Photos by Zac Williams
A huge congratulations goes out to ultra-endurance cyclist Jack Thompson, who set a new fastest known time on the Munda Biddi Trail in Western Australia this weekend. Jack started his ride on the 1,067-kilometer Munda Biddi Trail before the weekend at the northern terminus of the route in Mundaring, just east of Perth. We’ve heard reports that it was one of the hardest rides he has completed, pushing through a heat wave, sleep deprivation, and over 1,000 kilometers of challenging Australian terrain.
Jack finished the route in 2 days, 12 hours, and 15 minutes, shaving an impressive five hours off the previous record set by fellow Perth rider Craig Wiggins in 2020. As part of the ride, Jack is fundraising to support the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation and Happiness Co Foundation, which you can learn more about here.
We got in touch with Jack just after he finished for a semi-delirious reflection from his ride. Find that and some photos from photographer Zac Williams below. Congrats, Jack!
Words by Jack Thompson
Whew… 1,067 kilometres, 14,000 metres of elevation, record high temperatures, and 60 kilometer per hour head winds. It feels SO good to have arrived in Albany having broken the Munda Biddi Trail Record, but the 2 days, 12 hours, and 15 minutes are still a bit of a blur!
I set off from the Northern Trail Terminus at 5:30 a.m. knowing that I wasn’t going to sleep for the next 60 hours. Nervous but excited about what lay ahead, day one was smooth sailing. Temperatures were high at 39°C, but the tree cover helped to protect me from the sun. After a long night and no sleep, day two saw me arrive in Nannup. The forecast was for more scorching temperatures as I entered the more remote sections of the trail.
As I rode south towards Albany, landscapes ever changing, I did my best to soak up my surroundings. Constantly pressured by the clock that never stops, at times I’d have LOVED, to turn around and re-ride the flowy section of trail I’d just ridden, but this time around, there was no time for that.
Night two was a compete blur. Re-supply was impossible as the remote towns were all but closed, which meant I was forced to survive on my emergency food rations. Arriving in the town of Denmark, I decided I needed a 10-minute rest, so I pulled up in the dirt at the edge of the Elephant Rocks carpark and slept for nine minutes. I had two alarms set to ensure I didn’t sleep through. The final stretch into Albany was torturous. With howling headwinds, sleep deprivation, and a need for real food, I had to push myself deep.
Upon arriving at the southern trail terminus and an amazing crowd of supporters, I couldn’t help but smile. The Munda Biddi had been hard, far harder than I’d imagined. Would I do it again? Absolutely, but I’d dedicate 10 days to riding it with a bunch of mates so I could really soak up my surrounds and share the natural beauty!
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