Deep Space Mountain Marathon 2016 newsletter

Deep Space Mountain Marathon 2016 newsletter
Race day – Sunday 11 December

1. Venue: Orroral Space Tracking Station, Namadgi National Park, ACT

The start/finish is at the Orroral Space Tracking Station at the end of the Orroral Road in Namadgi National Park. It is NOT at Honeysuckle Creek (the venue for the previous 10 years) because the parking there is insufficient for 200 people.

2. Weather forecast and gear to wear

See and
Sunday 11 December. Min 9, max 26, Slight (20%) chance of light rain. Light winds. Sun protection recommended from 8:40 am to 5:30 pm, UV Index predicted to reach 15 [Extreme]

Please ensure you come prepared for wet weather in case it does rain. Make sure you have running shoes for the race which have very good grip as the running surface is steep in places. 

3. Chest numbers and race check in

Chest numbers are NOT being posted out. On race morning you will need to report in on arriving and collect your chest number as we need to tick off who is actually running for safety reasons. Please arrive in plenty of time for this (at least 40 minutes before your start time) and to visit the loo as there is 1 portaloo in the carpark. 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. 
LATE ENTRIES: Online entry is open until 9pm Friday. Please enter online BEFORE then. Late entries on the day will cause significant logistical issues.

4. Detailed event information

Please read the detailed event information, including a map of the course

Full event details are at

Start times are:

6.30am marathon run
7.30am half marathon run and walk
9am 10km out and back run & walk;
9.05am 5km out and back run & walk.

Course descriptions.:
Start/finish at Orroral Deep Space sign in the Orroral Tracking Station carpark. 
Half marathon course: From Orroral Tracking Station to Honeysuckle Tracking Station campground and return on well maintained 4WD road. See map in the event information.
Marathon: 2 laps of Half Marathon course. 
10 km course: an out and back undulating T shape course which avoids the half marathon course steep hill. After 1.8km on the half marathon course there is a 2km out and back leg (1 km out, 1 km back). The course then rejoins the half marathon course and turns around at the 4km mark. It is then 4 km to the finish. 
5 km course: out and back on the half marathon course. The 2.5 km turnaround point is 80 metres past the Orroral River bridge.

5. Car pooling, 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 at least 65 minutes driving from the centre of Canberra.

From Central Canberra, travel to Tharwa. After crossing the historic bridge over the Murrumbidgee River at Tharwa, stay to the left and drive south, on the Boboyan Road passing the Namadgi National Park Visitors Centre. Continue on this road until you get to the Orroral Road turnoff sign. Turn right on to this road and follow it to the end of the bitumen. CAUTION: On entering Namadgi National Park please drive at 40 kph only as there are many kangaroos and most have no road sense. 

PARKING: When arriving, do NOT park in the small public carpark. Follow the FUN RUN PARKING signs to the left then right to park in a large concrete base area. Registration will be at the large picnic area shelter.


Avoid driving early morning. Camp overnight at the Orroral campground, a 10 minute drive from the race venue. Pay at the Namadgi Visitors Centre on the way out on Saturday afternoon, or book online. 

Features: A covered shelter with seating, fireplace and gas BBQ.; Composting toilets. No showers; Shared wood BBQs (bring your own firewood); Sealed road access. In camping, please bring your own supply of water and food, plus a rubbish bag to take all garbage home with you.

7. DRINK STATIONS & TOILETS ON THE COURSE: There will be drink stations at the start/finish; after 2.5kms, after 7kms and at the 10.55km turnaround point near the Honeysuckle Tracking Station camp ground.

There will be water, sports drink and lollies at each drink station, plus muesli bars and bananas for marathon runners at the half marathon turnaround. 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 portaloo close to the start/finish area and another toilet only 150 metres from the half marathon turnaround point at Honeysuckle. Please use these and not the bush in the national park.

TOILETS ON THE WAY TO THE RACE: In past years there was a long queue for the 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, or at the Orroral camp ground toilet block.  


All runners and walkers must wear their chest number on their chest clothing so it is clearly 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 and fairness to drink station officials, there is a marathon time limit of 5 hours 30 mins, and any marathon runner not reaching the halfway point in 2hrs 45mins must stop at that point and not continue.  Any marathon runner who withdraws at the 21.1k point (at the start/finish) will be included in the half marathon results.

The awards are as follows:
Trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd males and females in the marathon, half marathon, 10k and 5k runs..
A Deep Space marathon mug for all other finishers.

 10. SNAKES:

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 warm days. Please be aware of this potential danger. 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.

11. MOBILE PHONE COVERAGE: There is none at Orroral.


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.

I am short of helpers at the start/finish: car parking marshals; pre-start registrations and finish recording. If you have spouses/other supporters who can help out 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 or two of the 10km/5km runners could arrive early (5.45am) and be an extra parking guide for people arriving between 5.45am and 8.45am. Please email me at if you can help out. 


Please see


GoPro video by Peter Komidar: 


Marathon: John Winsbury 3.09.34; Angela Bateup (44km) 3.50.34.
Half marathon: Matt Crane 1.26.33; Lizzie Ingham 1.48.17.
10 km: Matthew Zeitlhofer 42.53; Melissa Clarke 48.55.
5 km: Greg Hosking 21.55; Leanne Laajoki 21.20.

17. TOUR DE RIDGES, Sunday 18 DECEMBER: 10.6k; 15.3k; 21.2 k

I am very short of helpers for this: register online to help at
Helpers receive wine or chocolate.

An electronic timing system with timing chips on chest numbers will be used. Consequently, all entries strictly close at 5pm on Friday 16 December. NO entries after that and no entries on the day. Please enter NOW if you are planning to participate.


John Harding
Event organiser
Australian Mountain Running Association