Survival Run Australia 2015: Final Training Guide (Part 3)


This is the third and final of a series of posts regarding preparation and training for the upcoming Survival Run Australia (part of the Buckley's Chance Running Festival) on October 24th. If you are in the Survival Run you will need to pay close attention. These items are for the Survival Run, not the 25km or 50km Off-Trail Runs. 

If you are interested in taking part in the Survival Run, an application is required before registering. The 25km and 50km are currently open to all registrants. 


The Survival Run is less than a month away, and if reading this post makes you realize you need to start training, you are already behind. If you have not done so, you must carefully read these linked posts to be sure you have completed the Required Water Carrier Assignment and are completing your Kit List. Below are some excellent examples of water carriers that have already been made by Survival Runners for this event. 


Most of your required information is in this post and most questions will be generally answered with the words "Survival Run."


Race Itinerary

  • Packet Pick-up: 4:00pm, Friday 23rd, Oct 2015 *Survival Runners MUST arrive by this time. 
  • Race Start = 4:00am, Saturday 24th, Oct 2015

Specific Survival Run Australia Rules

To be clear, Survival Run has ZERO Aid Stations & NO Complaints Department. You must come prepared, trained and ready to throw expectations out of the window and to adapt to very tough situations that you may not always like. 

Mockup of Survival Run Australia 2015 Wooden Boomerang Medal/s. 

Mockup of Survival Run Australia 2015 Wooden Boomerang Medal/s. 

  1. You will receive a pre-race email about a week before the race with some very important information, some of it may be repeated, but be sure to read it thoroughly. 
  2. There are 4 pieces to the overall medal, when combined together they make a boomerang that reads "I DID NOT FAIL". The medal pieces will be collected throughout the race in this order: #1 FAIL - #2 I  - #3 DID - #4 NOT.  
  3. The Survival Run is structured as 4 sections in 1, with each medal section as its own mini-race. Each race section has an overall cutoff time. 
  4. You can only continue on to the next section if you have earned the previous medal. (For Example, you must have FAIL, to get I, you must have I-FAIL to get DID, etc..) 
  5. Each piece of a medal is earned by completing a certain number of challenges within that section. Once a challenge is successfully completed, a colored wristband is given.
  6. The number of wristbands for earning each piece of a medal may vary. (For Example: 4 out of 5 available wristbands = FAIL medal, 3 out of 3 available wristbands = I medal). 
  7. Challenges are Pass or Fail, there are no penalties to make up a failed challenge. You will simply not receive the wristband for that challenge. 
  8. Most Challenges do not have a limited number of attempts and you can keep trying, as long as you stay within the cutoff time. This does not apply to target or throwing challenges, which have a set # of attempts. Never assume because you missed a challenge (wristband) that you will not have enough to get the next medal. 
  9. Target/Throwing Challenges have a practice area. You are allowed to practice as much as you like but must be ready to attempt the full target challenge once you begin. 
  10. CHALLENGE ARRIVAL: 
    1. When you arrive at a challenge area, let a volunteer take down your bib # and your time. 
    2. Read the posted set of instructions, you are responsible for reading and comprehending these instructions to complete the challenge. Volunteers will not tell you anything different than what is posted. This is your responsibility!
  11. CHALLENGE DEPARTURE:
    1. If you completed the challenge successfully, make sure you have your wristband.
    2. BEFORE YOU LEAVE check in with a volunteer to have your bib number and your time recorded. 
    3. Read any posted Departure Instructions 
  12. You will have a thorough gear check before the race begins to make sure you have everything on the required kit list and no disallowed items. While we cannot tell you how much food you need, we will look at what you have and ask you to make sure you have enough for the entire race! 
  13. You will be required to use your handmade leather water container/s as your only water carriers throughout the race. Water sources will be on the course, but distances may vary and carrying a lot of water is recommended at all times! Show up with a full water container before the race! 
  14. You will be required to make a pack to carry all of your gear with the required piece of fabric on your Kit List. You will show your fabric at the Friday evening Packet Pick-up. 
  15. You must arrive with 100% of your gear, packed and ready to race 20 minutes before the 4:00am Saturday Race Start. Make sure a volunteer records your bib# at the race start.

General Race Rules & Reminders 

  1. Survival Run is very hard and dangerous, don't bring your mom or dad. **This race is for big kids only.
  2. TOTAL CUTOFF time for the Survival Run Australia is 28 hours. **Other cutoff times on the course will be given during the race. All cutoff times will be STRICTLY enforced.
  3. Complaints will be used against you. **This is NOT your average hometown race with perceived dangers, this is REAL!
  4. Entry is by application only with limited entry. **Applications are approved and prioritized based on racing experience.
  5. Learn proper race hydration and nutrition before coming to this race. **Aid Stations are NOT provided on the course. Water may be provided only at certain locations.
  6. Gaiters are REQUIRED as you will be going through thick brush areas off-trail. This is for snake protection.  
  7. There are swims, be prepared for this! 
  8. GPS Devices that have a map display are NOT allowed, course maps are NOT provided. **Course marking is minimal but sufficient, at times, runners must be able to follow directions and self-navigate.
  9. Any competitor who refuses to get off of the course past a cutoff time is immediately disqualified and must hand in their race number.  **If they insist on continuing, they must sign a waiver stating they are no longer under the race jurisdiction and protection.
  10. Any competitor who wishes to drop out of the race MUST report to the nearest volunteer BEFORE doing anything else! **Those who do not respect this rule will be disqualified and banned from racing any future event.
  11. Competitors are NOT allowed to take rides of any sort during the course of the race. **Motorcycles, Bicycles, Cars, Trucks, Horses, Cows, etc. are NOT allowed!
  12. Competitors CANNOT help each other with challenges, carry loads for each other etc.. Anyone found cheating will be disqualified immediately! 
  13. Throwing trash out on the course is prohibited! **Anyone found leaving trash on the course will be Immediately Disqualified!
  14. Competitors cannot receive outside Medical Aid during race unless it is from a fellow competitor or their own First Aid Kit. If a competitor wishes to receive outside Medical Aid, they will be required to withdraw from the race.
  15. No crew is allowed anywhere but at the Start/Finish Line.
  16. All medals must be collected and the course completed 100% to be eligible for any prize and/or winner's trophy.

Final Training Guidelines

While this race involves some traditional skills it is not solely focused on it and does not require you to be a master in these items. However, be ready to have basic skills and knowledge on these items. 

  1. You will make your own pack with the piece of cloth on your Kit List, be ready for this. 
  2. Be prepared to use your water container and know how to use your filter. 
  3. Be ready to swim, with all of your gear. Pack your items well.
  4. Know how to throw a hunting and a returning boomerang. Know the difference and design between the two. 
  5. Know about Woomera, making and throwing. 
  6. Read about Message Sticks and know what they are. 
  7. Learn about Fire bundles and carrying embers. 
  8. Learn to identify and use Typha orientalis
  9. Learn to identify and use Nymphaea gigantea
  10. Learn to identify and use Melaleuca quinquenervia
  11. Learn about Witchetty Grubs