Interview: Kangaroo Island Marathon

18 May 2016 03:54
Jean-Loup Fenaux
KANGAROO ISLAND MARATHON: Experience the Stories
Credit : Jensen Godfrey

Hello, on August 27th 2016, you’ll be organizing the Kangaroo Island Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?

The route is located in the remote south-west corner of Flinders Chase National Park, named after explorer captain Matthew Flinders who came ashore in 1802 and named Kangaroo Island. Kangaroo Island is only 14km off the coast of South Australia, and a 90-minute drive from the beautiful city of Adelaide which was recently voted one of the top 10 cities in the world by Lonely Planet.

Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third largest island, with a population of 4500 people and a coastline totaling 480km. The island is a bio-diverse hotspot; organic GMA free produce, rare flora and fauna, and unspoiled picturesque landscapes. Kangaroo Island is surrounded by five marine sanctuaries and one third of the land is designated as national parks, helping to position Kangaroo Island as a ‘must see’ tourist destination.


How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?

The Kangaroo Island Marathon was founded in 2015. I have run 6 marathons on 6 continents, and after travelling overseas for a few adventure marathons I started to ask how we could offer International runners an iconic Australian experience. Kangaroo Island is Australia’s best kept secret, offering an ‘immersive’ experience for runners who want to spend a few days on the island – exploring the wildlife, tasting the food & wine, enjoying the adventure activities, and watching beautiful sunsets.

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The race route is challenging, with a total elevation gain of 631m and a maximum elevation of 154m. The race is exclusively on sealed roads, offering runners a traditional marathon race with trail views. Runners will be inspired by deviating and undulating roads that cut through dense forest, an exposed coastal section with views of the powerful Southern Ocean, a loop that travels by historic landmarks such as Cape de Couedic Lighthouse and Admirals Arch, and a zig-zag boardwalk leading to the iconic Remarkable Rocks.

Credit : (Imagine)

What are the distances on the agenda?

  • Half Marathon (21.1km)
  • Full Marathon (42.2km)

How many runners do you expect on Saturday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

The Kangaroo Island Marathon is a destination marathon, but we are expecting 200 runners in 2016. We have already registrations from runners on 4 continents – including USA, Singapore, England, New Zealand, and Finland. We also have a core group of local Australian runners.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

The exposed location means the weather can be ‘four seasons in one day’. Average temperatures in August range between 16°C and 21°C.

Have you planned festivities around the event?

We have a traditional indigenous welcome with the Aboriginal didgeridoo before the race starts. We also have a ‘pasta party’ celebration dinner after the race which is a traditional Aussie BBQ.

Credit : David Locke

The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Kangaroo Island before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

We offer a range of day tour packages for runners who wish to spend a few days on the island.

  • Explore Tour – wildlife visit to Hanson Bay koala sanctuary, little Sahara, Flinders Chase National Park including remarkable rocks and admirals arch, plus an orientation tour of the race route.
  • Taste Tour – honey tasting, cheese tasting, gin tasting, oyster tasting, and wine tasting.
  • Adventure Tour – your choice of VIP experiences including swimming with dolphins, private fishing charter, or a gourmet chef safari.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Kangaroo Island Marathon?

There is only one place in the world where you can ‘Run with the Roost’!

Interview with Nate Godfrey , Race Director.