The hugely popular 2019 Trail Running Series will officially launch this Sunday at Plenty Gorge. More than a 1,000 runners will tackle short, medium and long courses on an extensive network of off-road trails criss-crossing the Plenty River valley. These shorter format races are opening up the sport of trail running to everyday runners. And the series is proving a real stepping stone for longer off-road ultramarathon events. Participants this weekend will be coaxing there road running compatriots with the official event hashtag—#bitumenisboring. Many participants find trails to be a far more enjoyable than pounding the pavement in urban areas.
The annual Trail Running Series consists of five events taking place between June and October with distances stretching between 5KM and 23KM. All races are held within a one hour drive of Melbourne including a journey to the coast at Anglesea for Race 3—the day after the Surf Coast Century on September 21.
“Our events are specifically tailored to be achievable by the average runner,” says event director Sam Maffett.
“And part of trail running is about getting into these pristine environments and appreciating them on foot—without having to go to the middle of nowhere. The best trail running is on single-track walking 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. The Series returns for a ninth year in 2019 and concludes with a thrilling night race at Yarra Bend that really gets people pumped! All other events include some exciting course tweaks, new competitions and a whole lot of trail running mixed in.
Bringing runners back to nature and the environment is paramount. “Allowing runners to become fully immersed in nature on little known trails, running down fun single tracks that pass through some really scenic landscapes close to Melbourne is a big thrill,” said Maffett.
Sam’s sentiments are echoed by competitors, “It’s great to have the opportunity to run race in places like these. It’s the freedom of running through the trails that make it so spectacular,” said Sonia O’Sullivan after the 2018 series.
“We wanted to create these opportunities for runners to enjoy trail running and the benefits it can bring to their lives—the endorphins, their fitness and health and importantly the friendly social vibes and friendships,” said Maffett.
Participants are still welcome to register for the race before the action begins at 8.25AM on Sunday. Head to www.TrailRunningSeries.com.au for more information. And don’t forget #bitumenisboring.