Runners earn their stripes at Tassie Trail Fest

More than 400 runners – including a healthy interstate and international contingent – descended on the small tin mining town of Derby in north-east Tasmania recently, the influx inspired by the inaugural Saucony Tassie Trail Fest and $2 million worth of fresh trails to be run. [RESULTS AT:]

Tassie Trail Fest 16-0351The three day event was conceived to celebrate a love of single track and the trail running lifestyle with feature distances ranging from 44km through 21km, 14km, 6km and 2km making best use of all-new mountain biking trails created within quintessential Tasmanian wilderness. Keeping runners entertained and informed off trail was a roster of running seminars, a trail running film festival and live entertainment.

In the premier King and Queen of Tassie Trail category, which required runners to complete a 44km marathon, a 14km run and a 2km time-trial, the honours were shared between a local running gun from Launceston and a German itinerant known in his hometown as ‘the fastest moustache in Cologne’.

Elite Tassie ultra runner, Amy Lamprecht, won the women’s crown and a cash purse, registering a cumulative run time of 05:46:48, beating home Yvette Edward (West Hobart; 06:00:34) in second and Victorian, Kellie Emmerson in third (06:07:08).Tassie Trail Fest 16-9849

In the men’s, Germany’s Felix Weber held the King’s of Tassie Trails trophy aloft, but not before cycling all the way from Hobart to attend the event, via Freycinet Peninsua where he ran the long trail circuit (30km) to warm up, and volunteering with event organisers throughout the event in between competing. His total time for the King category was 05:13:54. The short sighted runner known as ‘the fastest moustache in Cologne’ and now ‘the fastest ’tash in Tassie’ has already decided what to spend his prizemoney on:

“Riding up here I lost my glasses. I have very bad eyesight and ‘run blurry’ so I’ll be buying a new pair of specs!”

Also on the dais was American runner who had come all the way from a stint working in Antarctica, Curtis Moore (06:00:38), and Hobart-based John Schuringa (06:10:48).

While the King and Queen was the premier racing category, the most impressive endurance competition was Multiday Madness, a category that challenged runners to run every single event possible across the duration of the event. That entailed a marathon, two 14km runs (a day and a night), another half marathon and the 2km time trial ‘Dash for Cash’.Tassie Trail Fest 16-

The Madness women’s title was swept across the Tasman with New Zealand runner Amanda Broughton running consistently for the win, her performance surprising even herself as a short to middle distance cross country specialist in her hometown of Wellington. Broughton took the win in a cumulative time of 10:24:19. In second was Jessica Collins (Margate, Tasmania; 11:43:43) followed by Victorian, Louise Crossley (13:21:48).

In the men’s Multiday Madness, John Schuringa added to his King of Tassie Trails third place by winning the endurance competition in a total time of 10:12:22. Antarctic Station worker, Curtis Moore, added to his second place in the Kings with another in the multiday in a time of 10:15:37, with Launceston’s John Cannel registering third place (10:33:31).

Of course there were individual distance winners throughout the weekend, with special mention going to husband and wife team Reece and Jacqui Stephens, who juggled parenting duties to run in all events between them, each taking out a half marathon win and Jacqui taking home the $250 for the Dash for Cash title, her husband pipped at the post into second by Jerome Whitley who nabbed a time of 7:07 for the 2km (and likely a smidge) ‘sprint’ trail run.


The inaugural Saucony Tassie Trail Fest brought together trail runners from across the globe, with representatives from Chile, Mexico, Belgium, New Zealand, UK, United States, Netherlands and Germany joining running crews from every state and territory in Australia.Tassie Trail Fest 16-0539

The host town of 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.

“The running experience is divine and like no other in Australia in my opinion,” says Race Director, Chris Ord from running tour and events company, Tour de Trails. “The huge stands of ancient forest, moss-covered rockeries, giant fern tunnels, and dam busting views make it a spectacular place to run, while the rollercoaster undulations, switchbacks and a few beefy ascents make the running challenging, especially for those taking on the multiday which is essentially 100km over the weekend.”

Runners were particulary impressed with the trails, the close knit community vibe and many noted the 14km nightrun as a highlight, with runners finishing under an arch erected inside a town hall, beer bar to one side and a live band in full rock mode playing on the stage just in front of the finishline. Impressively, the lead singer, Launceston’s Tim Gambles is also a trail runner and ran in a number of the events during the weekend.Mt Buller

Reviews by participants:

What a privilege to be able to run through that bush and have those epic views!” – Multiday Madness winner Amanda Broughton, New Zealand. 

“I volunteered and participated in the Tassie Trail Fest. It was an excellent and authentic experience with fantastic program on and off the trails. I can highly recommend this event to everyone who love to run in the bush.” – King of Tassie Trails winner, Felix Weber, Germany.

“Loved every minute of the Multiday Madness, stunningly beautiful but challenging course…Wow. Just wow.” Asha Mahasuria, Northern Territory.

“A fantastic event, a big thank-you to the organizers for putting on a fantastic event, hopefully everyone will get behind this wonderful event and it will grow bigger over the next few years.” – Tim Gunton, Tasmania

“Absolutely fantastic event. Loved every minute of it. Lovely people, amazing location, great trails. Thanks so much to everyone involved in organising the event – you guys were fantastic. Roll on 2017!” – Philip Judge, Queensland.

“Can’t wait to do it again! It was a tough course…that’s what made it so good! Thanks guys see you next year!” – Tracy Cron, Tasmania.

“Brilliant event. Well organised. Great facilities. Amazing track. Definitely doing it again next year.” – Kirsten Aylmer, Tasmania. 

“We had a brilliant time. Great festival and a well organised inaugural event.” – Emma Pryor, New South Wales.Tassie Trail Fest 16-9871

“We believe that the Tassie Trail Fest has installed itself as an slightly quirky, challenging, upbeat and iconic trail event for Tasmania and indeed Australia,” says Chris.

Also featured at the festival was Tasmanian local trail running heroine, Hanny Allston, an elite athlete who presented a seminar on training and nutrition, while fellow elite runner, Mathieu Dore, presented a masterclass on strength and conditioning for runners.

Organisers also screened the international Trails In Motion Film Festival as part of proceedings.

The weekend’s run festivities concluded with a 2km final time trial, a virtual sprint event in trail running circles, with the starter setting runners off at 30 second intervals and the winner not decided until every runner had laid down a time. That included the race organisers who downed organisational responsibilities for the morning to join in the trail fun and madness.

Organisers have confirmed the Saucony Tassie Trail Fest will return next year on the same Labour Day Holiday Weekend, which in 2017 will be 11, 12, 13th March. They are encouraging runners to enter once entries open in a few months and, importantly, book accommodation in Derby or surrounding towns early, as it is limited.

See for more details.


Tassie Trail Fest is supported by Dorset Council, Saucony Australia, IO Merino, Black Diamond, The Running Company Launceston, Find Your Feet, Run Goat Run, Cheeta Recovey, Little Rivers Brewing Co., Kooee Snacks Australia, SOS Hydration, Break O’Day Council, Veolia, Weldborough Hotel, VFuel, Wildplans, Adventure Types, The Corner Store Cafe – Derby, S Group and Tour de Trails.Tassie Trail Fest 16-0332

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New editor at Trail Run Mag

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Amanda running the Luxmore Grunt. IMAGE: Kepler Challenge.

Let’s face it (says the Aussie), New Zealand may just be the best place on Earth to run trails. So when we kicked off Trail Run Mag in Australia fifteen editions and nearly four years ago, we always wanted to, without stepping on parochial toes, celebrate the trail running culture and community that exists there.

To that end, we initially were supremely lucky to have Malcolm Law on board as our New Zealand editor, charged with curating all that was dirty and good about his beloved homeland. Now, Mal is like Mr. Trail Run in New Zealand and with all his awesome work in raising funds and awareness for mental health, it was inevitable that he’d get too busy and move on to concentrate on more important goals than nutting out another editorial and ferreting out the next local trail guide. But while we had him, damn we were grateful, and we continue to regard him as a founding father of Trail Run Mag (as always listed in the credits!) and support his charity work where we can.

Filling Mal’s big singletrack boots was Vickie Woolley, another notable on the Kiwi trail running scene, she injected her own passion and energy into our pages, and again we are so thankful that she spent a fair number of editions helping curate and write the New Zealand content. Alas, Vickie’s talents have been spotted by greater than us, and she has decided to move on to other projects, including working for trail event crew Total Sport and, we hear, a few other trail running/media related projects – stay tuned for Vickie’s news. We wish her all the best and know that her passion will shine wherever she decides to direct her considerable energies. An inspirational woman who has made her mark on the NZ trail running scene for sure and will continue to do so. Thanks Vickie.

So, we were left with a huge void, and fretted over who could jump on board the good ship Trail Run Mag and continue our collective passion for all things trail running New Zealand. As it happens, via a sliding doors moment, we can now say we have a new New Zealand Trail editor who we think you’ll enjoy reading and who brings as much passion and personality as ever.

While running trails in Victoria, Australia, Wellington-based Kiwi Alan Crowe mentioned to us a trail running writer that he held in high regard, and specifically a blog about runner’s toenails. Well, we read that blog, and straight away knew, she was our kind of trail journo. Thankfully, she obviously felt that Trail Run Mag could be her kind of fun writing outlet, because she signed on to the role of New Zealand Editor.

"The most insincere thumbs up I have ever given" - Tarawera 2014. IMAGE:

“The most insincere thumbs up I have ever given” – Tarawera 2014. IMAGE:

Wellington-based author of the blog My Romance With Running (, Amanda Broughton is from Fiordland in the South Island of New Zealand. She got in to trail running a couple of years ago when she wanted an excuse to go home to see the family without seeming to be visiting them on purpose, so entered the Luxmore Grunt (part of the Kepler Challenge) and became obsessed.

Having views over ocean and mountains, lungs full of sea air, racing rocks and scree down hillsides with blind surgical precision, elbows flapping, and teeth catching sandflies is, Amanda says, when she is in her element.

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Tarawera 2014. IMAGE:

“I’m currently recovering from a little stress fracture, so I’m technically a trail walker but the team at TRM has made an allowance in this case if I keep up a steady supply of Trail Porn. I think their addiction is healthy though, so I’ll do what I can to sate it.”

TRM’s Australian editor, Chris Ord, looks forward to working with Amanda to further uncover the trail glories of New Zealand.

“I still laugh when I think about the effort she went to with her toenail blog – you have to see it as much as read it,” says Chris. “Her humour – and the sheer effort she went to – instantly made me want Amanda on the team. As many readers will know, Trail Run Mag isn’t really like any other running magazine out there. There is no set formula, we just publish whatever intrigues us, and be damned. And to be honest we prefer the abstract, the weird, the off-kilter, the unexpected. Not saying that Amanda herself is any of that…but we’ll be encouraging it wholeheartedly in what she puts into our pages!”

Her sign off on her blog gives insight into her approach to life and trails:

My big hairy audacious goal is to run a 100km Ultra, and win it. Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll have as much renal failure, blistering, chaffing, and muscle necrosis as the person who came first.”

Love it.

Amanda’s job is enviable: cover all the goings on in the NZ trail running community, run trails, review trail gear and seek out those quirky stories to be found out there on the singletrack.

“The NZ content will be Amanda’s baby – she’ll bring fresh approaches and ideas and will, we think, be an awesome curator of everything New Zealand.”

If any readers have any ideas for articles or content feel free to get in touch with Amanda – she especially loves invites to cool trail runs! Amanda’s first edition will be in March (Edition 16), as always available at and you will see her occasionally comment on NZ trail topics on our social media feeds.

its.amandabroughton (at)