Thursday 22 March 2018

Have you Ever wanted the Ned Kelly 100K?

Ned Kelly Chase around Wangaratta
Ned Kelly Chase around Wangaratta

Want to do something both memorable and slightly outlandish at the same time while retracing a bit of Irish history abroad? How about a visit to Oz to coincide with the Ned Kelly chase over 100k or even the 10k which is also on that weekend?

The 100k is a battle of willpower, grit and determination. It requires the mind and the body to rise above the adversity thrust upon them, and to find harmony in each other in order to triumph. It requires something special.

When you enter the Ned Kelly Chase you journey back to the 1800s, a time of great adversity, of depression, of social injustice. You are brought into a different world; a time and place that exhibited a struggle between social needs and government power. A defining time in our great nation where rebellion was seen by some as the only road to success against corruption.

Was Ned Kelly, deported from Ireland in 1843, a hero or a villain? He was a convicted thief and murderer and was hanged for his crimes. Whilst worshipped by some as a critical influence in the social and cultural development of the Aussie nation, he is also abhorred by those he swindled. Ned affects lives to this day and remains a polarising figure, as is often the case with Irish historical figures both home and abroad.


Its first 50km is an out and back on the world renowned Murray to Mountains Rail Trail. The second 50km is also an out and back, but on the cycle paths through Wangaratta on the banks of the Ovens River and One Mile Creeks, plus the cycle paths out through Oxley to Milawa. The RunNBike (two runners but just one bicycle between them) uses the same course, as does the 4 x 25km relay and the 100km cycle challenge. The solo 50km event uses the second half of the course. The 2014 "Chase" is designed ultimately to celebrate the efforts of the 100km journeymen (and women). Aiming to finish near 2pm the early starters will be chased, and those starting later do the chasing.

When the runners have gone, the pursuit really begins with a 100km cycle challenge added to the programme which starts not less than one hour after the last runners began.

And at 11am there's a 10km fun run with 50 per cent of the course on unsealed urban tracks and trails through native bushland along the Ovens River. Presentations in this event will take place just before we start to see the bulk of 100km finishers cross the line. Afterwards, organisers, participants and spectators all engage in some hearty country fair at the Old Town and Country Tavern.


It's not rocket science. Probably best if you get to a hub like London, then get a Qantas flight out to one of the big Australian cities and from there get an internal flight to Wangaratta, Victoria where the event is held. You don't need me to tell you it won't be cheap, but it is a trip of a lifetime we are talking about.


This is a sell-out event and you better get your skates on if you want to partake this October. Probably better to put the Ned Kelly in your long-term planning and arrive there for late 2015.


The Ned Kelly Chase offers the following events: 100km solo run, 50km solo run, 100km Relay (4 x 25km legs), 100km RunNBike (2 people, 1 bicycle), 100km cycle and the 10km fun run.




You can dine out on having been there and done that.


It's a long way to go to prove you are certifiable.

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