Victorian mountain resort, Mt Baw Baw, has announced a new trail running festival that will set a new bar for the singletrack sport when runners tread the mountain slopes on the long weekend on March 9th-11th , 2013.
On the roster will be up to seven trail runs of varying course lengths and difficulties plus the opportunity – for those game enough – to vie for King and Queen of the Mountain titles.
The Brooks Mt Baw Baw Trail Run Festival will feature three days of trail running events, kicking off with what could be one of Australia’s toughest marathons: a 42.2km course from the historical township of Walhalla.
Why the toughest? One look at the course profile will make legs and lungs perspire in fear, the most obvious feature being an uphill haul for the majority of the distance.
Runners looking for a slightly easier but no less beautiful entrée to such an intimidating challenge can take on the half marathon, which tracks along the second half of the same course, beginning near the halfway mark at Mt Erica.
The challenge continues on Day Two of the festival with two 12km events run around the trails starting and finishing at Mt Baw Baw’s mountaintop village. The first outing will be a mid morning foray while the second will take place at night.
For those new to the sport, and for the kids, there will also be a 5km fun run/walk taking in the summit of Mt Baw Baw and the impressive vistas it offers.
On the final day, there will be a morning session of ‘free mountain running’, a new offering on the local trail run scene that focuses on super-short 1.5km courses, the catch being that the terrain is ridiculously steep.
“You see a bit of this style of running in European events,” says Race Director Grant Seamer, from Mt Baw Baw Resort. “It’s short and fast and it’s all about running technique, rather than endurance.”
The first race, run as a time trial, is raced down what is usually used as a downhill mountain bike course, peppered with technical obstacles including a big rock drop off. Here, the technique of running downhill at speed is key.
The second race will be the same course albeit run in reverse an hour later. That’s a 400-metre vertical climb in 1.5km.
The two final ‘trail sprints’ also turns trail running into a spectator sport, claims Seamer, with the crowds able to mill around at the top and line sections of the course, which starts and finishes at the Mt Baw Baw restaurant and bar, with spectacular views across the Gippsland valley 1500 metres below.
“We hope to grow this into one of the premier trail running festivals in Australia, with plenty of variation in the trail run events on offer, and of course the opportunity to inscribe your name on the King and Queen of the Mountain perpetual trophy – a hand carved piece of wood art by a local artist,” says Seamer.
Mt Baw Baw is planning on offering competitors, friends and family special accommodation deals, live entertainment, run gear displays, trail run nutrition seminars, technique sessions and a film night.
There will also be the offering of a FREE BUS SERVICE from Melbourne’s CBD, stopping at selected stations in the Eastern Suburbs, for the convenience of competitors.
ENTRIES ARE OPEN
More information on the event, how to enter and accommodation for the weekend on Mt Baw Baw at: www.mountbawbaw.com.au
Saturday 9 March
>> 42.2km Trail Marathon, Walhalla to Mt Baw Baw
>> 21km half marathon
(a bus will take runners from Mt Baw Baw to Walhalla / Mt Erica on Saturday morning or runners can make their own way to the start lines)
Sunday 10 March
>>12km trail run
>>5km fun run/walk
>>12km night trail run
Monday 11 March
>>1.5km downhill mountain run
>>1.5km uphill mountain run
More information and to ENTER: