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The Nek 42km challenge

The Course

The Nek Challenge is a 42km event from the Memorial at Manly Dam finishing at St Ives Showground.

After starting at Manly Warringal War Memorial Park, Manly Dam where you will start alongside the lakeside War Memorial where the ANZAC Dawn Service is held, you will then do a lap of the roads within Manly Dam, before returning back past the start line and crossing the Dam wall and make your way through single trails on your way to Warringah Aquatic centre. You will cross over the footbridge over Wakehurst parkway, you will follow the main fire trial down to Seaforth Oval drop down Timbercutters Track to Bantry Bay, and then north along the Bay Track climbing out and up to the Bluff and then turning left into Natural Bridge track and following the trails around to Roseville Bridge. The course goes through Davidson Park and under Roseville Bridge and has some tricky but spectacular trails that follow alongside Sydney Harbour.

You will have aid stations available at the Bluff, Davidson Park at Roseville Bridge, and Cascades in Garigal National Park, as well as a water station at Bantry Bay Road.

Race Time

All runners will be transported to the start at Manly Dam by bus which departs from the registration area at St Ives Showground at 6am sharp. The Nek 42km Challenge will start from the memorial at Manly Dam at 6.45am.

Cut Off Times

The Nek 42km Challenge has an 8 hour cut off time, being 2.45pm.

Aid Stations

Participants will pass an aid stations 5 times during The Nek 42km Challenge. You will have access to water, lollies, fresh fruit and sports drink. Distances are listed in the table below:

Aid Station Location

Distance from Start

Distance of Next Leg

Distance to Finish

Cut Off Time (hrs)

Cut Off Time of Day

Bantry Bay Rd (Water only) 9.1km 4.9km 30.9km N/A N/A
Bluff Track 14.0km 7.8km 26.0km 2hr 48min 9:33
Davidson Park 21.8km 8.3km 18.2km 4hr 21min 11:06
Cascades 30.1km 8.9km 9.9km 6hr 2min 12:47
Wildflower Gardens 39.0km 1.0km 1.0km N/A N/A
Finish Line 40.0km 0.0km 0.0km 8hr 0min 14:45


The Battle of the Nek as a small World War I battle fought as part of the Gallipoli Campaign "The Nek" was a narrow stretch of ridge in the ANZAC battlefield on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The name derives from the Afrikaans word for a "mountain pass" but the terrain itself was a perfect bottleneck and easy to defend, as had been proven during an Ottoman attack in May. It connected the Anzac trenches on the ridge known as "Russell's Top" to the knoll called "Baby 700" on which the Ottoman defenders were entrenched.

On 7 August 1915 two regiments of the Australian Third Light Horse Brigade mounted a futile bayonet attack on the Ottoman trenches on Baby 700, suffering 40% killed for no gain and negligible enemy casualties. The battle became known as "Godley's abattoir”. Further details about the Battle of The Nek can be found on Wikipedia
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