While the Salomon Trail Run Series
caters to those just getting into the sport, Rapid Ascent’s newest event, the Surf Coast Century, looks to open the door to more serious trail run achievements.
Based in Anglesea, an hour’s drive south west of Melbourne, the new 100km ‘Century’ will explore tracks and single trails along Victoria’s famous Surf Coast, taking runners on a enviable journey under some of the tallest cliffs and most beautiful beaches in Australia, before mixing up the terrain with hinterland bush and fern fringed stands of Eucalypt.
The event is set to attract many experienced solo ultra runners from across Australia and internationally, all looking to snatch the inaugural course record. But organiser Rapid Ascent notes that the event has been developed to also be a “stepping stone” ultra by opening up team categories of between 2 and four runners, who will each complete between 25 and 50km legs in a relay team.
“Sell-out fields in renowned ultra events such as The North Face 100 and the Great Ocean Walk 100 demonstrates that ultra running is becoming more popular, but we recognise that 100km is a massive undertaking for anyone,” says Race Director, John Jacoby.
“So we wanted to build in a ‘beginner’ factor, by allowing the relay concept. Having said that, you’ll still need to put in some decent training for even the shortest leg of 25km!”
The Surf Coast Century promises to become a mainstay on the ultra marathon circuit, with a unique and spectacular course that runs past lighthouses, waterfalls, scenic lookouts, renowned surf beaches (heard of Bells?), surf life saving clubs, remote wilderness and almost everything in between.
Check out a photo gallery taken on the Surf Coast Century course.
“There's headlands to traverse, cliff top and bottom trails, sweeping singletrack ensconced in coastal flora, all coupled with jaw-dropping views across the southern seaboard,” says Jacoby. “We’re hoping the mix of terrain and the varied format will establish the Surf Coast Century and one of the Southern Hemisphere's must-do trail running events for anyone.”
The Surf Coast Century encompasses a figure eight course, ensuring plenty of spectator opportunities with ease of access to checkpoints and other viewing areas for friends and family to cheer along their runners.
“With the course starting and finishing on the beach backing on to the Anglesea township, there is plenty of great local food, accommodation and entertainment options to make a holiday of the occasion,” says Jacoby.
The Surf Coast Century offers one of the biggest prize purses in Australian ultra trail running, with $1000 plus a Suunto Ambit GPS watch (RP$650) going to the 100km solo winner, plus a raft of prizes for category winners.
Organisers are planning to hold an familiarisation day on the course with a date set tentatively for 5 August, allowing runners to get a taste of the course along with expert advice from event ambassador, Julian Spence, an Anglesea local who just happens to be one of Australia’s elite ultra runners, having won the 2011 Great Ocean Walk 100 ultra.
For more information on the Surf Coast Ultra 100km trail run (solo and relay teams), see www.surfcoastcentury.com.au .