Explore unlocked trails
THE hidden beauty of Blackdown Tableland will be revealed at an inaugural running and mountain biking event.
Bush trails, which are normally closed to the public, will be opened for competitors of the Updown Blackdown this month.
The event was designed to showcase the rugged beauty of the national park and draw more interest to the region.
Blackdown Tableland sits about halfway between Rockhampton and Emerald and boasts deep gorges, cascading waterfalls and breathtaking views from the lookouts.
However only a handful of walking trails are open to the public, despite the park having literally miles and miles of rugged territory to explore.
Updown Blackdown race director Donna Oliver said not many people got the chance to explore deep in the park.
"A lot of the trails are inaccessible so we wanted to expose parts of the park where people normally don't go,” she said.
"We got on board with National Parks and got all the right permits so people can explore Blackdown Tableland for what it is.”
The event will feature trail-running races of 9km, 30km and 46km plus a mountain biking event of 30km.
Ms Oliver, who is an ultrarunner herself, said the terrain was quite rocky, sandy and comparatively flat compared to trail-running races.
"The landscape changes dramatically and you have the escarpment and lookouts,” she said.
"It's quite a remote area and not a lot of people have been there.”
The event is being hosted by the Central Highlands Triathlon Club which hopes to attract about 100 competitors.
Already people have signed up from Emerald, Gladstone, Rockhampton and even Brisbane.
Updown Blackdown is being held on Sunday, August 18, starting at 6.30am. Running events include 9km, 30km and 46km and mountain biking (30km).
The race is timed so MTB entrants may choose to double-up and run the 9km race.