A new trail running festival is set to throw the spotlight on north-east Tasmanian wilderness with the launch of the inaugural TASSIE TRAIL FEST presented by Icebug, a three-day festival celebrating the trail running lifestyle.
Set to take place in the small township of Derby on the labour day long weekend (Tasmania, Vic, SA), 12-14 March 2016, the event will feature distances ranging from 44km through 21km, 14km, 6km and 2km, the line-up also inclusive of running seminars, a trail running film festival and live music entertainment.
For those keen, organisers are encouraging multi-day, multi-run sign ups, with All Weekend passes and a Multiday Madness category that has entrants running every conceivable non-clashing event across the three days, totalling more than 95km.
“We have designed the event to offer something for everyone from kids and beginners through to hardcore trail runners,” says event organiser, Chris Ord, from Tour de Trails (and also AU Editor of Trail Run Mag).
“The focus on fun is specifically to be inclusive of runners of all abilities while also celebrating the trail running lifestyle and the amazing trails on offer across Tasmania and in Derby in particular,” says Chris.
Derby has quickly become famous in mountain biking circles with the installation of up to 80km of new trails weaving through majestic stands of wilderness. Come the March long weekend, two wheels will be traded for two legs as runners explore flowing singletrack rightly regarded as some of the best in Australia.
“Mountain biking trails make for the best trail running experience,” says Chris, who notes that while less technical than big mountain routes, they remain a physical challenge nonetheless.
“Being custom built, they are smooth and flowy for the most part, but that constant undulation, and berm running, really does put a bunch of different forces on the body that even experienced trail runners will find puts the pinch on. Especially on the seventh berm in short succession at 32 kilometres!”
“But the running experience is divine and like no other in Australia in my opinion. They weave through huge stands of forest, moss-covered rockeries, giant fern tunnels, around the back of Cascade Dam, and on up to the spectacular feature that is the decommissioned Paris Dam wall. Plus, for those willing, on the Sunday we head 20 minutes down the road to Blue Tier for a quick half marathon on yet more beautiful, if intense, trails found there.”
“We believe that the Tassie Trail Fest will quickly become an iconic trail event for Tasmania and indeed Australia,” says Chris.
Featuring at the festival will be Tasmanian local trail running heroine, Hanny Allston, an elite athlete who will present a seminar on training and nutrition, while fellow elite runner, Mathieu Dore, will present a masterclass on strength and conditioning for runners.
Organisers will bring the Trails In Motion Film Festival to town as part of proceedings along with a local Launceston band for Sunday night celebrations in the town hall.
“We then have 2km final time trial on the Sunday morning – something that can be done on a hangover fuelled by a morning BBQ.”
Organisers are encouraging runners to enter early and, importantly, arrange accommodation in Derby or surrounding towns, as it is limited.
“Recognising that accommodation in Derby is limited, we are in the process of organising a walk-in-walk-out standing camp in town, with tents, cots and mattresses supplied for those who make a booking. This will add a further 60 or so beds to the in town equation,” says Chris, who also notes that there is also free camping available in town with limited facilities.
Bookings for the camp will be taken online from January. Accommodation options and links can be seen on the event website.
Registrations for the event are now open.
See www.tassietrailfest.com.au for more details and to enter.
Stay tuned for more announcements regarding the event by liking the event Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tassietrailfest.
Tassie Trail fest is supported by Dorset Council, Icebug, Black Diamond, The Running Company Launceston, Find Your Feet, Trail Run Mag, SOS Hydration, VFuel Australia, Wildplans, Adventure Types, S Group and Tour de Trails.