At its soul, the Ned Kelly Chase is a 100km test of physical endurance. It's a battle of willpower; of grit and determination. It requires the mind and the body to rise above the adversity thrust upon them, and to find harmony in each other in order to triumph. It requires something special.
When you enter the Ned Kelly Chase you journey back to the late 1800's, a time of great adversity, of depression, of social injustice. You are bought into a different world; a time and place that exhibited a struggle between social needs and government power. A defining time in our great nation where rebellion was seen by some as the only road to success against corruption.
Was Ned Kelly a hero or a villain? He was a convicted thief and murderer and was hanged for his crimes. Whilst worshiped by some as a critical influence in the social and cultural development of our nation, he is also abhorred by those he cheated and swindled. The Troopers that took him down were celebrated for upholding the law they were to serve and protect.
Ned Kelly affects lives to this very day and remains a polarising figure of our past.
The Kelly Gang
L-R: Edward (Ned) Kelly, Joe Byrne, Steve Hart, Dan Kelly
L-R: Sergeant Kennedy, Constables Scanlon, Lonigan, McIntyre
The 2014 "Chase" is designed ultimately to celebrate the efforts of the 100km journeymen (and women). Aiming to finish near 2pm the early starters will be chased, and those starting later do the chasing. When the runners have gone, the pursuit really begins with a 100km cycle challenge added to program which starts not less than one hour after the last runners began.
And at 11am there's a 10km fun run with 50% of the course on unsealed urban tracks and trails through native bushland along the Ovens River. Presentations in this event will take place just before we start to see the bulk of 100km finishers cross the line.
Together we then engage in some hearty country fair at the Old Town and Country Tavern; enjoying the merriment and stories of our fellow chasers whilst admiring the feats of those that conquered the course.
The 100km course is IAAF / AIMS certified ("B" Grade Measurer),
International Association of Ultra Runners labeled and an Australian Ultra Runners Association sanctioned event.