A Runner’s Guide to Tumbarumba’s Hume and Hovell Ultra

If you’re fit, love outdoor adventure, and are finding that fun-runs, park runs, and half-marathons no longer provide enough of a challenge, perhaps trail running is the sport for you*. The biggest trail running event in the region is the Hume & Hovell Ultra, an ultra-marathon held in October each year, on the Hume and Hovell Track.

On 12th & 13th October 2019, organisers Wagga Wagga Road Runners challenge runners from across the country to test their abilities through rugged mountain ranges, natural forests, pine plantations, past lakes and waterfalls, along narrow winding trails, along the Hume and Hovell Track. With route options from 22 km to 100 miles, there’s something to suit the weekend enthusiast through to the hard-core athlete.

The Hume and Hovell track follows the route taken by Hamilton Hume & William Hovell on their 1824 expedition to Port Phillip Bay, starting at Cooma Cottage (near Yass) and passing through Wee Jasper and near Tumut, Talbingo and Tumbarumba before finishing over 420kms later at the Hovell Tree in Albury. The track, a mix of constructed walking track and fire trails, features amazing scenery including Buddong Falls, Paddys River Dam and Mannus Lake.

The Hume and Hovell Ultra start/finish line is at Henry Angel Trackhead, a popular free camping area just south of Tumbarumba, with good facilities including electric and gas barbecues, hot water, and toilets. The 100 mile, 100km & 50km distances take runners out and back to Henry Angel Trackhead, while the 22km runners are bused to their start line, so that they can finish at Henry Angel.

In 2019, the 100km trail is part of the Australian Ultra Running Association National Championships, the AURA National Championship Trail (Long course) event. The event has IAU Bronze labelling, plus ITRA (International Trail-Running Association) points:

  • 100 mile = 6 points
  • 100 km = 4 points
  • 50 km = 2 points

The warm country hospitality of Tumbarumba, along with the family-friendly atmosphere that the Hume and Hovell Ultra fosters, has runners returning year after year. Whether an experienced ultra runner or a runner wanting to go beyond the marathon, the organisers of the Hume and Hovell Ultra encourage you to enter their great event. All finishers receive medals and certificates. Check the entry requirements here or register online here.

*Before embarking on any new sport or fitness regime, you should always get your doctor’s advice, and check with experts to ensure you have the necessary safety gear. The compulsory equipment list for participants in the Hume and Hovell Ultra is available here.