Andrew Scott will fly the flag for Dayboro in the Mt Mee Classic on Sunday.
It will be anything but a walk in the park for competitors when the Mt Mee Classic returns this weekend.
Around 100 elite runners are expected to hit the road and forest tracks as part of a 42.2km route from Dayboro to Mt Mee, in one of Australia’s most punishing races.
Event organiser Bruce Cook from Delaney’s Creek said the race regularly attracted long distance runners from around Australia.
“You get these ultra (marathon) guys who just want to run anything over a marathon distance, and they will travel the length and breadth of the land to do it,” Cook said.
“It’s more like going out for an adventure for them.”
Cook said the race was “most probably one of the toughest on the body”.
Starting at Williams Street at Dayboro, runners pass through Laceys Creek and Mt Pleasant and “come out the bottom end of Mt Mee Forest”.
Runners then face an 8km run uphill to the Gantry picnic area in Mt Mee State Forest, the halfway point of the race, before heading through bushland to the finish line at the Mt Mee Showgrounds.
“If you think driving the Mt Mee to Woodford Road was tough, you should run the state forest, Chambers and Peggs Roads,” Cook said.
He said the race features “a 50-50 split” between bitumen roads and four-wheel drive and cross-country tracks.
Set to compete in the Mt Mee Classic for the first time, Andrew Scott will use the race to prepare for the North Face 100 race in the Blue Mountains in May.
“Looking around I discovered a race right on my door step,” the Dayboro local said.
“The attraction is the fact that it’s not your typical marathon, it’s a trail run that’s a combination of road and track.”
Last year’s Mt Mee Classic was cancelled for the first time in the event’s 18-year history, as a result of road closures forced by flooding in the region.
The overall winner of the 2010 race was Roxie Fraser, who then went on to win the Melbourne and Gold Coast Marathons.
The Sunshine Coast athlete, an Oceania Marathon Championships winner who has also competed in Japan, was the first woman to win the Mt Mee race.
To enter the Mt Mee Classic, which also features 10km, 1.6km and 800m kids events and team races, visit http://www.theruninn.com.au/