Community News

Trail runners hit the heights of the New England

The Duval Dam Buster Trail Run (DDB), will be held in Armidale NSW, Australia’s highest city, on Sunday 22 September 2019. The event is open to all ages and abilities, and organisers extend an invitation to people from all regional and city locations to join them for a visit to the NSW New England high country. Runners will be able to experience some serious altitude with a start line at 1000m above sea level.

Four distances are on offer – 3km, 8km, 15km and 30km. Organisers are looking forward to seeing ultra-marathoner Mike Carroll defend his 30km crown. Mike relocated from Armidale to Canberra early this year but is set to return to Armidale for the DDB. Hannah McRae, one of Armidale’s local veterinarians and ultra-marathon trail runner, will be tackling the 30km again this year, to defend her 2018 first placed female in the event. Ada Klinkhamer, who took first position in the women’s 15km event, will be competing this year, stepping up to the 30km distance.

The event was first held in 2018 and organisers see this year’s event as an opportunity to entice visitors into country areas to support the communities that are continuing to suffer through the drought. A road trip to the New England with stops along the way for coffee and food will help inject funds into these smaller communities.

The event is aiming to attract locals and visitors, experienced athletes, fun runners and those wishing to try trail running for the first time. Catering for kids and families and those who enjoy a short, relatively flat course, there is also a 3km event on offer with participants able to enjoy a loop around Dumaresq Dam.

New on the distance list for 2019 is an 8km Duval Base Run which takes participants from the picturesque Dumaresq Dam Recreation Area to the base of Armidale’s Mt Duval. Those wishing to take on a more challenging run can enter the 15km and 30km events which will start from 1000m above sea level and reach the heights of Mt Duval at 1400m on a mix of single tracks and fire trails.

The organisers are looking forward to welcoming visitors from far and wide with registrations already coming in from southern Queensland, the northern rivers, the Hunter region, central tablelands, and the mid-north coast.

Mt Duval is a large forested mountain on the New England Range, part of the Great Dividing Range, and is located in the New England region of NSW. The area is privately owned by the University of New England and is not generally open to the public. With an elevation of 1,400 metres above sea level, Mt Duval is one of the largest peaks in the area, dominating the Armidale skyline.

“The event proved very popular in 2018 with a total of 260 competitors across three events. This was a fantastic response for the inaugural year. With the addition of the 8km distance, we believe we’ve catered for those who might be comfortable with a regular 5km parkrun, and looking to increase their distance. We had such positive feedback from competitors last year, that we’re really excited to host the event again for the local community and visitors. Trail running is booming and we think we have something special to offer! We’re looking forward to showcasing our diverse natural surroundings and provide a tough challenge for participants”, event organiser, Lee-Anne McKinnon said.

The event start/finish area will be at the recreation area at Dumaresq Dam, approximately 12km from Armidale CBD. It’s the perfect place for a family picnic and spectator area. There is a children’s play area, picnic tables and shaded areas.

Entries are open until midnight on 20 September 2019. Medals will be awarded to all finishing participants and the organisers have some pretty special spot prizes to give away on the day.

The event is organised by the DDB committee and will be will be hosted by Armidale Amateur Athletics Club.

More information and registration: