A newly launched trail marathon will shine the spotlight on Victoria’s stunning Surf Coast Walk, with runners being enticed off road by a course that takes in impressive coastal scenery, including a short run along world-famous Bells Beach.
The inaugural Surf Coast Trail Marathon will take place on Saturday, 28 June, 2014, with marathon runners starting at Torquay, an hour south west of Melbourne, and finishing 42.2km further west on the beaches of Fairhaven, located on the world-renowned Great Ocean Road.
There is also a half marathon course being offered, beginning from Point Addis, and a relay team option allowing two runners to complete half of the marathon course each.
“This is the perfect event for any kind of runner eyeing off one of the two quintessential running distances,” says Chris Ord, from trail running tour company, Tour de Trails, which will manage the event. DISCLOSURE: Chris is also the Australian editor of Trail Run Mag.
“For road marathoners, it offers a first taste of what trail running is about, without being intimidating as it is a relatively non-technical, non-remote, non-mountainous course. For experienced trailites, the route still features stunning wilderness with coastal viewpoints and it represents a truly go-fast course with plenty of twists and singletrack turns.”
The event is expected to attract both the trail running and road running fraternity along with Ironman/woman and triathlete competitors looking for a target run in their off-season.
“This is an inclusive run where the inspiration is more about participation and enjoyment than winning, per se. It’s all about celebrating the trail running lifestyle and the fact that we are lucky enough to have such beautiful trails at our doorstep to run on.”
From iconic Bells Beach to the clifftops of Point Addis and Anglesea and on to Split Point lighthouse at Aireys Inlet, Chris believes that the course will become renowned for the sheer experience of journeying through the unique Surf Coast environment.
“We thought that a run along the Surf Coast Walk, encapsulating its entire length from Torquay to Fairhaven, was a good way to highlight just how good the walk itself is. Hopefully runners and their supporters will come back to the coast to enjoy it again and again,” says Chris, who believes his home region offers up some of the best non-alpine trail running in the state.
He notes that the Surf Coast has already been put on the trail running map by established trail running events the likes of the Surf Coast Century Ultra, Bells Bash, Tim Gates Memorial Run and the Roo Run in Anglesea.
The Surf Coast Trail Marathon will benefit local organisations with a percentage of each entry fee going towards three Surf Coast beneficiaries, including the Fairhaven Surf Lifesaving Club, where the event finishes, and the Anglesea Primary School.
“I wanted to ensure locals benefited,” says Chris. “My daughter goes to the Anglesea primary school and they are constantly having to put on fundraisers to pay for things like teachers aides, school garden food programs and the like. I wanted to do my bit. And the Fairhaven Surf Lifesaving Club has been kind enough to host us at the finish line, and they do amazing work keeping the beaches safe in summer – they deserve to be supported, too.”
Some funds will also go back into supporting the trail and environs via the Great Ocean Road Coastal Committee.
Entries have opened for the Surf Coast Trail Marathon and can be purchased through ticketing partner Eventbrite at www.surfcoasttrailmarathon.com.au.
Runners can stay in touch on Facebook at www.facebook.com/surfcoasttrailmarathon
What: Surf Coast Trail Marathon, 42.2 + 21.1km off road marathon
Where: Surf Coast Walk, Torquay – Fairhaven, Surf Coast Shire, Victoria
When: Saturday 28 June, 2014
The Surf Coast Trail Marathon is supported by the Surf Coast Shire, Patagonia, The Running Company (Geelong), Runners Kitchen, Kongo Industries, Lisa Tamati Bespoke Jewellery, Adventure Host, Adventure Types, Trail Run Mag, Tour de Trails and Eventbrite.
DISCLOSURE: The inaugural Surf Coast Trail Marathon is being sponsored by Trail Run Mag and its publisher, Adventure Types, and in part is has been created by Trail Run Mag Australia editor, Chris Ord.