With new trail running events popping up in the calendar on an almost weekly basis, it can be hard choosing what to do and which ones to put on the backburner. Plus of course, there’s the old faithfuls that we do year-on-year and just can’t miss out on. It can certainly be hit or miss when choosing to toe the line at a race that doesn’t have a track record. Often the first year of an event is when they iron out issues, learning from their mistakes so future editions are better. But amongst the glut of new arrivals there are always going to be gems, races that have not only got the location and course down pat, but the organisation too. These are the events you see on social media the day after it happened, with people raving about how good it was while sharing epic photos of their adventure. They become the ‘Must do’ of the next year, selling out before you can click the mouse button to confirm your payment.
One such event that I can see this happening with is the Coastal Ascent. I have to admit a small amount of bias, I was born where the event is being held – Newcastle. But that aside, it’s the course and event organisers that make me think this will be the next big thing. Firstly, the team behind Coastal Ascent are incredibly experienced. You know that little event that’s held in September in Sydney each year, the Blackmores Running Festival? Yeah, the one with 37,000 people that run across the Harbour Bridge and finish at the Opera House. Well, if they can manage the logistics behind a monster like that, I reckon they’ll crush race day planning and execution with this event. Secondly, and most importantly in my opinion, the course is on par with the best you’ll find anywhere in the country. It’s both challenging, but achievable for anyone with a bit of tenacity. Completing either the 11km or the 25km will be incredibly rewarding. It offers spectacular views of not only sweeping ocean scenery, but pristine bushland, all within a short drive of Sydney. That brings me to the third thing that I love about this event, the accessibility. It’s so easy to make a weekend of it with family and friends, or just a day trip to escape the city and get your trail fix.
There are few events that have the whole package. Plenty get one thing right, only to let you down elsewhere. But the Coastal Ascent looks to me to be the next big thing in Australian trail running.
Date: April 28th
Location: Merewether Beach, Dixon Park Surf Club
25km – 800m gain
11km – 400m gain
Kids Beach Mile
For more info and entries: https://www.coastalascent.com.au/