The below text was supplied to runners in the lead up to the 2021 event. Most details apply for the 2022 event, however a complete 2022 guide will be provided as the event approaches.
Welcome to the 2021 Ultra Mediocre Runners of Canberra – Great Ultra Mediocre Back Yarder, or the GUMBY.
We are excited to be putting on the Great Ultra Mediocre Back Yarder and hope that you enjoy the experience! This race will undoubtedly be a test for everyone taking part in a range of different ways.
This is the first event organised by the ULTRA Mediocre Runners of Canberra. We are a not for profit club so all funds we receive will go back into ultrarunning in our community.
We welcome you to Historic Blue Range Hut in the hills to the west of Canberra.
Centred around the heritage-listed remains of a World War II Italian internment camp, the Blue Range camp is a very popular camping and events location. Blue Range Hut is also a great base for accessing some of the glorious alpine walking trails of northern Namadgi National Park.
Blue Range Hut is an approximate 50 minute drive from Canberra City with all but the last few kilometres on sealed roads. Access to the event site is generally fine in a 2wd car, but may be a little slippery if we have had some rain. Drive to the conditions and don’t destroy the roads.
Below is map of the event site, course and driving directions from Parliament House
While usually Blue Range Hut is a dog friendly campsite, for the enjoyment of the event and fellow competitors and spectators we require you leave your four legged friends at home during the event.
While everyone will be hoping for picture postcard weather, what we have noticed from our site visits, is the weather at Blue Range hut can vary. It is important you come prepared for icy nights, wet weather and unseasonably warm days. You don’t want your event to be bought undone by the conditions.
Only athletes will be able to check themselves in. Please ensure you have some form of ID so we can verify that it’s actually you. Once checked in you will receive your race kit.
You will receive the following at the event check in:
Be self-sufficient! – Please bring everything you will need for your race and your stay, if you are camping. There is no running water or electricity at the hut.
First Aid - There will be first aid on site for the duration of the event.
Water– Please bring all the water you think you will need. We will have limited water available at the hut. These provisions should not be relied upon.
Food- Bring all your race food needs. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we will be limited in the aid that we can provide. Also bring all your regular camping food and food for your support crew.
Camping equipment– Please bring all the equipment you will need for camping. GUMBY runners will have a designated area where they can set up camp limited to 3m x 3m per entrant. However there is plenty of space away from the course for non-runners and those that wish to have more space. Note, there is no vehicle camping available at the hut or campground.
Power– There is no electricity and thus, no charging options available. You will need to have enough battery power to get you through your entire stay. This includes lighting your camp site. There will be some communal lighting around the hut, but your crew zone will not have light, so make sure your crew has a head torch.
Rubbish – There are no bins at Blue Range Hut. We are required to remove every last piece of rubbish before we leave the site. So please secure your rubbish and take it home with you at the end of the event.
Road Safety– The GUMBY course is on public forestry roads so there may be the occasional 4WD coming through (it is a long weekend). For safety reasons runners are not permitted to have headphones whilst they are out on the course. You will also need to wear the mandatory safety gear.
Mandatory safety gear– You will need a head torch and a reflective high visibility vest if you are running after 5pm. If you do not have these items you will not be allowed to commence any laps after 5pm.
Getting there– Please carpool if you can, Blue Range Hut is accessible by 2WD vehicle via the dirt Blue Range Road. Please drive to the conditions.
Parking– The hut area has limited parking available, and will fill up quickly. Participants will be able to drop off equipment near the hut from 1500 till 1900 on Friday and again from 0500 until 0700 Saturday morning.
If you park inside the hut grounds, after 7am you will only be able to leave upon request (the Race Director will organise someone to let you out as soon as they can, most likely at a quiet time after runners have commenced a lap).
Parking outside the hut is possible however it is approximately 600m walk to the hut. We suggest arriving with plenty of time to drop of your gear and move your car to a parking spot. There is to be no parking on East-West Road.
FiresThere are half a dozen fire pits at Blue Range Hut, the main fire near the hut will be kept burning all night on Saturday night., If you want to have a fire in one of the other pits please bring your own firewood. Scavenging for wood in the forest is prohibited. Campfires must be attended at all times, we may extinguish a fire if it is left unattended.
Mobile phone coverage- The reception out in the Brindabellas is patchy at best and depends on your phone company. The hut itself, sits in a valley and there is no reception there. You will likely be able to get coverage if you are willing to walk 500m from camp to the top of “Facebook Hill”. For runners, there are a number places along the course where you will be able to get good reception.
Cooking facilities– We encourage support crews to bring their own to support their athletes, however, there is a gas BBQ on site and we will provide a basic camp stove and kettle for individuals to use.