ULTRA FIT: The Run the Great Whitsunday Trail is on next month.
ULTRA FIT: The Run the Great Whitsunday Trail is on next month. Peter Carruthers

An ultra-challenge for only the brave

ULTRA-DISTANCE running is not for the faint hearted but with the Whitsundays as a backdrop, lacing up the running shoes becomes a little more exciting.

The annual Run the Great Whitsunday Trail is trail running at its finest and welcomes runners from across the country.

The year it will be held on September 15, and covers the Conway circuit through the Conway National Park and takes competitors on a 10.5km, 28.7km or the ultra-57.4km run through Whitsunday rainforest.

The Whitsunday Running Club event is capped at 250 competitors but is already flaunting a strong line-up of local talent either returning or entering for the first time.

Carol Wells, Shannon Dunbar, Chris Neden and Dave Valance will be among others making their debut on the trail while Shane Youd, Melinda Howell and Justin Knight-Gray are some of those brave enough to return.

Run the Great Whitsunday Trail event organiser Wendy Downes said the rise in popularity in trail running and ultra- distance running made for a well-loved event in the Whitsundays.

"The longer it is, the better it is and the more challenging it is - ultra is really popular so it attracts a bit of attention,” she said.

"We have people coming from all over Australia and we love it when people come from interstate then share their experience afterwards.”

Now in its second year, the 10.5km was added to encourage more people to get into trail running.

"It's great for people who want to get into trail running so it's shorter distance but it's still technical running,” Mrs Downes said.

To register, visit www.runwhitsundays.com. au/race-info before September 13.