RACE TO THE ROCK
On the first Saturday of September every year, a bunch of brave adventurers set off from somewhere on the Australian coast to Uluru, armed only with their bikes, a lightweight sleeping bag and a couple of tools. They call it the Race to the Rock. The route is crazy, the people riding it are even crazier, and the thousands of people that tune in for 2 weeks to watch it all unfold on an online map, well, they're the craziest of all.ach year the starting location changes, but the rules stay the same. Ride the full route. No drafting and no help that others couldn't also get along the way. To give you an idea of just how tough this ride is, each year they've run the race, less than half of the field has made it to the finish line. On the entry page, they actually advise potential participants not to enter the race, such is the liklihood of injury or worse if participants are ill-prepared.
In it's first two editions the race was won by Sarah Hammond, one of the world's toughest ultra endurance cyclists and the person responsible for it becoming unofficially known as 'the race so hard no man has ever won'. In 2017, the 3,500km route started in Cockle Creek, Tasmania and took riders over the snowy plateaus of Tassie's central highlands, across the Bass Straight (by plane or boat, riders choice) before the race resumed on the mainland where 3,000km of corrugated roads, days without food or water and the stifling temperatures of Outback Australia awaited them.
11 people started and only 4 made it to the end. Could Sarah Hammond make it 3 in a row? Following the race in our beat-up landcruiser, we were fortunate enough to have front row seats to the mayhem that would ensue. And unbeknown to us at the start-line, we were about to embark on an adventure of our own, facing numerous literal and metaphorical road blocks on the journey to Uluru.