The start and finish line is at the IONA Homestead (‘the farm’). This is also Homebase for the Dead Cow Gully Backyard Ultra, and where you will find the main aid station, medics, campgrounds and race director.
The race starts along an internal farm road that is a mixture of dirt and slashed grass. It is the fastest and ‘easiest’ part of the loop – it’s flat and there are no obstacles or barriers. You will run through the cattle yards, and then through the stock laneway which takes you to the top cultivation paddock.
Dead Cow Gully – 750m
Slashed path & Cow Track
If you make it out of Dead Cow Gully, you’ll run along the back boundary fence on a slashed track and loop back around to the dam. You’ll find a small Aid Station at the dam where you will primarily get water/icy poles and words of encouragement. Feel free to lap up some water at the dam if you get the urge (*we can’t guarantee that the water meets health and safety standards). For the next 2K you’ll run along the edge of the creek through timbered sections of flat and uneven terrain.
Rocky hole & cultivation section
You eventually approach Rocky Hole (affectionately known as ‘the brown puddle’). This is our only permanent waterhole in the otherwise bone-dry creek. You will get a glimpse of IONA Homestead in the distance, or at night, ‘the lights of home’. You only have about 2K left! Follow the creek’s edge and cross the cultivation to the fence line. One final push through a creek crossing, loop around the small dam, and you’re on the road home to the finish line.
If you make it back within the hour, most participants try to prepare for the next loop as best they can. This usually involves eating food, hydrating, changing clothes/shoes/socks and a quick toilet stop. Feel free to go to the toilet anywhere on the 6.7K course – just not in Rocky Hole if that’s okay (it’s already brown enough).