Brooks Running has bolstered its support for the trail running community with the announcement that it has confirmed a partnership to inaugurate the Brooks Trail Run Festival taking place in Victoria on 9-11 March, 2013.
The announcement comes atop news that two of Australia’s best known adventure runners, Richard Bowles and Samantha Gash, have also been appointed as official ambassadors.The pair have both recently come off record-breaking runs, Bowles recently completing the double of being the first to run Australia’s Bicentennial National Trail and New Zealand’s Te Araroa Track, a combined total of more than 8,000km.
Samantha Gash, a Brooks-supported runner known for being the youngest and first female to complete all of the 4Deserts multiday adventure runs, most recently became the youngest Australian to run non-stop across the Simpson Desert, battling sleep deprivation and dingo packs in the name of charity.
Both runners have big expeditions planned in the near future, but will first line up for the inaugural Brooks Trail Run Festival. The pair will be among many vying to become the first inaugural King and Queen of the Mountain, a quest that will see competitors run a total of 57km over three days, beginning with a marathon from the historic gold mining township of Walhalla and finishing on Mt Baw Baw.
They will then choose from a 12km daytime run or a 12km night time run the following day, wrapping up with two short, technical 1.5km ‘free mountain’ runs on the public holiday Monday morning.
Other competitors may cherrypick from the half marathon, one of the 12km events or a five kilometre fun run/walk in which children, families and those new to trail running are encouraged to join the singletrack action.
“The festival line-up is a great concept,” says Bowles, who usually avoids competitive races, but considers the long weekend outing more of an adventure that happens to be organized with live music at the finishline.
“The marathon route is bound to be an instant classic and a must-do on the trail running scene, being the majority of it runs along the iconic Australian Alpine Walking Track,” says Bowles. “I’ve already run the course as a recce and it is a simply stunning course that really puts you smack in quintessential Aussie wilderness. Of course, the difference from my usual expedition runs is that at Mount Baw Baw there’s a spa, restaurant, bar and comfy bed waiting for me at the end!”
For her part, Samantha Gash is looking forward to the festival atmosphere and entertainment between events as much as the runs themselves, with a film night and trail specific information sessions planned.
“In particular it will be interesting to see who shows for the short, sharp free mountain runs, which puts people smashing down a 1.5km technical course over obstacles and a 400-metre descent. Talk about fast and furious. And then, after a short rest, they have to run back up it again – it adds a whole new dimension that we haven’t seen on the Australian trail running circuit before,” said Sam, who will back up her on course efforts with an inspirational talk and Q&A session.
Gash will have some stiff competition for her tilt at Queen of the Mountain with news that Victorian gun trail runner Nikki Wynd will also be on mountain.
Mount Baw Baw’s Events Manager, Grant Seamer, says the festival is specifically designed to cater to all levels of run fitness and aptitude.
“We want to offer something for everyone and build a true celebration of the sport of trail running of the community that has grown up around it in Australia . And we also happen to think that we have some of the best terrain a trail runner could wish for up here, and plenty to do for supporters, friends and family tagging along, so it’ll make for a great weekend outing.
“We’re proud to welcome Richard and Sam to the Baw Baw family and appreciate their involvement given their massive running experience. Richard has already been up a few times to continue his scouting and training on the trails and Sam ran in our Seasons of Pain event a few weekends back, and both have offered great feedback on the pure quality of trail running on the mountain.”
Mount Baw Baw is putting on a free return bus service from Melbourne CBD, stopping at major eastern suburban centres en route to the mountain on the Friday afternoon prior to the event weekend.
“We want to make it as easy as possible to get to the event and also create a unique social vibe where people share their experiences and love of trail running.”
Entries are now open at:
The full festival line up includes:
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)
>> Film Premiere: 100 Reasons – Running The North Face 100.
Sunday 10 March
>>12km trail run
>>5km fun run/walk
>>12km night trail run
>>presentations, information and technique sessions to be announced.
Monday 11 March
>>1.5km downhill mountain run
>>1.5km uphill mountain run
Baw Baw Alpine Resort will be offering a FREE bus service from Melbourne CBD on Friday afternoon stopping at the following locations on the way to Baw Baw! Seats are limited. If runners would like to take advantage of this please add the FREE BUS to your entry order online. The bus will return on Monday afternoon after presentations. Stopping at: Southern Cross Station + Caulfield Station + Dandenong Station + Warragul Station + Trafalgar Station + Traralgon Station. Timings to be confirmed.
For inquiries please call: (03) 5165 1136