PLUS new 100km Surf Coast Century ultra offers a step up from short course trail. READ DETAILS HERE .
The hugely popular Salomon Trail Running Series has opened entries for 2012, with the addition of two new stunning trail run locations and a fourth ‘grand finale’ event that should make trail running even more accessible with the short (~5km) and long (~12km) course options at each race location.
Additionally, the new ‘grand finale’ event, to be held at the seaside township of Anglesea on the Great Ocean Road will be held alongside a new 100km ‘ultra’ trail event dubbed the Surf Coast Century.
In a year that saw a marked boom in trail running as an alternative to the “boring bitumen” or road running, the 2011 Salomon Trail Run Series attracted more than 750 runners to its three events that were all held in stunning bushland environments within an hour of Melbourne’s CBD.
This year’s series returns with the addition of Plenty Gorge, in Yellow Gum Park north east of Melbourne as an unexpected but beautiful venue only 20km from the city centre for race #2 of the series.
Two familiar event locations will remain from last year’s series, the first taking place within 5km of the CBD at Yarra Bend Park for race #1, along the banks of the Yarra River, while the Dandenong Ranges gets another run (excuse the pun), with the popular Silvan course included as race #3.
The last all-new location will double as the Series Finale, to be held on the majestic surf coast at the popular seaside village of Anglesea, just over an hour’s drive from Melbourne.
A huge success in its inaugural year, the Salomon Trail Run Series was a watershed movement for Australian trail running with its offering of shorter course distances of between 5km and 14km paired with easily accessible race locations, and it’s a tradition that continues in 2012.
The format of each event will retain a short distance of between 5km and 8km together with a second, longer race of between 10km and 15km, making the series an ideal outing for everyone from beginners to serious middle distance runners.
“We specifically cater to those runners new to off road courses,” says Sam Maffett, General Manager of event company, Rapid Ascent.
“We want to make trail running accessible to the masses and enjoyable for all, so we have developed courses that are not overly technical, yet run mostly on single track trails through beautiful parks and bushland areas.
“Trail running is a growth sport, one that really increases the fun factor of running in general. We also found in last year’s series that it encouraged more people to out into the outdoors, into places that are nearby but they had never got around to visiting – the events gave people an excuse to explore a new world of local parks and bushlands that had been ‘under the radar’. And we reckon that anything prompting people to enjoy and appreciate the environment is a good thing!”
The 2012 Salomon Trail Run Series line-up is:
1. Sunday 24 June, Studley Park, Kew, Melbourne: 5km / 10.8km
2. Sunday 29 July, Plenty Gorge: 6.4km / 11.8km
3. Sunday 26 August, Silvan, Dandenong Ranges: 7.3km / 14.3km
4. Sunday 23 September, Anglesea, Great Ocean Road: 7.9km / 14.6km + the new Surf Coast Century, a new 100km ultra marathon (on Sept 22).
Check out some of the terrain from the Plenty Gorge event (Race 2):
Entries are now open online at www.salomontrailseries.com.au .
For more information on the Surf Coast Ultra 100km trail run (solo and relay teams), see www.surfcoastcentury.com.au .