The race starts outside Otford Primary School, just a short walk from Otford Railway Station.
The route follows the tarmac road for about 200m before following a footpath and fire trail which heads uphill towards Otford Lookout. This will allow the field to spread out before crossing Lady Wakehurst Drive and starting along the Coast Track.
Initially it’s a single-width trail with magnificent views from the cliffs out to sea and south towards Wollongong, with the track opening up later.
A right hand turn leads down the rocky, twisting track to the Palm Jungle – no views here, but you’ll need to keep your wits about you as the track twists and turns and has lots of rocks and other objects in the way.
Leaving the Palm Jungle behind, the track opens out to a rutted heathland along grassy cliffs as you head towards Burning Palms and the first of over 200 shacks that spread over the headlands. As you stride past have a think about how they manage to build and supply these, being so far from any roads.
After you have successfully passed Burning Palms Beach, South Era Beach and Little Garie Beach – with stiff climbs separating all these and beautiful views an added bonus – you will eventually arrive at the first aid station on the sand at Garie Beach (9.5km). Garie Beach has road access and toilets available.
Continue along the sand and clamber up and over the very steep hill at the north end. Wind your way across the heath land and boardwalks that go past the famous ‘Eagle Rock’ and the Curracurrong and Curracurrang water crossings. Traverse the small rocky cliff section before reaching the downhill trail to the Wattamolla aid station (16.5km) by the superb lagoon. More importantly, Wattamolla has both road access and toilets.
Leaving Wattamolla on a beautiful sand and rock trail, the run hits the coast as you stride along stunning cliffs. Please watch your footing whilst looking at the great views. As you look north you can see that the route now follows the coastline all the way to Bundeena.
Traverse the sands of the deserted Little Marley Beach and then the longer Big Marley. As you wind uphill you will come to the 3rd and final aid station at 22km.
The trail then follows the coastline northwards, going down and up a steep gorge and following the cliffline almost to the outskirts of Bundeena township. But you’re not finished yet – you first need to veer right for what could be a death march along 3km of the Sandy Track. Don’t worry, when you arrive at Jibbon beach the views will make all the sand feel worthwhile, with the a spectacular sight of the crystal clear waters and (most importantly) the finish line just a few shorts streets away.
The finish is right by the Bundeena RSL club in a cosy little park.
Bundeena is a beautiful little township with 4 beaches, parks and coffee shops. There’s no need to rush away — there is some great relaxation to be had, and options for all the family to enjoy this slice of paradise.
Elevation Gain/Loss: Approx 820m/-820m