Late entry information for Deep Space Marathon and Half Marathon

Deep Space Mountain Marathon 2012 newsletter 

6.30am marathon run (Honeysuckle Creek campground, Apollo Road out to the Orroral Deep Space Tracking station and back twice, ie. double half marathon), 7.30am half marathon run and walk to Orroral Deep Space tracking station and return, 8am 10km out and back run & walk, 8.30am 5km out and back run & walk. 

Sunday 11 November 2012

Late entries: Will be accepted after 5pm on Saturday at the Honeysuckle Creek campground and on race day only up to 30 minutes before race start time.

1. Weather update:

It is now forecast to be fine on both Saturday and Sunday, with it likely to be sunny on Sunday. 
HOWEVER, it is forecast to be 3 degrees overnight in Canberra on Saturday night and it is several degrees cooler in the mountains. So be prepared for frost and sub-zero temperatures for the start of the marathon at 6.30am, and for it to be quite cool for the other starts at 7.30, 8.00 and 8.30. Bring gloves, beanies and warm clothing. There is still a chance of rain so also bring a rain jacket. The sun is forecast to come out in the morning so have sunscreen and a hat. 
HAZARDS: There has been a fair bit of rain in the last couple of days. This means parts of the course are likely to be wet and slippery. There are a few short quite steep downhill sections on the Link Road into the Orroral Valley where it is easy to lose control if you run too fast, even in dry conditions. Take care. 

2. Chest numbers and race check in

Chest numbers for pre-entrants to Thursday will be posted out. On race morning you will need to report in on arriving as we need to tick off who is actually running for safety reasons. Please arrive in plenty of time for this (at least 30 minutes before your start time) and to visit the loo as there are just 2 toilets at the start. There is a compulsory pre-start briefing 5 minutes before each event covering safety and other issues. Please be at the start line 5 minutes before your start for this briefing. 

 3. Detailed event information

Please read the detailed event information, including a map of the course. Full event details are at
A listing of who has entered so far is at
Start times are:

6.30am marathon run (out to the Orroral Deep Space Tracking station and back twice, ie. double half marathon), 7.30am half marathon run and walk to Orroral Deep Space tracking station and return, 8am 10km out and back run & walk, 8.30am 5km out and back run & walk. 


4. Getting there and parking when you arrive

Be careful driving: there are lots of kangaroos on the roads early morning and late afternoon/evening. Allow 60 minutes easy driving from the centre of Canberra.

From Central Canberra, travel to Tharwa by taking one of two routes south:

i. Parkes Way to the Tuggeranong Parkway then south along Drakeford Drive to Tharwa Drive in Tuggeranong.

ii. Parkes Way east to Morshead Drive then south on the Monaro Highway to Johnson Drive. Turn left onto Tharwa Drive.

After crossing the historic bridge over the Murrumbidgee River at Tharwa, stay to the left and drive south, passing the Namadgi National Park Visitors Centre and turning right onto Apollo Road after about 10kms. Follow Apollo Road to the end of the bitumen at Honeysuckle Creek camp ground.


PARKING: When arriving, continue driving up the hill to the end of the bitumen road then turn right into the overflow carpark and park in orderly rows.


5. CAMPING: Many of you are camping at the Honeysuckle Creek campground overnight.


A covered shelter with seating, fireplace and gas BBQ.

Composting toilets. No showers.

Shared wood BBQs (bring your own firewood).

Rainwater provided.

Access to the historic Honeysuckle Deep Space Tracking Station site.

Walking track connects to Booroomba Rocks/Orroral Ridge.

Sealed road access.


We are camping in the (signposted) Mercury camping area. This is just 100m to the northwest of the camping ground toilets and adjacent to the start/finish at the start of the Orroral Ridge road. There is a small drop off dirt car park (about 50 metres along Orroral Ridge dirt road). Please drop off your camping gear from this car park but do not park there. Use the bitumen car parking area up the hill or one of the other bitumen car parks. In camping, please bring your own supply of water and food, plus a rubbish bag to take all garbage home with you.


6. DRINK STATIONS & TOILETS ON THE COURSE: Between Honeysuckle Creek and the the Orroral Tracking Station picnic ground there will be drink stations at the start/finish; after 3.5kms, after 8kms at the Orroral River bridge and at the 10.55km turnaround point at the Orroral Tracking Station picnic ground.

There will be water, Staminade and lollies at each drink station, plus fruit cake and bananas for marathon runners at the turnaround points. Please note that the run/walk is wholly within Namadgi National Park; do not drop cups or gel wrappers or any other rubbish along the course, leave them only at drink stations.


There is a toilet block adjacent to the start/finish area and another only 50 metres from the half marathon turnaround point at the Orroral space tracking station picnic ground. Please use these and not the bush in the national park.

TOILETS ON THE WAY TO THE RACE: Last year there was a long queue for the camping ground toilets pre-start and some people missed the pre-start briefing. Please consider stopping on the way to the race at the toilet block in Tharwa on your left immediately after crossing the bridge over the Murrumbidgee River. 



All runners and walkers must wear their chest number on their chest clothing so it is clearing visible as you approach each check point and the finish of your event. Split times will be recorded for the half marathon at 10.55k and at the finish, and for marathon runners at 10.55k, 21.1k, 31.7k and the finish.  


Time limits: In the interests of safety, there is a marathon time limit of 5 hours 30 mins.  Any marathon runner who withdraws at the 21.1k point (at the start/finish) will be included in the half marathon results.



One reason for the time limit is the danger of dehydration and heat stress. Another is that Namadgi National Park has both dangerous brown snakes and red bellied black snakes and they come out onto the tracks from mid to late morning onwards on hot days. Please be aware of this potential danger if the weather is hot on the day. While there have been no sightings of snakes in the Deep Space Marathon in previous years, there have been more sightings of snakes by runners in Canberra in recent weeks than in previous years because of relatively high rainfall in the last 12 months.

Please read the section on first aid for snake bite in the following: In summary, if bitten, stop still, firmly bandage the affected area (use your running singlet) and get the next runner on the course to seek urgent assistance for you.


9. MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: There is none at Honeysuckle Creek.



In the Bush Capital Bush Marathon and Ultra in July 2010 several runners who were carrying significant injuries ran anyway. Some even carried pain killers and took them on the run. This is highly dangerous . In the Deep Space marathon it is even more dangerous if sections of the course end up being closed to vehicles and the only way you can be rescued from the course is using the Canberra hospital rescue helicopter (which will be very expensive for you).

So if you are carrying an injury, or suffering from an illness,  do NOT run.



If you have spouses/other supporters who can help out at a drink station while they are waiting for you to finish, please let me know. All drink stations are manned but an extra pair of hands might be handy at each. I would appreciate it if one of the 10km runners or walkers could arrive early (6am) and be a parking guide for people arriving between 6am and 7.45am. Please email me if you can help out.. 



Please see


John Harding
Event organiser
Australian Mountain Running Association