Simpson Desert Ultra

Experience the Simpson Desert on foot at this new ultra-marathon event.

Have you ever wanted to walk across the Simpson Desert?

Now you can thanks to RACQ member Jenna Brook, who has launched a brand-new ultra-marathon event near Birdsville – the Simpson Desert Ultra.

The event will take place from 6-7 June 2020 and offers competitors a range of distances including 20km, 42km, 80km and 160km across a variety of terrains.

So far 143 people have signed up for the challenge, including participants from South Africa, New Zealand and the United States of America.

Ms Brook, who is also a key organiser for the iconic Birdsville Races, decided to create the event after the announcement was made to close the Big Red Run in 2018. 

“I was flying home from Lake Eyre one day across the desert and I just really missed the opportunity for people to come out and experience the desert on foot,” Ms Brook said.

“The Simpson Desert is such a unique and beautiful part of the world that I am lucky enough to have in my backyard.

“Although it can be an unforgiving environment, with the immense support and safety measures in place, I am confident that Simpson Desert Ultra is an event that lends itself to ensuring that like-minded adventurers of any background or fitness level can successfully complete it.”

In 2012 Ms Brook crossed the Simpson Desert on foot climbing 1000 dunes across 435km and followed it up by participating in the 250km Big Red Run.

In 2018 she completed a 4500km run from one end of Australia to the other, starting in Tasmania and finishing on the tip of Cape York.  

Ms Brook said that while participants will be exposed to gruelling conditions, including towering red sand dunes and rocky gibber plains, the event is specially designed to be inclusive.

“There are very few people who would come out here with the intention of competing as such,” Ms Brook said.

“Some people who have registered for this event has never done a marathon before.

“It’s more about taking yourself, your mind and your body somewhere that you never thought you could go.

“I really want people to experience Birdsville and the Simpson Desert and recognise that they are capable of much more than what they give themselves credit for.”

Event details

  • Date: 6-7 June, 2020
  • Location: Simpson Desert, Birdsville, Queensland
  • Distances: 160km, 80km, 42km, 20km single stage ultra-marathon
  • Registration: Closes on 31 March 2020 unless sold out prior