Trials by Miles doco freeview released

Adventure runner Beau Miles has released his trail running film, Trials by Miles, on You Tube for free viewing. Here he looks back at the adventure he documented…

It was five years ago that I ran, ah, shuffled across the Australian Alps Walking Track. So here I sit, thinking about that wet-dry-dusty-snaky trail in what was seemingly one-long-day, yonks ago.

Setting off from Tharwa ACT at 6:45am on day one and drinking Moet in the Walhalla rotunda 13 days-10 hours later is the longest day I’ve ever felt.

The film splits it up nicely with on screen text, a different shirt (occasionally) and the old sunset-to-sunrise shots. My increasingly swelling right leg, after the first week, put on the weight that the rest of me was losing. It was a compressed experience.

Intense, kilometre-counting, creek counting, sleeping in fits, anxious, excited, overtired. Yet all was fine. A little barked up from all that post bushfire roughage, but ok, and ok means you trot on.

[click on the frame squares bottom right to enlarge screen view]

I travelled slow enough not to fly apart completely, and fast enough to be back at work on time. I’d hate to exaggerate, like we do, because we can, but it was honestly a very doable thing.

Far fitter, stronger shufflers would do it faster, neater, better. But there’s a certain pleasure and ‘whatever’ about doing it as a personal, as well as ornamental ‘first’.

Click away and enjoy my jog across the Australian Alps Walking Track: Trials of Miles.

A dirty art: trail running*

I look at the large format canvas in front of me and ponder.

richard painting in the field

I guess I’m supposed to be pondering the way the artist has captured the light, the technique to be admired in the brushstrokes, what the scene – of a swathe of earth near Tibooburra located at the remote intersection of the Victorian, South Australian and Queensland state borders – makes me feel.

I’ll tell you what it makes me feel: like I want to go run it. I want to jump into that canvas and run through the brushstrokes, explore the terrain the artist has captured for the ‘cultural crowd’ that mills around musing, supping champers, demolishing cheese platters and generally engaging in discourse that has absolutely nothing to do with running whatsoever and is never likely to (judging by the a few of the postures and paunches pontificating around the room).

Anyway, I’m here, in amidst this arty crowd and all I can think of is trail running the lands that the three artists on show have captured. Stick with me here, there’s a parallel between the art world and ours.

One of the artists is revered Gippslander, Gary Miles. His son, Beau, just happens to be the first person to have successfully run the length of the Australian Alpine Walking Trail. He’s the reason I’m here – Beau is showing his film of that feat up at the Brooks Trail Run Fest, happening on Mount Baw Baw, and which I am curating (oh, such an artsy term).  Beau is also tapping back in to his Dad’s talent with his hands, rather than his feet, these coming days as he turns some wood medallions for some of the event winners at Baw Baw.  I happen to be staying at his rural property on the way up the mountain and so I find myself here at the art showing. Beau apologies for dragging me along, but I don’t mind in the slightest.

Screen shot 2013-03-25 at 2.23.18 PMIn the speeches, each artist talks about camping, heading off to explore the landscapes they were there to paint, to ‘experience’ them as a human beings, to discover their ‘essence’ in order to capture it in oil daubs.

All I can think of is that while they experience with a pure purpose to go and bottle that earth up and explode it onto canvas to share, with all their artful perception of it, we trail runners go one step further, to the detriment of the ‘sharing’.

We run it. We don’t bottle it, capture it, represent it or ever try to control its ever-changing light. We are artists of movement through our subject, and the art only ever lasts each split moment, in each distinct step.

We leave our art on the trail (maybe where it belongs?).

Sure, we can talk about it when we get back. I’m now blabbering to anyone who will listen about the light up on the ridges between Mount Erica and Mt St Gwinear after marking the marathon course between Walhalla and Mount Baw Baw.

But can we ever truly show it to anyone, the way an artist can? Can we drag the beauty out of the bush and do any kind of justice to it?

But in that lies magic. The magic of a moment experienced and felt never to be replicated nor, really, shared off trail.

The true art of trail running is to be in that moment. And let it seep onto your inner canvas.

(And then, perhaps, pontificate about that moment to a willing – or glazed eyed – audience. There.  There’s the parallel to the art world.)

Your artsy-fartsy editor, Chris Ord

*This is the AU Ed’s editorial from the latest edition of Trail Run Mag.



Trail run docos get airing at Brooks Trail Run Fest

With a gathering of like minded dirty souls set to happen on Mt Baw Baw Screen shot 2013-02-18 at 9.32.55 PMon March 9-11 for the Brooks Trail Run Festival, it seems only appropriate that two of last year’s biggest runs will feature as the evening entertainment, with only the second ever public screening of adventure runner Beau Miles’ new running film, Trials of Miles: running the Australian Alpine Walking Track slated for the Saturday night.

Miles, a local Noojee resident who grew up in Mt Baw Baw’s backyard, will be in attendance to present his film, which made its debut recently at the Adventure Film Festival in Bright, Victoria.

The documentary depicts his attempt to become the first ever person to run the entire length of the Australian Alpine Walking Track, a route that passes through the Baw Baw National Park and which is a major feature of the festival – the marathon and half marathon distances making full use of its length from Walhalla.

From the synopsis of his film:

“For trail runners, blazers of a new era in running, crossing old landscapes quickly is adding to our go-everywhere running feet. Wild terrains, rarely flat and  human-less, are increasingly nourishing the physical cravings and mindful wanderings of the trail runner.

“What was once a slow digestion of place through walking, is now pursued at speed. Beau Miles explores these peripherals through the ‘Trial of Miles’, a beautiful yet anxious first running of the 680km Australian Alps Walking track. Beau completed the run in 13 days 11 hours.”

It’s a beautiful piece of film making by Beau and his coproducer/director Brett Campbell that gives great insight into the realities of running such a long and often times brutal track. Check the screener below for a taster and get along to his screening on Saturday 9th March at Mt Baw Baw.

Screen shot 2013-02-18 at 9.31.52 PMAlso screening on the Sunday night following will be the premiere public screening of 100 Reasons: Running The North Face 100, a documentary that follows the journey of a number of first time entrants in what is Australia’s biggest trail run event, The North Face 100. Produced and directed by long time ultra runner Lisa Tamati and Trail Run Mag’s Chris Ord, the film gives insight into the question of why? Why run 100km through some of New South Wales’ most brutal  yet stunning terrain? For this film the answers are provided through the eyes and experiences of  ordinary people who through their journeys give powerful and personal insights into the motivations behind accepting the challenge to run 100km.   

Both films will no doubt offer inspiration to every trail runner on the mountain facing the remaining 12km + 12km night, 5km fun run and 1.5km downhill + 1.5km uphill challenges. Unfortunately, the inspiration will come too late for the marathoners and half marathoners, who will view the films post run (but perhaps be given enough inspiration to run again the next day!).

More info on the Brooks trail Run Festival at:

Check out Trial of Miles teaser below….