The Willo | Race Format


The 2023 Willo Marathon has 3 race distances on offer plus a seperate 15 km adult and junior Willo shortcourse race:

40km – Outbound leg + 1 lap of Marathon Loop + Return Leg

60km – Outbound leg + 2 laps of Marathon Loop + Return Leg

80km – Outbound leg + 3 laps of Marathon Loop + Return Leg

15km – Willo Adult Shortcourse

15km – Willo Junior

See our Entry Fees & Categories page here for further information.


The Willo has traditionally been a single 25km lap however our new venue in Nowra gives us the opportunity to create a “mega lap” of 40km plus a shorter 15km “taster” lap, perfect for the next generation of riders to test their skills.

For more venue info, visit the LOCATION information page.

The Willo Marathon Lap

This epic lap takes riders through everything the Coondoo Forest network has to offer, including the Coondoo, Superbowl, and Butterfly trail networks.

The full marathon lap is broken up into three key sections,  The Outbound Leg, The Marathon Loop and The Return Leg.

Start Lap & Outbound Leg (Approx 11km)

Riders will start on a short start loop consisting of approximately 1.4km undulating fire road. The start loop will bring the riders back through the event hub before heading into approximately 9km of single track and fire road.  

Riders turn right at the Charcoal Road Marshal Point (15km riders continue straight) and head to the neutral service area located at the start of the Superbowl trail network and the start of the “Marathon Lap”.  

All riders must dismount the road crossing at Forest Road.

The Coondoo Eastern “Marathon” Loop (Approx 20km per lap)

From the neutral service area all riders head out on the 20km Eastern Loop and complete their set number of laps (40km 1 lap, 60km 2 laps, 80km 3 laps).

There will be an intermediate timing point and marshal station at the start of the single track on the eastern side of the road that will count laps.

Riders will pass through the neutral service area on each lap and have the opportunity to refill water bottles and take on snacks if required.  Neutral technical support is available in case of mechanicals.

The Return Leg to Finish Line (Approx 7km)

Once riders have completed their set number of laps of the Eastern loop (40km 1 lap, 60km 2 laps, 80km 3 laps), riders retrace via the road crossing to the Charcoal Road marshal point, turning right to follow a mix of single track and fire road to the event center and finish line.

Riders only complete this section of the course at the end of their race.

Our 15 KM* Shortcourse

Our short lap heads out on the same course as the main marathon loop.  At the Charcoal Road marshal point riders continue straight on (full distance riders turn right) to return back along a mix of single track and fire road to the event village and finish line.  

Riders having completed the full marathon course will return along the same route at the end of their race.

Marshalls will be stationed at the junction to provide assistance or direct riders accordingly.

*A short start lap may be utilised for the 15km race if rider numbers dictate

The Junior 15km Willo

The Willo, 2020

We love when the young shredders line up at our start lines, so we are continuing the Willo tradition of the Junior Race. This classification offers a 15KM junior short-course on the Coondoo trails for U15 and U13 racers.

The race is made up of one 15KM short-course. The Junior Race will NOT cross Forest Road. A marshal point will be placed on the short-course diversion for them; juniors will race in Coondoo only (look out for “short-course diversion” in the map).


Groms: Sub Juniors

This is meant to be a fun activity where “everyone’s a winner”! It is for 3 – 11 year olds who can race at the Event Centre on a small section of single track at the back of Registration. There are two categories for this race.

  • At 10.30am the 4, 5, 6 year olds will race.
  • At 11am, the 7, 8, 9, 10 year olds will race.

These age groups are flexible. This activity is designed to let all the younger kids have a go, whilst recognizing that their riding ability varies a lot. Talk to the volunteers at registration to help you decide which level your child can ride/race at. All sub juniors and juniors must register for this race between 9.30 – 10.00am at Registration. All riders in these two events get a race plate.

Did you know?

The Willo awards overall KOM (King of the Mountain) and QOM (Queen of the Mountain) classifications to the fastest male and female on the main climb. The KOM winner will be the rider with the highest number of points after three laps have been completed. The KOM will be marked 1km and 500 metres before the start of the climb and marked clearly at the finish of the climb for KOM points.

KOM & QOM Classification

Male & Female (3 lap category only)

Riders are awarded 5 points for coming first up the KOM, 4 points for coming second and 3 points for third up the KOM. KOM cash prize & trophy awarded to the outright male and female riders who have each earned the most points after 3 laps.


E-bike categories are offered. E-bike racers will start approximately 10 minutes after their wave. Those categories are ranked completely separately from the non-e ones.

All E-bikes must meet the requirements laid out in our E-bike policy and E-bike waiver


Singlespeed categories are offered and will be in a separate category.

Race Logistics

Superbowl Neutral Service Area (Marathon Riders Only)

The neutral service area is located at the start/end of the Coondoo Eastern Loop on Butterfly Road and will be staffed by event marshals and our neutral service mechanic.

Rider support staff / general public are not permitted at this location.

Rider Support Includes:

  • Intermediate timing point
  • Water filling station
  • Neutral mechanical support by FIZO Bikes
  • Basic snacks will be on offer
  • A bottle/snack drop will be available for riders in the 60km & 80km distances (2 & 3 laps).  
  • All items must be clearly named and dropped into the tubs at registration prior to 9.15am.

Food & Technical Assistance

Once leaving the race village you will only have access to feed and technical assistance at the neutral service area.

Multilap riders must drop a clearly labeled bag/esky containing all their food, hydration & spares at registration prior to 9:15 am.  These will be returned back to the event village at the end of the event.

FIZO Cycling will be available to support you if required at the neutral service area once the event is underway.

A water station will be available at the neutral service area for emergency bottle refill if required.  We do ask that you carry/provide your own water.

It is highly recommended that all riders carry key bike spares including innertube, tire levers, pump/co2, chain quick link and multi tool.  Riders can assist other riders with repairs, non-rider outside assistance other than by our neutral support crew is not permitted anywhere on the course.

Requesting Assistance

It is recommended that all riders carry a mobile phone with them at all times in case of an emergency.  The race director’s contact details can be found on your race plate.

Start Procedure & Timing

Each category will be started in a dedicated wave as per the schedule here.

Riders will be asked to self seed with priority given to current race winners and elite riders.

Your result is based on the Gun start. Riders starting in the wrong event wave will be marked as DNF. 

Riders will start on a short start loop consisting of approximately 1.4km undulating fire road before the first single track. The start loop will bring the riders back through the event hub.


The course will be open for practice on Saturday between 2pm & 6pm and on Sunday from 6.30am – 7.30am.

Full race services, including First Aid, will be provided from 8.00am until 4.00pm Sunday.  Limited services will be provided during notified practice periods.

Withdrawing from the event

If you feel unable to complete the race, notify a marshall, follow the green signs back to the forest camp, and then make you way to the Event Centre. You must notify that you have withdrawn to timing. Make sure you notify timing officials when you return to the Event Centre


If you are coming to the race, with a partner, or friend, (or anyone else), and would like to join in on race proceedings in a different way, we are happy to have help with marshalling the sub junior racing events. You’ll receive lunch and you will get to experience the race from the other side. Contact us if you are interested.