The Spiny Cray Ultra is a serious tropical test, climbing more than 1550m to a turnaround point 1220m above sea level, deep in the Daintree Cloud Forest.
Mt Lewis Road bisects this reserve and presents the opportunity for a naturally air-conditioned canter through this stunning location.
The Spiny Cray Ultra is a simple out and back event over Mt Lewis Road. The total elevation gained (and descended) is 1553 meters in the premier event.
This event starts and finishes at Julatten’s renowned Highlander Tavern. Initially bitumen (for 1km), Mt Lewis road soon becomes a single vehicle-width dirt road, mostly suited to 4wd vehicles. This track meanders up to more than 900meters high before entering cloud forest, so named because the forest is often shrouded in cloud, mist and fog. The high moisture level and cool year-round temperatures of this type of forest foster plant communities that are rich in mosses, ferns and epiphytes.
Winding through rainforest-clad ridges and spurs, Mt Lewis Road climbs to more than 1200 metres before following the contours of the chain of peaks that form the watershed of the Mossman and Mitchell rivers.
The 21k event turnaround is near the ‘grassy patch’, which is also a wildlife mecca (as is the majority of Mt Lewis Road). Try to spot the Mount Lewis spiny crayfish in the creeks and blue-faced parrot-finches in grassy clearings and glades. Red-bellied black snakes are commonly seen sunning themselves on the road and huge (up to 2m) blue earthworms come to the surface during wet weather.
The 58k event continues to the end of the road, and an old shed that is the turnaround point.
The Spiny Cray Ultra event is a serious tropical test. While the large majority of the course is shaded and regular watercourses provide relief, safety precautions require that entry is at the discretion of the Race Director.
When: Sunday 22nd September, 2013
Where: Highlander Tavern, Julatten
Organiser: Shane White
Online Entry only. Entries close Friday 2oth September at 6pm.
Rego: (from) 0530 (58km) (or 1700 Saturday), 0630 (21km), 0800 (10km).
Start Times: 0623 (58km – civil twilight), 0730 (21km), 0900 (10km).
Presentations: 10 & 21km @ 1030, 58km @ 14:30.
10km, 21km and 58km Courses
A quick jaunt along Mt Lewis Road to a marked turnaround and return to the Highlander Tavern.
The half marathon will also start at the Highlander Tavern in Julatten and head up Mt Lewis Road. The first 1km or so is on bitumen before leading onto single lane dirt road which meanders up to ‘the grassy patch’, just beyond the turnaround. There is approx 600m elevation gained over this leg to the turnaround then a nice trot downhill back to the finish line.
Includes the length of Mt Lewis Road and return. Simple! See the course profile above.
What to bring
- Race food and hydration, drop bags available to 58k runners only - to be left at 21k turnaround and 58 k turnaround.
What you get
- Finisher’s prize (Pub Shout – Free drink courtesy of the good folk at the Highlander Tavern)
- A shot at some groovy random draws (Trail Run Mags, Adventure Equipment vouchers and plenty of other cool stuff)
- Bakery products, fruit and post-run snacks
- Water and sports drink at major turnarounds
- Prizes for placegetters (individually labelled and lovingly crafted products of the Dirty Northen Microbrewery)
- A spot on the start line for the running experience of the year and on the Highlander Tavern Deck (one very nice presentation location).
Climate and Weather
The lower humidity and daytime temperatures at Mount Lewis National Park are a pleasant escape from the coastal extremes. At the lower elevations, maximum summer temperatures are around 30 °C while winter temperatures can fall below 10 °C, when frosts are not uncommon. Most of the rain falls during the wet season, between December and April. As the road climbs into the mountains, the temperatures begin to drop. Warm clothes are required throughout the year for recreational visitors. Over 900 metres, when the road enters the cloud forest, conditions are very damp, even without rain.
What’s on location
Julatten Mountain Retreat B&B – Phone (07) 4094 1282
THE NATIONAL HOTEL in Mount Molloy, offers traditional pub accommodation. Phone (07) 4094 1133
As Julatten has no shops, please buy any food supplies before arriving.
Mount Molloy Café and Takeaway is said to serve the largest burgers in Australia. Phone (07) 4094 1187
The Mount Molloy National Hotel, serves counter meals ranging from hamburgers, fish and chips, prawns to steaks – all highly recommended.
The Highlander Tavern/Restaurant serve excellent meals – lunch and dinner daily plus beer and wines, which you can also takeaway. Light meals such as pizzas are also available for dining in or takeaway.
How to get there
About 9 kilometres after the ‘Top Lookout’ on the range, turn right into Mount Lewis Road.
From Mount Molloy, travel north on the Mulligan Highway, turning right onto the Mossman–Mount Molloy Road just after crossing Rifle Creek. Drive for just over 10 kilometres then turn left into Mount Lewis Road.
The ‘Highlander Tavern’ is at the Intersection of Mt Lewis Road and the Mossman-Mt Molloy Road.