Updated: Apr 4, 2019
If you’re a trail runner chasing amazing scenery then you’ll love the Rainbow Beach Marathon Festival on Sunday July 22, 2018.
Runners will climb vast sand dunes, pass through dense coastal forests and run along wide expanses of beach. The full marathon goes up the Double Island Point headland to the historic lighthouse, with impossible views over the only stretch of unspoilt coastline in southern Queensland. This is the sort of running where you’ll want to stop and take photos and it rivals any trail event for natural beauty. Each of the distances (11km, 22km and 42.) start in town at Phil Rodgers Park and take runners over the Carlo Sand Blow – a huge “moonscape” of sand perched on a towering sand cliff with stunning views over the sea. You have to traverse 300m of this soft sand – from one end of the blow to the other – and trust us, it’s not easy! From Carlo Sand Blow the trail cuts through eucalypt forest with tall red gums, scribbly gums and more. As the kilometres click by, the forest changes; it becomes cooler and more lush over single track through vine forest and past huge strangler figs and kauri pines. An amazing fact about the forests in Cooloola is that everything is growing in bare sand. The trees extract whatever nutrients they can from the sand – bleaching it from yellow to white – to survive. The half and full marathons reach Lake Poona at 10.5km, with its tea-coloured fresh water and stark white sand. This is where the half runners turn back and the marathon continues through more forest until the trail pops out at Teewah Beach, with an 8km flat trot along the hard sand to the lighthouse before returning home. Why not make a weekend if it at Rainbow Beach – camping, swimming, fishing. Camping on the beach at Inskip Point is only $6.35 pp per night (https://www.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/inskip-peninsula/camping.html). Or if you prefer a bit more luxury there are rooms and houses, and coffee and gelato in town. Runners do not pass the coloured sand sand cliffs that give Rainbow Beach its name but you can make them part of your weekend. All the race information you need is on our event registration page.