The Simpson Desert Ultra
is one of Australia’s newest ultra marathons taking place in the heart of the Australian Outback. With distances of 100km, 75km, 50km & 25km, there was something for those new to the ultra-scene, as well as those more accustomed to the grueling nature of such events. The event took place near Birdsville in south west Queensland on the edge of the Simpson Desert and traversed a variety of terrains. From towering sand dunes to rocky gibber plains, it surely tested the limits of each participant and allowed them to immerse themselves in a truly unique part of the Australian landscape.
Our CEO, Kerrie Richards, joined a group of 20 ladies, some first timers and others more experienced, called "Normal People Would Drive" & led by Cath Wallis
to train for the Simpson Desert Ultra. Why - just because it seemed like a good idea!!
Over 200 people from all over the country converged on Birdsville, which just to get there was an epic journey! Many didn't finish but everyone had an amazing experience which they will never forget. Some of the best stories were how people helped each other & the incredible feats of endurance. Participants had a high level of care and safety and will no doubt remember the Simpson Desert Ultra for its big heart and vast spaces and the friendliness of the people.
Thanks to Jenna Brook (Yes that Jenna who ran from the bottom of Tasmania to the tip of Cape York in 2018 dressed in Merino Country gear - Running for Bums
) and her amazing team for putting on this epic event! Jenna also owns and runs the Birdsville Roadhouse
and the Humpy Cafe
- say hello to her if out that way!
Packing light with the right gear is so important when doing a run or walk in fairly brutal conditions, as Kerrie found out when she participated in her first ultra doing the 25km desert run! She listened to others who had done this type of thing before and was well prepared and did not having any problems with chaffing, blisters or sand in her boots!
The Australian desert is so unexpected with temperatures changing dramatically from dusk to dawn and with the weather changing dramatically & temperature extremes it's important to be ready for anything!
One of the main issues other runners encountered was chaffing & blisters on the feet which can be caused by choosing the wrong fibre for your clothing, underwear & socks especially fabrics that constrict and don't allow your body to breathe naturally.
Merino is what we like to call the miracle fibre as it is naturally elastic, breathable, moisture wicking and thermoregulating (for cold and hot). This means no chaffing or overheating! Merino wool is the best choice for hot and cold climates... Naturally!
Kerrie Richards and Cath Wallis wearing Merino Country gear
What to wear on a desert expedition
Merino Sports Top Bra
Choose a comfy Merino Sports Bra made of 100% Merino that will allow your body to breathe and will wick moisture away. This will stop chaffing from occurring but will also give you the support you need.
100% Merino underwear - choose a style that is most comfortable for you and that won't constrict movement. Wundies are made with 100% Australian Merino that will wick moisture away from you keeping you dry and comfy!
Merino Long Sleeve Shirt
A long sleeve Merino shirt for coverage and protection from the sun and elements.
Merino 3/4 Leggings and Leg Warmers
Merino 3/4 leggings paired with some leg warmers will keep you warm during the cold and when the sun starts to heat up just take off the leg warmers for a convenient outfit change to keep you cool!
Merino Neck Gaitor
Protect your neck from the sun with a neck gaitor that can be worn over the neck or pull it up to keep flies away from your mouth and to keep your mouth warm! Kerrie also wore it as an ear warmer over her head to keep her ears warm and keep her hair back.
Merino Zip Top
It can get very cold out in the elements so a warm Merino Zip Top will keep you warm and comfy. The zip on the top front allows you to wear it up over your neck for more warmth or zipped down.
Merino Legging and Long Sleeve Shirt Thermal Pack
100% Leggings and a long sleeve shirt are a must. Save $ and buy the pack!
Wool Hiking Socks
Merino Comfy Pants
After a long day of extremes keep your leg muscles warm and comfy in Merino track pants - Comfy Pants!