FKT: David Turnbull - Kidman Trail (SA, Australia) - 2018-10-06

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
1d 13h 26m 0s
Report       (Video footage at 100km)

Trip report:

The idea was hatched at The World Trail Champs in Spain and I thought it a great idea that if I was to retire from competitive running then I needed to keep my hand in and still have a challenge so FKT was the way!
The Kidman Trail is a horse trail in South Australia that is probably the least well known of our trails and one that I really wanted to see . Now paranoia can happen with FKTs when you check to see if there is a record , you can’t find one , but are still suspicious.. however what can you do !
I chose a great support crew in Randall Taylor (RT) and my eldest son George (GT) (16). RT was behind the wheel and George was going to be periodically on his all singing all dancing 3T gravel bike (Thank you Noel McCarthy , Bike Station , Hove) .
RT was to supply all support and GT was to just get out there and have a bit off a ride .. just because he decided to make this the first 21 hours is nuts!
We set off from Willunga cool, dry and amongst the vines bang on 6am. The first 10km is rail trail and road before the first climb of the route on to the top of the range .
The unsealed road snakes its way up Thomas Hill and is very steep - the beauty though was the drop off the top down towards Kuitpo Forest on the other side of Brookmans Road.
Note : You know we always think that an up should give you a down , this trail does not stick to that theory .
Kuitpo Forest is wonderful and familiar , first few hours skipping through pine needles and laughing and joking and just loving being out there in the fresh morning air .
Moving on to the Heysen 105 (later this month - go well you all) I was running smoothly and know that my stats would show 33km and 50km my avg km speed was 5m 32s pace .. couldn’t one better.
On and around Echunga beyond the Heysen 105 the trail sends you straight back down in the direction you have just come .Now this is too early to be psychologically disconcerting but it does make you pause for the first time to realise how far is ahead of you .Think where you are , near Meadows way down South of Adelaide and there is no stopping until beyond the Barossa! Far out .
I have to say that the trail flicking away over to Macclesfield was amazing though - green and lush, with well fed cows and just stunning!
Great to see Emma MacIntosh at this point and to get a famous Emma hug!
Lunch in Macclesfield was a quick affair but off we went again heading up to the psychological barrier , the split between North and South , The Freeway .
Before this we had an episode .. George went over the handlebars of his bike on a hill when he hit a log submerged in deep grass .. ripped his top completely so he looked like Robinson Crusoe on the barbed wire fence next to him .. oh oh…
At the top of that rise was a great sight ! My darling wife Rachel but before that my beautiful son Daniel running down towards me .. we met we hugged and we ran back to the cars .. after a frosty fruit and a refill we finally made the underpass of the Freeway .
That meant we were nearly at 100km and around 100 miles left ! Great at this point to run with Daniel Joseph Farrugia and get updates on the 6 day event being ran by my coach Ben Hockings then to be joined near Nairne by Emma for a run.
Top company.
Through 100km in 10h 57m travelling well..
The track disappears at this point away East and meanders between Harrogate , Tepko and Palmer .. Murray Bridge is in the distance but actually not that far and thats when you get an indication of just how in the middle of nowhere you are! Oh and its just getting dark too!
Dinner was on the top of a breezy ridge and the spag Bol hit the mark as did the cup of coffee .The night went quick and I felt strong as we moved up through Tungkillo and Mount Pleasant and then into Mt Crawford Forest .
In here George was seeing car lights in the forest (there were not) and jibber jabbered and later told me he couldn’t remember a thing .. it was 2 degrees and the trail winds its way around the track but as it would cough us out the sun was coming up on Saturday morning and it was incredible - misty , sunny, cold , delightful.
I would not have wanted to be anywhere else in the world.George was smiles for miles..
Moved up to Flaxman Valley near Kaiserstuhl and realised we were finally in The Barossa !
On top of the riding George ran 30 km with me too .
Heading East we were in Keyneton and Moculta now this was "rural".. fences with dead foxes strung up to deter other foxes and way over the back of Angaston.
We pressed on to Stockwell after crossing the main Riverland road - gave myself an electric shock on a fence and then on between Koonungas and Moppa .. like I said back of beyond ... no idea where I am!
At 255km I thought that I would be able to see something resembling the finish as I had worked on a GPX file that said the distance was 258 so surely I would be able to see the finish town 3 km away … nope I was still in no mans land !
Ground out another few kms to finish in 269km and Kapunda town ! Finished and done.
My LONGEST run in one go EVER.SO PROUD
Randall and George I owe you big.
37 hours 26 minutes , 269 km, 8m 21 secs and best part of 5,000m of climb
A wonderful trail but as people have told me at HorsesSA take 10 days and get in the saddle ! wise advice .. nope ..let's keep running !