ORGANISERS of a desert marathon that left two women fighting for life after becoming trapped in a bushfire were yesterday described as "cowboys" with no clue about outback conditions.
A former competitor said organisers were "grossly unprepared" for last year's 250km race and had to urgently fly in intravenous fluids.
Footage of the weekend's 100km Kimberley Ultramarathon clearly shows smoke on the horizon just after the start, and it was reported that the course had to be re-marked just before the event after scrub fires burnt ribbon markers.
Ulladulla model Turia Pitt was among those burned when runners became trapped in a narrow gorge as bushfires, which had burned in the remote WA wilderness for up to a week, changed direction.
She was in a critical condition in Concord Hospital while marathon veteran Kate Sanderson is in Melbourne's Alfred Hospital. Both have burns to 80-90 per cent of their bodies.