After successfully (and rather brightly) lighting up the Surf Coast in its inaugural outing last year, the unique Black Diamond Afterglow Night Trail Run is back again to shine a night light on the Surf Coast Walk.
This year the twilight-night trail run is adding a 12km outing to the traditional half marathon (21km) distance, to further entice those new to trail running, to the Surf Coast or to night running to enjoy a journey into the “beautiful blackness”, as Race Director (and TRM AU Editor, #disclaimerdone), Chris Ord dubs it.
“There’s something special about running when the sun is just setting and you experience the full spectrum of daylight ebbing into night – the deep blues and purples and the way the environment changes its hues – it’s a special experience, especially on the Surf Coast with the ocean at your shoulder the whole way,” says Chris, adding: “And especially when you’re running with hundreds of others dressed in garish fluorescent yellow get ups and you’re running to the beat of a troupe of African Drummers, or you crest a hill to the chest-puffing melody of a Phil Collins number being played by a live saxophonist!”
The references of on trail playfulness characterise the Black Diamond Afterglow event, one that gained instant popularity with its glow in the dark thematics and retro, eighties – some would say bad taste – sense of fashion on the trails.
“Afterglow is about having fun, dressing up, enjoying a special running experience in a context that creates a vibe unlike any other trail running event. Even when the serious runners turn up – like Olympian Craig Mottram did last year – they get into the playful spirit. Even Craig wore a frog headlamp on his head, not something he would have done at the Olympic or Commonwealth Games!” notes Chris.
Mottram still clocked a handy time of 1:18:28 for his half marathon win in 2014, notching a significantly hard-to-beat target time for those runners still wanting to have a go.
“That’s a handy 3:44 minutes per kilometre average which on trail and lugging a frog on your head is impressive,” says Chris. “But really, Afterglow isn’t so much about speed, it’s about encouraging people to enjoy the Surf Coast Walk at twilight, and in general to get out and run on trails rather than on the road – especially when it’s night. That’s why we have added a 12km distance this year, so those who aren’t quite up to running half marathon distances can still get out and enjoy the night run with us.”
The 2015 edition of Black Diamond Afterglow Night Runs will take place on Saturday 28 November, with runners beginning at Point Addis (21km) and Southside (12km) and running along the Surf Coast Walk, back into Torquay to finish at Bomboras Kiosk, Fisherman’s Beach (Torquay Angling Club). Logistics have been taken care of by event organisers, with buses shuttling all runners from Torquay to each of the start lines, allowing runners to run back towards their cars parked at the finish line.
The unique event remains Australia’s only night-time half marathon distance trail outing, and will again finish with a carnival-like atmosphere, with retro Surf Coast DJs Soul Mammas along with a Geelong saxophonist playing on course, and ‘glow-themed’ trimmings along the course and at the finish.
ENTRIES ARE OPEN AND LIMITED IN NUMBER so register now to ensure your place.
Afterglow is supported by the Surf Coast Shire via its Major Events Grants, along with Black Diamond Equipment / Sea to Summit, Tailwind Nutrition, Surf Coast Trail Runners, Bomboras Kiosk, The Happy Runner, The Geelong Running Company, Sweet Cheeks, Thir, Kongo Industries, Adventure Types, Tour de Trails and Trail Run Mag.