FKT: Pixie Stardust - Dutchman's Stern Loop (SA, Australia) - 2021-04-25

Route variation
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
1h 19m 9s
GPS track(s)

It was a gorgeous sunny day, not too hot, hint of a breeze. I got started at 10.42am. There was no-one else parked at the trailhead so I knew that I would be solo on the trail, which was exciting. The first kilometre or so is a reasonably straight and flat path through open scrub to the start of the circuit loop and the crossroads with the Heysen trail. I used this first bit to warm-up with an easy run pace & start enjoying being out on the trails on a beautiful day. From the start of the circuit loop I went right to climb the bluff. The climb is 3 kilometres of switchback paths that are narrow and rocky. I mainly hiked this bit, with a few bursts of running on flatter sections to keep my heart rate up. At the summit I took a quick photo with the sign up there then started my descent. I ran almost all of this section, with a few slow downs when the path got really narrow on the cliffside. One section has a massive fallen tree but its easy to detour around it or climb over. Near the 8 kilometre mark the path widens out and gets less rocky so I was able to pick up the pace here and get in a good rhythm for the finish. I picked up the pace again once I was at the end of the loop and running the straight section back to the trailhead. I came sprinting towards the trailhead just as an older pair of bushwalkers were getting started, i dont think they expected to see someone finishing the trail like that! 

I did this run fasted (only water before hand). Afterwards I drank some water and ate a banana that I had left in the car.  


The hike has an estimated time of 5 hours. I was hoping to run it in 90 minutes so I was glad to get it under that time. It was mainly kilometres 2-4 that were the tougher hiker sections where i walked instead of run, almost all the rest could be run, with careful technique & concentration. Majority of the downhill running sections were fun and scenic.