Surf Coast looks to trail run century

Over two thousand runners are making the journey to Anglesea on the Great Ocean Road this weekend (3-4 September) for a true trail running festival weekend.

The Surf Coast Century is one of Australia’s iconic ultra marathons featuring 100km solo, 50km solo and 100km relay team events, as well as incorporating the Australian 100km Trail Running Championships. Surf Coast Century - By Matt Hull-30

The action begins on Friday night with the fun 2km Kids Run, continues with the Surf Coast Century on Saturday, starting and finishing at Anglesea, Victoria, and culminates on Sunday with the fourth race of the HOKA ONE ONE Trail Running Series.

This is the fifth year of the Surf Coast Century which has built a reputation as one of Australia’s must-do trail running events.

Defending champion and two time winner of the Surf Coast Century Kellie Emmerson from Melbourne who claimed the prestigious National Title last year in a record-breaking performance of 9hrs, 18min said she was very much looking forward to getting down to the Surf Coast for the event.

“Running the Surf Coast Century over the past two years I’ve learned a lot about myself and my training. After conquering 100km, my perspective changed forever.  I can’t wait to bring some more knowledge back this year,” Emmerson said.Surf Coast Century - By Matt Hull - high resolution-198

“I spent my childhood holidays on the Surf Coast so I kind of feel like it is my home turf. I’m so excited to be coming back to defend my title! This is one of my favourite races, bringing together my love of the beach and the bush.

“I love the beauty of the trails and the challenge of the distance, and even more importantly, the community.”

Runners are travelling from around Australia and increasingly overseas to experience the spectacular landscape the region has to offer and for the ultimate satisfaction of completing such an event.

Leading the field in the men’s event will be 2013 champion Ben Duffus from Brisbane, 2015 runner-up Ross Hopkins (Mansfield), and New Caledonia’s Oswald Cochereau. Daniel Borquez Bastias of Chile who is currently travelling in Australia will also pose a challenge at the pointy end of the field.

“I’ve never been to the Surf Coast but I’ve heard it’s a beautiful place, so I am excited to get to know it,” Bastias said.

“I’ve heard a lot about the Surf Coast Century, it’s a classic here in Australia. Mt Buller

“I try to position myself within the top ten, then amid the race I start passing competitors, since being in the top three is a tremendous pressure, I always leave this for the final stage.

“I am feeling good, relaxed, I’ve been working on physical strength and I have been training a lot in the Blue Mountains.”

Bastias is hoping to compete in as many races as possible in the world, including the Surf Coast Century, Ultra Trail, Mt Buffalo and races in Nepal and Tarawera.

“There are many top end competitions in Australia and I want to be in all of them. I’ve been traveling solo for many years and I like it; going to different races is a good way to meet people with the same interests and passion as me.”Surf Coast Century - By Matt Hull - high resolution-135

The Surf Coast Century is considered to be an ideal event for those tackling their first ultra marathon. The course is challenging yet achievable, event logistics are easy and the event vibe is very supportive.

The course design is a figure eight with Anglesea being the start, half way point, finish and the event hub. This enables great spectator access the whole way around which lends itself to a really supportive event atmosphere.

There is no other 100km course like it in the world; located on Victoria’s beautiful Surf Coast and Great Ocean Road region, the scenery is second-to-none. From towering sea cliffs to amazing tree ferns, competitors will run past lighthouses, waterfalls, scenic lookouts, famous surf beaches, remote wilderness and almost everything in between.Ellie_Emmerson

Those who compete in the HOKA ONE ONE Trail Running Series also get a taste of what the coast has to offer as they run across 7km, 15km and 23km of trails in Race 4.

Each of the five events in The Series include short, medium and long course races offering plenty of carefree, smile-inducing running through some magnificent natural landscapes all within an hour drive of Melbourne.

To find out more about the events visit and


  • When: – Friday 2nd September 2016 (Kids Run)
    – Saturday 3rd September (Surf Coast Century 50km and 100km)
    – Sunday 4th September (HOKA ONE ONE Trail Running Series Race 4)
  • Where: Start/Finish in Anglesea, Victoria – Great Ocean Road. Event Expo: Anglesea Riverbank Park
  • What: 8km, 15km & 23km trail runs, 100km and 50km ultra trail runs
  • How: Do the 100km or 50km solo; or the 100km in a Relay Team of 2 or 4 people.
  • Who: Elite runners from Australia and overseas, through to those tackling their first ultra marathon, groups of friends and corporate groups – all welcome.
  • Entries: Online at until 8am Wednesday 31st August. Online entries have closed for the Surf Coast Century (on-the-day entries available for all events).


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Trail runners light up Surf Coast


The Surf Coast in Victoria is set to glow, glitter and glam it up with an announcement that the Black Diamond Afterglow Night Trail Run will return on Saturday 26th November, 2016, attracting up to 700 runners attired in their disco ball best.

Sporting everything from bad-taste tight-and-bright leotards (that’s just the blokes) to glow-in-the-dark costumes, runners will shine their night lights on the Surf Coast Walk, choosing to run either a 21km or a 12km route, both finishing in Torquay.

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Last year the event proved such a hit with serious and fun runners alike, that it doubled competitor numbers from its inaugural outing, breaking down the perceptions of trail running as a hardcore, mountain-staged pursuit, and re-casting it as a fluorescent family outing.

“The trail running is some of the best, most accessible to be found in the state,” says co-race director and Torquay resident, Peri Gray. “But what we love the most is the vibe created when hundreds of runners compete more vigorously to see who can dress the brightest – or most inappropriately – than they compete to win the run!”

“Watching a wave of florescent diving into the bushy singletrack at the start line at Point Addis is a sight to behold,” says Gray, who expects this year’s crowd to pump up the volume of their run attire to new volumes.

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Runners will again be greeted on course with plenty of entertainment to help the kilometres pass, including saxophonists, a didgeridoo player playing in the sand dunes and eighties DJs appropriately spinning retro funk tunes.

“We purposely theme our event way over the top to provide a different running and very social experience,” says Gray. “It’s one welcoming of runners new to the trail, or indeed to running!“

While most enter the Afterglow Night Trail Runs for fun and frivolity, those at the pointy end still prove handy on the hop, with Olympian Craig Mottram still holding the half marathon Afterglow course record, sitting just over 1 hour 18 minutes.

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Australia’s only night-time half marathon distance trail outing will take place on 26th November. Details and entry at:

Afterglow is supported by the Surf Coast Shire via its Major Events Grant Program, along with Black Diamond, Tailwind Nutrition, Surf Coast Trail Runners, Bomboras Kiosk, The Happy Runner, Torquay Sports Medicine Centre, The Geelong Running Company, Kongo Industries, Adventure Types, Tour de Trails and Trail Run Mag.

Mt Buller


It was fluorescent lights at 100 paces plus on the Surf Coast in Victoria on the weekend, with a sell-out 500 runners glamming it up for the unique event that is the Black Diamond Afterglow Night Trail Run.

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Sporting everything from bad-taste tight-and-bright leotards (and that was just the blokes) to glow-in-the-dark costumes that would have Cyndi Lauper or Boy George smiling with inspirational pride, runners shone their night lights on the Surf Coast Walk, choosing to run either the 21km course or the 12km route.

More than doubling numbers from its inaugural outing last year, the Black Diamond Afterglow Night Trail Run proved a hit with serious and fun runners alike, the latter vibe being the dominant take-away in an event that has broken the mould of a traditionally hardcore, mountain-staged pursuit.

“It was a real sight, watching the first batch of runners disappear down the trail at Point Addis, a wave of florescent diving into the bushy singletrack at Addiscot Beach,” said Race Director, Chris Ord from Tour de Trails, a running event and tour company based on the Surf Coast.151129 Afterglow Samuel Costin 0123

This year the twilight-night trail run added a 12km outing to the traditional half marathon (21km) line-up, to further entice those new to trail running. Runners were greeted on course with plenty of entertainment to help the kilometres pass, including two saxophonists, a troupe of African drummers, a didgeridoo player playing in the sand dunes and two DJ’s appropriately dubbed the Soul Mamas, spinning the eighties decks at the finish line.

“We purposely theme our event way over the top and out there to provide a different running and social experience,” says Chris. “It’s one very welcoming of runners new to the trail, or indeed to running! The most consistent feedback we get is how happy everyone is to be there, dressed in their glowing best, and the vibe that comes out of that being so easy and welcoming for people. “

Hundreds of runners got into that vibe with plenty of effort going into their retro, eighties – some would say bad taste – fashion on the trails, with the event gaining its own ‘mascot’ this year in the form of a ‘trail running rainbow unicorn’ as sighted on the official event tshirt (and by others somewhat dubiously actually out on trail).151129 Afterglow Samuel Costin 0492

While most ran for fun and frivolity, the winner Francesco Ciancio still clocked a handy time of 1:23:40 for his half marathon win, only five minutes shy of last year’s Olympian winner, Craig Mottram. In second place was Birregurra (Vic) local Steven Page (1:29:40) followed by Colac (Vic) resident, David Lipman (1:31:54).

In the women’s a Torquay (Surf Coast, Vic) local took line honours, with Renee Lane – fresh from a stellar third place in an international Japanese marathon and first place in the Great Ocean Road Marathon – taking the win in a time of 1:36:34. Her performance was enough to also deliver her fifth place overall (male or female). Behind Lane was fellow Surf Coaster, Loretta McGrath (Torquay, 1:41:19) and in third Wendy McAlpine (Sandringham, Vic, 1:42:49).

The 12km saw both blistering outfits and blistering times, with the women taking it to the men. While the first place getter was Kevin Chisolm (55:51), second overall (and first female) was Geelong’s Aleara Wallace (1:00:00). Andrew McDowell was second male, third overall (1:00:53) while Danni Rogan, from Truganina, Vic, scored second female and fourth overall (1:01:38). Third male was Paul Dickson (Geelong, 1:03:15) with Di Jorgensen (Clifton Springs, 1:07:05) registering third female in the 12km.151129 Afterglow Samuel Costin 1117

Special mention goes to a quartet of 12 year olds, including Isabella, neice of Jan Juc, Surf Coast, local Maggie Bufe who along with her three friends Ava, Chloe and Isabella, took on the 12km course.

Says Isabella’s Aunt Maggie: “Isabella found the event online and as I live in Jan Juc thought it would be fun to do with her friends.  They all love to run.  Her mother, brother and myself all cheered them on from the sidelines.  They had a ball and all achieved fantastic results, especially for their age group Under 20s.”

Isabella Bufe was 1st female in her division with Chloe Joubert 3rd, Ava Lansell 4th and Isabella Mangano 5th. Notably they all ran an extended 13km course, a fun option for 12km runners who wanted to run longer to see the didgeridoo player in the sand dunes.151129 Afterglow Samuel Costin 0416

“Isabella did extremely well, having never run 13km before,” says Maggie. “She finished 10th overall and 4th female overall with a time of 1:08:15.

The unique event remains Australia’s only night-time half marathon distance trail outing, and will take place again in 2016, on 26th November.

All results for the race are available at:

Afterglow is supported by the Surf Coast Shire via its Major Events Grants, along with Black Diamond, Tailwind Nutrition, Surf Coast Trail Runners, Bomboras Kiosk, The Happy Runner, The Geelong Running Company, Kongo Industries, Adventure Types, Tour de Trails and Trail Run Mag.

TOUR DE TRAILS’ next event is the inaugural three-day Tassie Trail Fest in Derby, Tasmania. Check it out HERE.


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Trail Run Mag Edition 18

Records smashed at Surf Coast Century

It was a record breaking day at the 2015 Surf Coast Century ultra trail run in Anglesea on Saturday 19 September with the men’s, women’s and relay team course records all broken.

First over the finish line in the 100km event was team Love the Run, taking line honours for the third year in a row and setting a new course record of just 7hrs,15.41. That set the tone for the day.Ellie_Emmerson

Paul Munro from Melbourne paced himself brilliantly for the first 75km to creep to the lead in the final leg and finish strongly, winning the 100km in 8hrs,17.08. He broke the previous individual course record by over 8 minutes, which had been set by Rowan Walker in the first year of the event in 2012.

“I was seeded number one today which added a bit of pressure but I ran the whole way and was feeling pretty good. I made sure my stops were quick and just kept moving through.

It wasn’t until a couple of k’s to go that I realised I was in the running for the course record so I tried to push a bit harder to see if I could break it and I’m really happy with how it all went today.

It’s great to have such a large field here and thanks to everyone for all the encouragement along the course, especially my partner Anna and other support crew members. It’s such a great atmosphere here at the finish,” said Paul Munro.

Behind Munro was Ross Hopkins from Mansfield in 8hrs,44.40 – who improved on his fifth placing in 2014 – and then third male (fourth overall individual runner) was Michael Rathjen, a newcomer to the event, who finished in 9hrs,21.25.

Kellie Emmerson, last year’s female winner and current women’s course record holder, stole the show. She was untouchable as she powered through the 100km, absolutely blowing the rest of the field away. She set a new women’s course record in a smashing time of 9hrs,18.15, finishing 11 minutes faster than last year and nearly an hour ahead of her nearest rival. Not only that, she also finished third overall individual in the 100km, a fantastic feat.Paul_Munro_2

She was overcome with joy and swamped by friends at the finish line.

“Everyone has been amazing with the support on course, especially my crew, you’re awesome,” said Kellie Emmerson.

Amy Lamprecht from Tasmania finished second to Emmerson in a repeat of last year’s results. Lamprecht finished in 10hrs,10.07 with Marlene Lootz from Western Australia rounding out the top three in a time of 10hrs,40.30.

This year the event also incorporated the Australian 100km Trail Running Championships under the guidance of the Australian Ultra Running Association.

Paul Munro and Kellie Emmerson have rightly claimed the prestigious National Titles following their stellar Surf Coast Century performances.Larapinta strip

In total, over 800 runners competed in the Surf Coast Century, across the 100km solo, 50km solo and the 100km relay team events.

The race started at sunrise on the Anglesea Main Beach with runners enjoying a stunning course consisting of bush and 4WD trails, flowing single track, sandy beaches, coastal headlands and breathtaking cliff top trails with seemingly endless views across the Great Ocean Road region.

The 50km half century included legs 1 and 2 of the course which took runners on a loop from Anglesea to Torquay along the beach and then back again via the coastal hinterland trails and Surf Coast Walk. New Caledonian runner Cocherau Oswald took the field by surprise and won the event in just 3hrs,33.03. In second was Tim Oborne from Queensland and then Fergus Koochew.Surf_Coast_Century_Leg_1

In the women’s event nobody stood a chance against former World Orienteering Champion Hanny Allston from Tasmania who had a clear win in 3hs,43.56. Behind Allston was Karen Sharman and in third was another visiting New Caledonian, Plaire Angelique.

The second half of the 100km course featured more single track and bush trails as runners took a second loop from Anglesea to Moggs Creek, and returning to Anglesea via the coastal trails and surf coast beaches.

The course received rave reviews from competitors.

“It’s the first 100km I’ve ever run and I’m really stuffed. I loved it. The course was awesome, just a mix of everything. The beach at the start at sunrise… it doesn’t get any better than that. It was a perfect morning. Then you go off into this awesome single trail for the next 50km which is just unbeatable as you snake in and out. Then the run home past Aireys Lighthouse is picture perfect, it’s the Great Ocean Road on a plate really,” said Michael Rathjen.

Many runners finished in the dark with just a head torch to light their way through the coastal trails. After the many hours on their feet they were treated with fairy lights to guide them back down Anglesea Beach and through the finish arch to the crowd of loving family and friends waiting to cheer them home.Mt Buller

Brendan Soetekouw, a member of the local Surf Coast Trail Runners, finished after sunset in a time of 13hrs,48.24.

“It was awesome. I had a tough day, particularly on Leg 2 and I really had to refocus and start afresh for Leg 3. It’s such a mental effort but the body held up alright so I couldn’t be happier.


Male 100km solo
1. Paul Munro 08:17:08
2. Ross Hopkins 08:44:40
3. Michael Rathjen 09:31:25

Female 100km solo
1. Kellie Emmerson 09:18:15
2. Amy Lamprecht 10:10:07
3. Marlene Lootz 10:40:30

Male 50km solo
1. Cochereau Oswald 03:33:03
2. Tim Oborne 04:08:50
3. Fergus Koochew 04:14:00

Female 50km solo
1. Hanny Allston 03:43:56
2. Karen Sharman 04:32:59
3. Plaire Angelique 04:34:51

Top male team of 2:
Burning Sensation (Grant Hicks and Chris Armstrong) 09:50:48

Top female team of 2:
The Merri-Jigs (Christine Hopkins and Katherine McKean) 09:42:12

Top male team of 4:
Love the Run 07:15:41
(Campbell Maffett, Agustin Scafidi, Tim Bryant and Aidan Rich)

Top female team of 4:
Licorice Legs 09:14:18
(Michelle Keogh, Bernadette Dornom, Sharon Hanna and Eiblin Fletcher)

Top mixed team of 4:
Surf Coast Mammas 13:21:36
(Sally Connor, Denise Satti, Annella Chambers and Anita Nichols)

This is the fourth year of the Surf Coast Century and it has really developed a strong reputation amongst the Australian and international trail running community. Approximately 130 runners came from interstate or overseas for this year’s event and this number is expected to increase again in 2016 as again, it will host the Australian Titles.

For the full event results visit


Trail Guide: Waterfall Loop, Vic

TRAIL GUIDE >> Lorne Waterfall Loop, Victoria, AU


They call it the Noosa of the South…the vibrant seaside town of Lorne on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. But turn away from the beautiful beaches and head inland where you will find a wonderland of singletrack criss-crossing through stunning sections of rainforest, fern fringed hillsides, babbling creeks and giant waterfalls. You can link them together a few ways, but here’s an open jaw loop run that has become our favourite.DSC01163

NAME: Lorne Waterfall Loop
NEARBY TOWN/CITY: Lorne (5 minutes from start); Melbourne 145km / 2 hours
EXACT LOCATION: Shorter trail begins at She Oak Picnic Area. Longer run heads from Lorne Main Street south along the coast.

TIME TO RUN: 3-4 hours
Open jaw loop (car shuffle) or full loop

DIFFICULTY: Moderate – great runnability given the technical terrain, but be careful of the slippery rocks encountered in several sections.
DEFINING CHARACTERISTICS: Mostly single track, rainforest fern and eucalypt forest, technical sections matched to lots of fine flowy sections that means you can get on a pace and maintain it for big sections, while the break up bits of creek crossings and rocks give good breather points. FEATURES OF INTEREST: numerous waterfalls, swimming spots, huge ferns, creeks, Erskine Falls is the biggest (but most crowded) falls en route. Check the natural rock slide garden about 500 metres just prior to the finish, on the left.


  1. You’ll need to car shuffle this one, although if you’re running solo and happy with a longer stretch, you can run (mostly on trail) out to the nominated start of this at She Oak Picnic Area. Or for shufflers, it is a five minute drive up Allenvale Road, which leads off behind Lorne.
  2. The suggested full loop (no car shuffle) run adds on at least 7km, and has you running out of town coasteering south to eventually picking up the trail inland at St Georges River. That trail passes the Allenvale Mills site, from where you left up Allenvale Road (dirt) to She Oak Picnic Area (the shufflers’ start)
  3. If you are limited for time or just happy with the 24km distance, leave a car in Lorne, and drive another to the She Oak Car Park.
  4. From the car park there is a trail leading north down over a bridge and towards Henderson Falls and The Canyon (signposted).
  5. The trail shortly hits the Allenvale Road (200 metres in), crossing over and take the trail left uphill another 150 metres before crossing Sharps track. Stay on the singletrack as it sidles down to Won Wondah Falls (small, 50 metres off trail) and on to Henderson Falls, an out and back side trip that adds 600 metres, but worth the detour.
  6. From Henderson Falls, track north towards The Canyon – this is a sublime patch of wilderness that has you entering the canyon from the rear, with big rock walls squeezing you eventually through a tight cave-like hole, popping you back onto runnable trail.
  7. From The Canyon it is another 1.2km to reach Phantom Falls. A good refresher stop or even swim spot.
  8. From Phantom Falls, it is another 800 metres to a road crossing (Ada Dam Car Park) before you are pushed into a 5.5km stretch of jungle trail that while mostly runnable, does have umpteen creek crossings as you weave back and forth across Cora Lynn Creek. This is a magical part of the run where you feel truly remote as you slowly climb up into a gorge that ends at Cora Lynn Cascades, a stunning set of falls.
  9. A short steep climb and a signposted left hand turn off the main ascent trail brings you out at Erskine Falls Road.
  10. Cross directly over following the singletrack another 2.5km from the road on a sweet, fast and flowy section through fern and eucalypt country spitting out at the Erskine Falls Car Park. This is the only section you may have to share the trails with crowds, given the easy car access and picturesque nature of the Falls.
  11. Drop down the steep stone stairs to the base of the waterfall, check it out from the viewing platform, before continuing downstream, along Erskine River, being careful on the upper sections as the rocks are super slippery.
  12. After scrambling and rock hopping about 1km or so, the trail stretches out into a super runnable and fast downhill (mostly), following the course of the river past Straw Falls and Splitter Falls, and on down to finish near the Lorne Caravan Park and within cooee of a bazillion coffee, cakes, lunches and all kinds of fine foodie fare. But first, a dip in the ocean – it’s only a few hundred metres away…

This is Lorne. Café culture central on the south-west coast of Victoria, so take your pick. But we’ll say have a crack at the burgers and milkshakes (and decent coffee) at The Milk Bottle, or next door’s Kaos is also a cheery eatery with good servings of carbohydrates.


Taste of Lorne 800

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