The Victorian Trail Running Boom Continues

Entries to the hugely popular 2019 Trail Running Series officially opened on Wednesday 24 April at midday. And if early registrations are anything to go by then the series is proving more popular than ever.

The shorter, less arduous series of events is opening the sport of trail running up to everyday runners, or those not quite willing to enter an off-road Ultra marathon event.

And those who usually pound the pavement are being coerced by the official event hashtag—#bitumenisboring.

The annual Trail Running Series consists of five events, from 5KM to 23KM, held near Melbourne, offering participants the choice of short, medium and long courses at each event to suit all abilities.

“Our events are specifically tailored to be achievable by the average runner,” says event director Sam Maffett.

“And we’ve located them all within an hour of an urban centre, so they are accessible, too,” he says, pointing out that many trail-running events are held in the middle of nowhere.

“Which is understandable—part of trail running is about getting into these pristine environments and appreciating them on foot. But we have to provide stepping-stone events.”

The best trail running is on single-track walking and riding trails because they lead into the most pristine and stunning environments.

The Trail Running Series, managed by event management group—Rapid Ascent—will cover single tracks in Plenty Gorge, Smiths Gully, Silvan, Anglesea and Yarra Bend. Participants will run on tracks, dirt roads and fire trails.

Serious trail runners are a bit like marathon or ultra runners. They train hard, are supremely fit and tackle extreme distances and terrain, sometimes over multiple days.

The Trail Running Series is perfect for those seeking a more comfortable tempo, or entry into the trail running community.

The Series returns for a ninth year in 2019. An thrilling Saturday night race returns as the Series finale with some exciting course tweaks, new competitions and a whole lot of bush running on top.

The races attract over 1,200 runners from first timers through to elites who get a real thrill from trail running.

Event manager Sam Maffett said a large appeal of the Series was, “allowing runners to become fully immersed in nature on little known trails, running down fun single tracks that pass through some really scenic landscapes located close to Melbourne.”

Sam’s sentiments are echoed by competitors, “It’s great to have the opportunity to run a race in places like these. It’s the freedom of running through the trails that make it so spectacular,” Sonia O’Sullivan, 2018 series competitor.

“We wanted to create these opportunities for runners to enjoy trail running and the many benefits it can bring to theirs lives—the endorphins, the fitness and health and importantly the friendly social vibes and friendships,” said Maffett.

Further details on The Trail Running Series can be found at the official event website: and don’t forget #bitumenisboring.

2019 Series outline:

Race 1: Sunday 16 June – Plenty Gorge – 6km / 11km / 17km
Race 2: Sunday 14 July – Smiths Gully – 7km / 14km / 18km
Race 3: Sunday 4 August – Silvan, Dandenong Ranges – 7km / 15km / 21km

Race 4: Sunday 22 September – Anglesea – 9km / 15km / 23km
Race 5: Saturday 5 October (Night race) – Yarra Bend – 5km / 10km / 15km

Entries:  Now open at


Facebook: @TheTrailRunningSeries
Instagram: @rapidascent
Twitter: @Rapid_Ascent

Event Hashtag: #trailrunningseries #bitumenisboring