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Cape Pallarenda Trail Run
Cape Pallarenda Trail Run

The fifth event in the Outer Limits Trail Run Series is held at Cape Pallarenda, the adventure playground for mountain bikers, trail runners and bushwalkers. With its close proximity to the city it is easily accessible, but makes you feel like you are miles away form the hustle and bustle of town.

The course starts at Freemason’s Park (Race HQ) and passes through old strategic defence locations from WWII. The trails will take you along the spectacular Mt Marlow summit, Smedleys Ridge, the Graveyard Circuit and of course the popular single track ‘Under the Radar’. These trails will give you sweeping views over Cleveland Bay, Magnetic Island and the Coral Sea beyond. The terrain ranges from technical single track to wider fire trails, short (and some not so short) steep climbs, loose and rocky ground and some cruisy flat sections. Given the terrain is mostly dry and rocky, we recommend good trail shoes.

We acknowledge the Wulgurukaba people of Gurambilbarra as the Traditional Owners of this land. We pay our respects to their cultures, their ancestors and their Elders, past and present – and all future generations.

For more information on The Cape Pallarenda National Park, visit the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services website.

When: Sunday, 1st September 2024

Sign in starts from 5am, all runners are required to sign in and collect their bib number at Event HQ. Pins will be provided (or you can bring a race number belt). Please ensure you arrive on time to sign in and get ready to run. If you miss your start time, you may not be allowed to race.

Entry Fees & Inclusions: Registration opens 1st DecemberGeneral Entry starts: 9th July | Late Entry starts: 27th August

  • 5km: Early Bird $35 | General Entry $40 | Late Entry $50
  • 12km: Early Bird $45 | General Entry $50 | Late Entry $60
  • 21km: Early Bird $50 | General Entry $55 | Late Entry $65
  • 42km: Early Bird $55 | General Entry $65 | Late Entry $75
  • Juniors (under 16yrs | short distance only): $18 General Entry | Late Entry $25

Minimum age to participate in our short distance events is 8 years and for the longer distances 12 years (age as of event date).

Your Entry fee includes:

  • Entry to the race
  • Fully marked, marshalled course
  • First Aid support on course and at Race HQ
  • On course professional photography
  • Professional electronic timing and results
  • Race bib plate with electronic timing chip, which is yours to keep
  • Earn series points for your overall series ranking
  • On course hydration and snack support (no cups provided, please use your own bottle)
  • Post race recovery station with hydration and fruit buffet
  • Post race BBQ (first sausage free- more can be purchased and proceeds will go toward Fuel for Schools)
  • Food and coffee van services available
  • Free massage post run, thanks to Fisiocrem (subject to availability)
  • Amenities at Race HQ
  • Exclusive deals with our sponsors
  • The opportunity to win random prizes at the presentation after the race
  • Great prize packs for top 3 male and female winners in each distance and cash prizes for top 3 Junior winners (under 12 & under 16)

Where: Event HQ is located at Freemason’s Park, Cape Pallarenda

Getting there: Pallarenda is a 15 minute drive from Townsville CBD. Follow Cape Pallarenda Road to almost the very end to find Race HQ.

Parking: Parking is available at the end of the public road at Walter Nesbit Park. More parking can be found at Free Masons Park, back towards town near the boat ramp

OverviewCape Pallarenda offers a fantastic trail network for mountain biking and trail running, all whilst taking in the great views onto Magnetic Island and the Townsville mainland. The start and finish of each race will be at Race HQ at Freemasons Park (on the righthand side as you are heading towards Cape Pallarenda. All races start and finish at Race HQ. The venue has toilet facilities and drinking water. There is also a playground area for children.

Cut Off Times: The event director and event officials reserve the right to pull any competitor out of the race if they are concerned about their well being. Runners may be short coursed or directed straight to the finish, if they have not reached a certain check point by the cut off time.

  • 42km course Cut-off time: 7.45am at Bald Rock carpark & 9.15am at Bald Rock Carpark
  • 21km course Cut-off time: 8am at Bald Rock Carpark

5km – Gunners Salute

Starts on the beach for the first 200m and then turns left. Follow the trail until you come to the road, turn right and after 50m turn left. The road then turns into a rocky trail leading up towards the Forts, where the course does an out and back before heading down into Shelly Beach with a fast descent. Don’t get too distracted by the stunning views of Magnetic Island as you head down the stairs and back onto the beach. The 500m along the beach to the finish might feel like they will never end.

12km – Brolga Dreaming

Starting from Race HQ, runners will run along the beach to Walter Nisbet Park, run anti-clockwise around the roundabout and then follow the Lagoon Trail to the Mt Marlow turn off. A technical single trail takes the runners to the top of Mt Marlow before a fun and fast descent down to Bald Rock Carpark. The course then turns onto the Freshwater Trail for some fun and mostly flat running. The finish is back along the beach at Race HQ. Brolga Dreaming will have emergency water available at the 7km mark but runners should be self-sufficient.

21km – Heartbreak Half Marathon

Starting from Race HQ, runners will run along the beach to Walter Nisbet Park, run anti-clockwise around the roundabout and then follow the Lagoon Trail to the Mt Marlow turn off. A technical single trail takes the runners to the top of Mt Marlow before a fun and fast descent to Bald Rock Carpark. The course continues along Under The Radar past Shelly Beach and then runners will complete one loop of the Forts. The run along the beach to the finish will be a test for your legs. Emergency water will be available at several points, but runners should be self-sufficient.

42km – Mt Marlow Marathon

Starts across the road from Race HQ. The course follows the Lagoon Trail all the way to Freshwater Trail turn off. Follow the Freshwater Trail, past the Bird Hide Lookout and back toward the gate. Turn righting head back toward the start line, but then turn left onto Mt Marlow Trail. Follow the Mt Marlow trail to the summit and then enjoy a fun and fast descend, which will take you to Bald Rock carpark. Turn right and follow the dirt road all the way to Smedleys. Cross the bridge and turn left onto Smedleys, running the loop in a clockwise direction. Going back the way you came until you reach the gate and the turn off to Under The Radar. Turn left onto UTR and follow the trail all the way around. Once you leave the single trail, follow the road to the Forts and complete the Forts Loop. After that the course takes you down onto the beach and to the finish. The Mt Marlow Marathon will have water stations available at the 17km, 27km, 33km and 40km mark. A bag drop is available for 42km runners only. You will see this bag twice.


Download the Athlete Guide here.

Please check your spam folder for your confirmation email and other communication from us, if you have not received any emails after registering. Your confirmation email includes an ‘Edit my registration data’ button that can be used to make changes to your registration.

If you would like to check who your competition will be or if you need to check if your name is on the list, a participant list can be found here.

Event Schedule: 

Sign in and Bib collection starts from 5am at Event HQ. Please note the sign in commencement time for each distance: 42km from 5am | 21km from 6.30am | 12km from 6.45am | 5km from 7.15am. Please adhere to the bib collection start times in order to reduce crowding and congestion at the sign in area. Race course briefing will be held 5-10min prior to race start.

The race start is self seeded and we advise the faster runners to position themselves at the front and slower runners at the back. This will help to prevent bottlenecks along the trail and faster runners becoming stuck behind slower runners.

Start times:

Mt Marlow Marathon 42km 

  • 5.00am Bib pick up & sign in
  • 5.20am Race briefing
  • 5.30am Race start

Heartbreak Half 21km

  • 6.30am Bib pick up & sign in
  • 6.55am race briefing
  • 7am Race start

Brolga Dreaming 12km

  • 6.45am Bib pick up & sign in
  • 7.15am Race briefing
  • 7:20am Race start

Gunners Salute 5km

  • 7.15am Bib pick up & sign in
  • 7.35am Race briefing
  • 7:40am Race start


  • Approximately 9.30am

Mandatory Gear: Please see below for the mandatory gear requirements for the 12km, 21km and 42km run. The mandatory gear must be carried for the duration of the run, event officials reserve the right to refuse a participant to start the race if they do not comply with mandatory gear requirements. There will be mandatory gear checks at the sign in. We have marshals on the course and a safety vehicle with additional first aid.

  • 2x compression bandages
  • a fully charged and waterproofed phone (there is limited service along the course) Please download the free EMERGENCY+ app on your phone prior to the event
  • Whistle
  • Space blanket (can be bought at any chemist)
  • Sufficient water and nutrition for the duration of the run

Categories & Awards: Juniors (under 12 & under 16) | 16-29yrs | 30-39yrs | 40-49yrs | 50-59 yrs | 60+yrs

  • Top 3 Male & Female for each distance are awarded at presentation
  • Top 3 junior boys and girls (short distance only) are awarded at presentation
  • 1st place in age group for each distance (excluding top 3 winners)

Presentation: Presentation will be held as soon as the Top 3 runners have finished. Prizes will be given to the top 3 runners on the day. Age group winners will be called up on the day to collect their prize.

Water & Nutrition: It is recommended that you take at least 500ml of water per hour that you expect to be running.  Some water is provided on the course at aid stations, please use your own bottle. Ensure you take sufficient nutrition with you for the run. The 42km runners have a bag drop at Bald Rock carpark. They will see this bag twice.

Facilities: There are toilets located at Free Mason Park and Race HQ. The trail network is part of Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park and we expect everyone to take care of the park and facilities, ensuring no rubbish is left out on the course in order for us to continue our good relationship with the Council and Parks and Wildlife. The Park will also be open to other day users, please be mindful and courteous of other users at all times.

Finish Line refreshments: Cold water and electrolytes (thanks to Fit Empire & Wellness) are provided at the finish line for competitors. Fresh seasonal fruit will also be available to all runners, thanks to The Fairfield Fresh Market. A coffee van will be on site selling drinks and food.

Sausage Sizzle: A post race BBQ, run by Belgian Gardens State School PNC is cooking up a storm for all runners. First sausage is free and more can be purchased, proceeds will go toward the school fundraiser.

Safety: The trails include sections of challenging and remote single track, be sure to exercise caution on these sections. If you DO NOT FINISH the race you must see an event official or contact race HQ. If you do not report to an event official and a search party is sent out, this will be at the competitors cost. It may be hot so please take precautions to stay safe in the heat.

Rules & Regulations: In order for the event to run as smoothly as possible we need all participants to cooperate and stick to our rules and regulations, please read through the points below:

  • No rego, No run! – We do not offer registration on the day and most our events sell out in advance. Please check with us before coming to the event unregistered.
  • Visible BIB number – Please make sure your bib number is clearly visible (front of shirt) when crossing the finish line, this ensures the correct detection of your timing chip by the electronic timing system. The bib can not be covered by clothes or bags, this might cause the timing chip to not be picked up by the antenna at the finish line.
  • No shortcuts – please stick to the marked track, for safety and fairness reasons. All courses are clearly marked and we have marshals out on the course.
  • Fitness level – please choose the right distance according to your fitness level! Many of our courses are a bit more technical and running on trail will take you approximately twice as long as running the same distance on road. Our trail run events are not designed to be walked, especially not the longer distances. If you have any questions in regards to choosing the right distance according to your ability, please feel free to contact us. The event officials reserve the right to short course or pull competitors out of the race if they are concerned for their well-being.
  • Obey traffic regulations unless otherwise instructed by an event official
  • Treat other competitors, officials, volunteers and spectators with respect and courtesy
  • Dress Code – please wear appropriate clothing, including pants, shirts and suitable running shoes

Trail Run Etiquette:

  • Be mindful that the trails are open for other users outside of the race, including runners and walkers
  • Do not leave any rubbish behind. What you bring in you must take out
  • Keep left and give way to runners passing from behind
  • Don’t approach any wildlife you may come across on the trails
  • We ask you to NOT wear headphones, so you can hear other trail users around and hear the trail marshals instructions
  • Stop and give assistance to other runners if needed. If another competitor falls and injures themselves, it is not an opportunity to pass them. Give assistance and ensure they are ok. Time considerations will always be given to the ones who stop and assist injured runners.

Series Points System:

  • You will receive points for each run you complete in your choosen distance, and your total score is the sum of all your attended (and finished) races in the same distance category.
  • The winner of a race receives 100 points. Every other runner receives points based on their time compared to the winner’s time.
  • For example, Sarah wins the race in 35:00. Sonja finished in 42:00. Sarah’s score is 100 because she won. Sonja’s score is 83.3. It is calculated by dividing the winner’s time (35 minutes) by her time (42 minutes) and then multiplying the results by 100. So 35/42 x 100 = 83.3
  • Points are calculated separately for men and women. Men use the men’s winning time, and women use the women’s winning time to calculate points.
  • You are counted as a Series participant if you complete at least FOUR of six races in the Series in the SAME distance (i.e. short, middle or long). If you choose a different distance for the other runs, these points will NOT count towards your total points.
  • Your age group for the Series will be your age as at end of the year
  • Awards are presented to the overall top three male and female runners (for each distance), as well as the first male and female runners in the following age groups: Juniors (under 12 & under 16 – in short distance only), 16-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+. Please note: Age for age group awards is calculated as AT END OF YEAR.
  • The overall top three male and female runners are not eligible for age group awards.
  • An end of Series celebration and Awards Presentation night will be held after the last event.

Registration opens 1st December 2023. Registration closes Saturday, 30th August at 6.00pm

Please visit the Trail Run Series Registration page to register: REGISTER HERE

Please check your spam folder for confirmation email and other communication from us, if you have not received any emails after registering.

The Fine Print –Online Waiver 2024– When registering online, you agree to the Terms & Conditions.

Change, Cancellation and Refund Policy

Participant no longer able to attend/participate

  1. Registered Participants who are no longer able to attend or participate in their registered event may:
    • Request a refund as outlined and in accordance with clauses 2 and 3;
    • Request a transfer of their registration to another event as outlined and in accordance with clauses 4 to 6; or
    • Request that their registration be transferred to another athlete as outlined and in accordance with clauses 7 to 9.
  1. Participants may request a refund by emailing ‘events@outerlimitsadventure.com.au’ no less than 14 days prior to the event. No refund requests will be considered or refunds issued after this date.
  2. Refunds made in accordance with clause 2 are subject to a $10 transaction fee per registration being refunded.
  3. Participants may request to transfer their registration to another Trail Run Series event within the same calendar year by emailing ‘events@outerlimitsadventure.com.au’ no less than 7 days prior to the event. No transfer requests will be considered or transfers issued after this date.
  4. Event registrations can only be transferred once. If the registered participant is unable to attend their nominated subsequent event, the entry fee will be forfeited.
  5. Transfers made in accordance with clauses 4 and 5 are subject to a $5 administration fee per registration that is payable at the time of transfer.
  6. Participants may request to transfer their registration to another athlete by emailing ‘events@outerlimitsadventure.com.au’ no less than 7 days prior to the event. No athlete transfer requests will be considered or athlete transfers issued after this date.
  7. Written requests for an athlete transfer must include the full name of the athlete being nominated in the registered participant’s place as well as their mobile number, email address, gender, date of birth and emergency contact information.
  8. Athlete transfers made in accordance with clauses 7 and 8 are subject to a $5 administration fee per registration that is payable at the time of transfer.

Participant seeking to change nominated distance

  1. Registered Participants may change their nominated distance for the event by either:
    • Clicking the ‘Edit my Registration data’ button contained in the confirmation email received upon registration; or
    • By emailing their request to ‘events@outerlimitsadventure.com.au’.
  1. Changes requested by email will be subject to a $5 administration fee.
  2. Where a registered participant is changing to a shorter distance, no credit or refund will be issued for any difference in registration fees between the two distances.
  3. Where a registered participant is changing to a longer distance, the price difference between the two distances must be paid by the registered participant at the time of requesting the change.

Event Changes/Cancellation

  1. Outer Limits reserves the right to alter the course without notice, reschedule and/or cancel the event in consultation with emergency services, government agencies and event stakeholders.
  2. Should the event need to be rescheduled, all registrations will be automatically transferred to the new date.
  3. Registered participants unable to attend the new date must notify Outer Limits by emailing ‘events@outerlimitsadventure.com.au’. Registered participants will then have the option to have their registration refunded (as outlined and in accordance with clauses 2 and 3), registration transferred (as outlined and in accordance with clauses 4 to 6) or nominate another athlete to take over their registration (as outlined and in accordance with clauses 7 to 9).
  4. In the unlikely circumstance that the event has to be cancelled and is unable to be rescheduled, all registered participants will receive a credit towards a future Trail Run Series event. The credit will be valid for 12 months.
  5. Refunds are not available where the event is unable to be rescheduled.

If you are not running and would still like to be part of the event, why not come and give us a hand. Our events can only be successful with a great team on the ground and there are plenty of things to do. If you are interested to volunteer at the Castle Hill Trail Run, please fill out the below form and we will be in touch closer to the event.

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