The Original Idea

In 2001 I was privileged to compete in the inaugural Trans-Australia Footrace. In 65 days we ran from Perth (Western Australia) all the way to the other side of Australia, before heading inland to eventually finish in the capital city of Canberra. Even though the official race finished there, for me, my true finish happened four days before, when I sprinted into the Pacific Ocean at a lovely little place called Eden. On that day I was armed with a bottle of water, filled with Indian Ocean water, which I had stored in our motorhome all the way through. In that bottle lay my hopes and dreams. When I eventually poured half my Indian Ocean water into the mighty Pacific and filled the rest of my bottle up, all my hopes and dreams had been realised and I felt the best feeling I have ever experienced in my life.

Three years later I was fortunate enough to cycle across Australia as part of my honeymoon with my wife Amy. Not a race this time, and in winter rather than summer, it felt a lot different, and in some ways, harder. But the pride and happiness when we reached the Pacific was just as satisfying. The next year I won the Trans-America Footrace, from Los Angeles to New York, and then completed a solo run across Europe from Portugal to Russia. Over the years I have also cycled up the east coast of Australia, round New Zealand and completed the famous John O’Groats to Land’s End cycle ride five times (I once had the dubious honour of setting a record for cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats & back – 6 days!)

I must say it is an amazing feeling moving from A to B under your own steam. Continental cycles or runs take it to another level. I have often thought about doing the RAAM (the cycle race across America). The one thing that put me off was the fact that it is not a stage race and is a continuous race, meaning the clock never stops. Other than when you see the other racers at the start in Oceanside, California, you might not see another competitor for the races entirety. When I ran across Australia and the U.S.A they were stage races, one of the highlights was spending time with the other athletes after each stage and getting to know other like-minded people. There was a tremendous camaraderie present.

So when I decided to organise this race I knew it too had to be a stage race. A cycling race across Australia has never been held before, so you will all be pioneers. I also decided to hold it in the middle of the Australian summer. The reason? To make it harder of course! From my experiences, I know that if you enter and complete TACR it will not only be one of the highlights of your life (maybe even the highlight), I guarantee it will be life-changing.