Imagine a marathon being started by the sun.
That’s what will happen at the Solar Eclipse Marathon in Port Douglas next November – one of the most unique sporting events the world has ever seen.
In the sky over Port Douglas, north of Cairns in Queensland, Australia, a total solar eclipse will occur on the morning of 14th November 2012. As the first rays of the sun emerge from behind the moon, the marathon will start on beautiful Four Mile Beach, which is a perfect spot for viewing the eclipse.
Organisers have planned a full and half marathon that are first and foremost an adventure event. Parts of the route encompass challenging terrain where extra care must be taken and the level of service provided on normal city marathons cannot be expected.
This marathon is about the experience and gaining unforgettable memories rather than winning or recording a good time.
The route surface is a mix of asphalt, sand, grass and gravel and the terrain varies from flat to hilly, with the steepest ascent being the climb up the Bump Track, an old mining road in the Daintree World Heritage Rainforest. At times, runners will follow the Mowbray river and at others they pass sugar cane fields.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon partly or fully covers the face of the Sun as seen from the Earth. The solar eclipse in November 2012 is a total solar eclipse, which means that the Sun for a period of time is fully covered by the Moon if you are in the right location to view it.
One such location is Port Douglas, Australia. Located 70 km (40 miles) north of Cairns, the town is perfectly situated to view the eclipse in its totality which will occur at 6:38am on 14th November (East Australian Standard Time).
The total eclipse phase will last approximately two minutes during which time the sun will be totally covered by the moon. The next eclipse visible from Australia will be in 2023.
Marathon entry is available only in a tour package that allows participants to enjoy the natural features of this tropical area, including Great Barrier Reef, Daintree rainforest and Cape Tribulation. The package also includes a race t-shirt, medal, photos and celebration dinner.