Big Red Run Shows Big Heart - Page 2
So it was no surprise that the inaugural Big Red Run was infused with a tangible benevolent spirit, as 58 dedicated athletes from Australia and Asia ran their hearts out against the backdrop of the Simpson Desert.
And they're off! Runners head for 250 kilometers of central Australian desert from outside the iconic Birdsville Pub, Queensland. Photo by Chris Ord.
Following in the footsteps of the great desert races before it, the Big Red Run offered a six-day running challenge with a luxurious twist: runners only had to carry daypacks, and friends and family could join in the adventure, welcoming runners back to camp each day. A separate marathon was held in conjunction with the event, offering another option for those keen to participate and contribute to the cause.
The combination of efforts resulted in a unique event, bringing together a special community of runners in the great Aussie Outback.
It also produced some unexpected results, with the women, not the men, triumphing in the desert. Jess Baker, a veteran of all four desert races in the RacingThePlanet series, took top honors. Talented young Australian runner, Matty Abel, battled crippling IT band issues to take second place. And Australia’s latest rising running star, 17-year-old Lucy Bartholomew, came in third.
Part of the daily grind: Winner Jess Baker empties her shoes of the desert sand that wreaked havoc on so many runners' feet. Photo by Chris Ord.