2018 Trail Running Series concludes with a spectacular night race
The trails came alive at Yarra Bend on Saturday night with the glow of head torches, glow sticks and bright funky outfits as 700+ runners took part in the final, night time race of the Trail Running Series presented by The North Face.
The night race on Saturday evening was the 5th and final race of the 2018 series and is unique by being the only one held in darkness with runners lighting up the trail with their head torches as they go. Held between the months of June through to October, the Trail Running Series has truly captured the essence of trail running, with a welcoming atmosphere, mix of short distance races, and a range of breathtaking wilderness locations all within one hour of Melbourne. Each event included a short course race between 5km and 7km, a medium course race of between 10km and 15km, and along course race starting at 15km, through to 23km.
Kicking off the 2018 Series was Race 1 at Westerfolds Park, Templestowe in June which, although held in pouring rain, got the series off to a terrific start with runners revelling in the off-road conditions. Race 2 was held at Smiths Gully in the Yarra Valley in July where runners were faced with varied running through farm, bush and parkland and some great views to the city.
Race 3 took place at Silvan in the Dandenongs in August and is the hilliest, but also the most popular race of the series as runners pass through towering Mountain Ash and age-old tree ferns. Race 4 headed to the Surf Coast at Anglesea in September which is in conjunction with the Surf Coast Century 100km Ultra Marathon and included some magnificent running at low tide below the mighty coastal cliffs of Demon's Bluff.
Race 5 rounded out the Series on Saturday 6 October (last night) which was held on a picture-perfect Melbourne evening and can be only be described as a 'glowing' celebration, as hundreds of trail runners donned head torches and experienced the thrill of night racing, conducted along the flowing trails of Yarra Bend.
Each of the daytime races attract approximately 1,100 runners and is widely regarded as the largest and most popular trail running series in Australia and New Zealand with many repeat competitors across the series' 8 year history.
Participants Jessica Curnow and Renee Drysdale were all smiles this year; "I love this Series! I love the chill (you sure know you're alive), the scenery (that I would not see if I didn't run), the feeling of achievement, but most of all the kindness and comradery that is shown out on the trail," said Curnow. "To me this Series was not only about the effort, the sweat the scenery, but about the people who it gave meaning to, their pleasure being there, brought me pleasure, so I thank you," said Drysdale.
Event manager Sam Maffett said he was thrilled with the enthusiasm amongst the running community over the Series. "What a Series it's been! We've welcomed the return of so many familiar faces and it's inspiring to see so many newcomers to trail running too," said Maffett. "The fresh air and freedom of being on the trails; the sensory experience in the wilderness; the happy smiles; the PB's; the comradery ... they are all highlights for me. "It really is great to see this Series bringing trail running into the lives of so many people over the past eight years, and we thank you for being part of it all."
The Trail Running Series would not be possible without support from The North Face, The HIIT Factory, CLIF Bar, Sunsol 10+ Museli, 32Gi Sports Nutrition, NATHAN, Great Ocean Road Real Estate, Tomato Timing, the Supersport Images crew, dedicated volunteers and support crews.
The 2019 Series will return in June next year with Race #1 on 16th June, Race #2 on 14th July, Race #3 on 4th August, Race 4 returning to Anglesea on 22nd September and the Night race on 5th October - stay tuned for announcements via the website www.TrailRunningSeries.com.au and the Facebook Community Page - @ TheTrailRunningSeries.
Further details on The Trail Running Series can be found at the event website at www.TrailRunningSeries.com.au with entries now open for these five popular events.
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