A BRAND new trail running festival was launched recently that will celebrate Tasmania’s natural environment.

The kunanyi Mountain Run will be held from 8 to 10 April 2022 and will include four epic trail-running events – the 68 kilometre ultra (completed by a sole runner), 68 kilometre ultra (five person relay), 28km mountain run (solo), and the Vertical Kilometre (1000 metres straight up, over five kilometres).

The three routes will showcase kunanyi’s diverse landscapes and Tasmania’s unique endemic species, including dry silver peppermint forests, in contrast to the wet eucalypt forests, dolerite boulder fields and alpine snowgums.

Participants will run directly underneath the famous Organ Pipes that watch protectively over nipaluna/Hobart.

kunanyi Mountain Run director and founder Lincoln Quilliam said plenty of people new to trail running could tackle the 28 kilometre or ultra relay events.

“The 28 kilometre is perfect for anyone who’s had a crack at Point to Pinnacle, known as the world’s toughest half marathon, and wants to step up to the next challenge,” he said.

“It’s a legendary loop where runners climb the mountain from South Hobart, and then head all the way back down.

“They won’t be running it on the road but immersing themselves deeper in the landscapes on the trails which is an incredibly special experience.”

According to World Athletics, trail running has grown globally by 15 per cent per year over the past decade.

Mr Quilliam said Hobart, with kunanyi on its doorstep and its clean air and wild landscapes, was a “world class trail running experience and had significant potential to be Australia’s trail running mecca”.

“kunanyi Mountain Run’s vision is that runners and spectators alike will learn, be humbled, experience the energy, and better understand their own and the communities’ connection with kunanyi, the indigenous palawa name for Mount Wellington,” he said.

“We run with deep respect for the Tasmanian Aboriginal people, the palawa people of Lutruwita.

“We will be supporting and sharing the stories of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community through the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, and we’re just so thankful to them for sharing Country with us.

“kunanyi is, or should be on every runner’s bucket list.”

Destination Southern Tasmania chief executive officer Alex Heroys said the announcement of the kunanyi Mountain Run had come after a decade-long call for a national-scale trail running event.

“This is another great example of destination and experience tourism,” he said.

“Tasmania is the perfect location for a multi-course event such as this, attracting Tasmanians – and, COVID-willing – interstate runners and their families to the state.”

Running scholarships are available to Tasmanian aboriginal runners and others less fortunate, while two per cent of registration fees will go directly to a fund that supports volunteer track maintenance.

To register interest in the run or volunteer in the event, visit www.kunanyimountain.run

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