherine Museum.
As endurance events go, the Katherine Ultra Challenge must certainly be in contention for one of the most demanding.
Six legs covering 100km and one day to do it.
A total of 11 hardy individuals took it all on, including Katherine’s own Lil Tait who was the second fastest woman.
The blokes went hard as well and Jason Hamilton (Darwin) backed up his 2017 win, finishing in 6 hours and 19 minutes. Incredibly, this was only 1 minute and 13 seconds behind the fastest team.
The fastest woman was Georgina Beech (who flew in from Cairns to participate), finishing in 8 hours 23 minutes.
Plenty of youngsters were there too, with a score of teenagers competing as junior triathletes.
This meant the age range of competitors for the event was 13-70. A wonderful achievement at both ends of the spectrum.
This race has always been about encouraging anyone to have a go, regardless of ability and most people compete as a group of mates for a fun day out.
There were plenty of thrills and spills with much talk and laughter at the presentation dinner that night, recalling adventures had throughout the day.
The organising committee would like to thank the generous support of the Katherine community in making this event happen. Particularly Nitmiluk Tours who provide all the transport needs on the Nitmiluk Gorge free of charge and seamlessly fit us into their busy schedule. Thank you Pat, Steve and the crew.
The committee is also indebted to the many volunteers who provide their time as marshals and safety back up, including the Katherine SES and this year the Katherine Scouts who did a wonderful job timing the race.
The Katherine Ultra Challenge is a fantastic event and the 20th running was no disappointment. We hope to see you there next year.