Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
Published March 8th 2015
From the coast to the alps and in between
With trail running surging in popularity over the last few years thanks to events like Two Bays, the Solomon series and Marrysville Marathon to name but a few.Trail running has seriously become the new black for Melbourne runners and everyone wants to be apart of this craze.
For anyone not up to speed with trail running and would like to give it a go it's a fantastic way to improve fitness, meet new friends and breathe in plenty of fresh air as you pound out the kilometres on trails surrounded by nature. Trail running is unlike road running in the sense that the varying terrain needs concentration so you don't trip over a rock and face plant (not advisable) and timing every kilometre or run goes out the window as no two trail runs will be the same. The other thing trail runners happily admit is that they don't always run.
So here are some great Victorian Trail Runs to get started or add to the already jammed packed race calendar.
Roller Coaster Run: Sat March 21st is as the name suggests a roller coaster run up and down the scenic Dandenong Ranges. This run is offered as a 21.5km run or a 43km option (two loops). Entry to the 21.5km option includes brunch at Sky High, Mount Dandenong. To enter or find out more click here.
Mount Buller Sky Run on Sun 29th March is a great way to see some of Victoria's best alpine country and put your body to the challenge for the 22, 36 or 45 km options all starting from the Village Square. For details click here.
Run The Gap (Grampians) on the 24th of May offers 3 distances with the 6km walk/run, 12km and 21km run.To enter click here
Puffing Billy Great Train Race on Sunday May 3rd is not a trail run but is fun, in the hills and worth a mention.This race sees competitors race not only each other but Puffing Billy from Belgrave to Emerald in a 13.5km run. At the time of publishing there are a few last spots remaining so get in quick. For info click here.
Buffalo Stampead on April 11th is for the serious runner that's bordering on crazy. Sure doing 75.5km with over 4,000 metres climbing sounds like the ultimate challenge but half way up you may be questioning your sanity in signing up to do this event. Haven't discouraged you yet? sign up here. You may be pleased to see there is a 26 and 41.4km option as well.
Run The Rock is on April 18th and offers distances that will please beginners and families with the 2km kids run, 5 & 10 km runs and the longer course being 19km. Money raised from this event goes to the Cancer Council. For info click here.
Macedon Trail Running on 31st May as a part of the Trails Plus series gives runners the option of 10km, 30 or 50km course to complete. To enter or to find out more click here.
The Solomon series kicks off on the 21st June and has one race a month for 4 races. Race 1 is at Yarra Bend with 5km/11km/15km options. Race 2 is at Plenty Gorge with 6km/12km/17km options. Race 3 is at Olinda with 7km/15km/21lm options and the final race is at Anglesea with 8km/15km/23km options. To find out more click here.
Surf Coast Trail Marathonon 27th June is certainly not the most punishing trail running marathon but the scenery is stunning and if the winds are not in your favour it will feel difficult. Choose between the half marathon or the full that starts at Torquay and follows the coast to Fairhaven. To enter click here.
Wonderland Run Grampians on Sun 30th August is the same group of people who bring you the Two Bays Trail Run and The Roller Coaster Run, so you can expect a great course and a lot of fun.The Wonderland run takes in some stunning scenery and offer 2 options with the 20.5km short course or the 37km full course. Keep in mind that you will need to prove your ability to finish within the 4 hour cut off for the short course or 8 hours in the long course either by finishing a road half marathon in under 2:15 or completed Two Bays or Roller Coaster run under the cut off time. To visit the webpage click here.
Lake Mountain Resort ( not that you will have to worry about snow)
Lake Mountain Alpine Marathon is expected to return this year on the 25th of October with the three distance options of 10km, 24km and 42km. What a spectacular place for a run. Keep checking the website for event updates.
Go The Extra Mile isn't technically a running event nor a competition but it's the best 50km course I have done and yes a few of us did run it, some ran/walked and some walked. If you're not huge on competition but want to challenge yourself and raise the funds for the charity to enter ($200) then you can't look past this event. Choose from the event on May 9th or the October event . More info click here.
Marrysville Marathon on Sun 8th November is a great family event with 5 different events over the day that include a 4km 10 km walk/run, a half marathon, marathon and 50 km ultra. Come down and support this great community event. To enter click here.
Two Bays run is held in January on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula. This popular run sells out with 1,000 entrants participating over the two events. The 28km option starts at Dromana and finishes at Cape Schanck with the 56km in reverse and off course back again. Click here for more details.
Take in the view from Arthurs Seat on Two Bays
If you're a little unsure about taking the leap into trail running then there are some great trail running groups around to get started with and to continue training with. Have a look at Melbourne Trail Runners, Peninsula Trail Runners, Dandenongs Trail Runners and many more, all on Facebook.
Do you have a favourite trail run, not listed that you would like to share with WeekendNotes readers?