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THE NORTH FACE 100 / 17TH-18TH MAY 2014 An ultra-marathon is any sporting event involving running longer than the traditional marathon length of 42.195 kilometres. There are two types of ultra-marathon events: those that cover a specified distance, and events that take place during specified time (with the winner covering the most distance in that time). The most common distances are 50 and 100 miles, or 50 and 100 kilometres. The North Face 100 Ultra marathon in the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains of NSW, is fast becoming one of the most popular races of its type on the planet. Now in its sixth year, the North Face 100 is arguably the premier 100km and leading ultra-marathon event in Australia. Rated by ultra-running legend Dean Karnazes as “the hardest 100-kilometre race I’ve ever done”, The North Face 100 covers over 4200 metres of elevation changes through the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains west of Sydney. Starting and finishing in Leura, the race passes through five checkpoints, with support crew permitted at the final three. THE COURSE Course Maps showing the route:

            If you haven’t been in the Blue Mountains in bad weather it might be hard to imagine just how ugly it can get – windy, cold and wet – often all at the same time. Remember that Katoomba is 1000m (3000’) above sea level. Google “wind chill factor” and see just how cold you’ll get if it’s windy as well as cold. Then take a few more degrees off if it is also wet. Then add to this the fatigue of running a long distance with reduced energy intake and you won’t have much energy left to burn to maintain your body temperature. The consequences can be dire if you are immobilised or caught in bad weather without appropriate gear. If you roll an ankle, can’t move to keep warm and don’t have enough clothing to wear to maintain your body temperature you’ll be dangerously hypothermic in under 30 minutes. In all 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 we’ve been lucky with pretty mild weather conditions for the race. Yet even when conditions are good we still get many calls to evacuate people with a combination of hypothermia and fatigue. If there is any combination of wet, cold or windy weather it’s likely the First Aid teams will get lots of requests for help and there might be lengthy delays until we can evacuate everyone. In this case you need to be able to look after yourself to stay warm until evacuated. This is what mandatory gear is for. We want you to put on all your gear, use your emergency blanket and even light a small fire to keep warm until we can reach you. Your gear might also be used to help care for someone else you come across.