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Saturday, July 05, 2014
Day 4 Update - the calm before the long run

While most events might consider 15 or 30 kilometres to be a long event, today the competitors enjoyed the ‘short day’ where the Big Red Run covered 30K while the Little Red Run event covered 15K. Most of the athletes are managing some level of injury, from minor aches and strains through to some very serious blisters, even some of the seasoned athletes are sporting new blisters. There are only a handful of runners who are reporting no injuries of any type. Yet they each continue their journey, fighting through the pain barrier, striving for the end of the 6th day.

We will update you with the full list of results once they are at hand, but we can announce that today’s Big Red Run event was won by Wayne McMurtrie in 3h:13m:32s. Dan Casey was second at 3h:21m:39s and Andrew MacPherson was in 6 seconds later, so will maintain his overall lead.
The Little Red Run had the trio of Janelle Murfitt, Linda Henry and Mandy willis cross the line together in 1h:55m:54s and demonstrating that an event of this size, the achievement is often in completing and not always the position. 

An event of this size does not happen by accident. An example can be found in the medical volunteers, mostly student doctors, who are getting invaluable experience. Their day often starts before the competitors, checking the course and setting up checkpoints, and they stay behind the last competitors, following them in to the finish each night. They help with all types of needs, from stretching muscles through to taping knees and ankles and other wounds. They also assist in the monitoring of the type 1 diabetics who are competing and volunteering at the event. The students are lead by practicing Doctors and Nurses who ensure the treatment of the athletes is appropriate.

Tomorrow (Sunday) is the big day. The Big Red Run competitors will cover 84k while the Little Red Run covers 42K. The athletes will start at 6:30am, and your messages of support are a big part of lifting spirits before the start line, so please visit our Facebook page and let your friends and family know you will be thinking of them.

Friday, July 04, 2014
Half way through the 2014 Big Red Run

Andrew MacPherson continues to lead the field at just over the half way mark in the 250 kilometre Big Red Run. Competitors had a tough day, dealing with injuries from their first two marathon distances in the Simpson Desert on previous days. It is still too early to call the winner at this point, and there are at least 5 other athletes well within reach of the top spot.
Janelle Murfitt leads the Little Red Run at the 86 kilometre mark at the end of day 3. Injuries in the form of blisters are the most common amongst the runners, with some other injuries ranging from knees, calves, and hamstring.
Competitors and Crew were treated to a talk from Lucus Trihey (Event Director) on his walk across the Simpson Desert, and got to learn why he is the best person for the job of directing this event. This was followed with some photos from the event so far, just to remind the competitors how far they have come so far.
There were loads of images added to Facebook today (, and the full results are here:
Big Red Run
Little Red Run
If the huge efforts that these competitors have put in has inspired you or your friends, get involved next year as a competitor or volunteer or make a donation to support research in to Type 1 Diabetes. Visit

Thursday, July 03, 2014
Day 1 Results and more photos

The first camping night was spent by most of the Competitors and Support Crews enjoying the warmth of a roaring fire and good stories at the base of ‘Big Red’ on the edge of the Simpson Desert. 

Camp food and lots of rest was had by all, with a cold night under a clear sky, with the promise of perfect running conditions today.

A full field of 58 athletes presented to the start of todays racing, with the Little Red Run comprising of a 20K course, while the Big Red Run completes a 42.2K course. Athletes spirits were high at the start with lots of smiles and only a few people getting in early at the medical tent, to strap blisters and other preventative measures.

More photos are filtering in from photographers, and these can be seen for Day 1 and some magical night shots that are worth seeing here.

We also have for you, the official full results from Day 1;

Big Red Run 250k (Day 1, 42.2K)
Little Red Run 150K (Day 1, 42.2K)

Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Day 1 of Big Red Run 2014

At 7:10am this morning athletes started to gather outside the Birdsville Hotel in Western Queensland, for the start of the 2014 250K Big Red Run and the 150K Little Red Run, in order to raise money for Juvenile Diabetes Research.

Type 1 diabetes is a life-long autoimmune disease that usually occurs in childhood. It affects over 122,300 people in Australia alone and is caused by the immune system mistakenly turning on itself, destroying beta cells within the pancreas and removing the body's ability to produce insulin. Insulin allows the body to process sugar to create energy - without insulin, the body literally starves as it cannot process food. 

View a gallery of todays Start

Todays 42.2K’s was the first leg of 6 days running over sand dunes and across the gibber plains. Tonight’s camp and finish line is at the base of ‘Big Red’ The first of the big sand dunes outside of Birdsville on the edge of the Simpson Desert.

Athletes were pushed along by a strong tail wind most of today, making life a little interesting for some of the support crews as they battled to erect the tents and marque’s for the checkpoints and tonights camp ground.
Some runners are showing signs of plenty of training and some are showing blisters and hot-spots causing some minor discomfort. At the time of writing, there have been no reports of any injuries, and all competitors are expected to be ready for another 42.2K tomorrow.

When the author left the finish line around 2pm*, we had about 20 people across the line. Andrew MacPherson took line honours today with an excellent effort of 4 hours 20 minutes. 

The following are un-official results from both the Big Red Run and Little Red Run, and includes only the first 10 to cross the line. (full results will be published as soon as we practically can.)

Place Name Time (HH:MM)
1 Andrew MacPherson 4:20
2 Dan Casey 4:42
3 Wayne McMurtrie 5:02
4 Phill Dernee 5:05
5 Sandy Suckling 5:06
6 Anne Ziogos 5:20
7 Matt Rolfe 5:24
8 Luis Fowler 5:24
9 Matthew Raso 5:35
10 Paul Griffiths 5:37

* We have a long trip back to Birdsville to bring you these updates, although we might get the occasional update out, directly from the first nights camp, the extra video’s, emails and photos are being carried back to Birdsville so you can hear what is happening.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Welcome to Big Red Run and Little Red Run 2014

Competitors and Crew spent the day soaking up the Birdsville atmosphere, between briefing sessions and registration. Highlights included the Birdsville Bakery, with the best Camel Pie in the country, and a Pre-Race Dinner, with words of encouragement and inspiration from the Mayor - Geoff Morton, National Parks Ranger and Traditional Land Owner - Don Rowlands, and Land owners David and Nell Brook, as well as our safety director Lucas Trihey who shared with us his experience of walking 17 days across the Simpson Desert.
The runners are off to an early start tomorrow, facing the first marathon, of six days running in either the Big Red Run (250K) or the Little Red Run (150K). Some of our runners were in last minute fundraising mode, in full costume, raising money for JDRF


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The Big Red Run is a unique high profile fundraising event, which draws significant media coverage. If you are interested in Big Red Run sponsorship opportunities, please contact us, and our sponsorship manager will respond to you.

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