Roller coaster along spectacular cliff tops overlooking panoramic views of the surfing mecca that is Torquay and Fairhaven in southwest Victoria, Australia.
Back for its third edition on Saturday, 25 June 2016, the Saucony Surf Coast Trail Marathon is expecting to attract more than 600 participants. Appealing to both trail and road runners, the non-technical race sees several first-time full and half marathoners signing up for the 42+ km or 22 km distances.
Road runners looking for a taste of trail running will like this less intimidating course that is relatively non-technical, non-remote and non-mountainous. Experienced trail runners, too, will appreciate the marathon’s stunning wilderness and fantastic coastal viewpoints. Plus, the go-fast course with plenty of good twists and turns, makes it a great avenue to hit some new personal bests.
Who To Watch
Last year’s race saw record-breaking wins by Australian trail running champions, Kellie Emmerson in the women’s marathon (03:38:31) and Mathieu Dore in the men’s half marathon (01:29:44). This year, Dore is stepping up a rung to attempt a swipe at the marathon crown.
In the men’s marathon, racers will be chasing Brett Coleman’s unbroken record time of 2 hours 58 minutes, set in the inaugural 2014 event. Over in the women’s marathon, Emmerson’s absence due to travel commitments leaves her 3 hours 38 minutes mark record from 2015 to be broken.
Both are impressively quick times given the course is judged by most to be tougher than it looks on paper.
Where You’ll Run
With two beach sections and the undulating nature of the trail, the race, while non-technical, proves to be a test on the legs and lungs.
Of course there’s plenty of coastal beauty to pull you along the course in between. In particular the section from Urquhart’s Beach up to and underneath the towering Split Point Lighthouse I think is a great running section with awesome views.
—Chris Ord, Tour de Trails race organiser
The full marathon begins in Torquay which overlooks Fisherman’s Beach, while the half marathon will flag off from Point Addis beach. Both will trace the exact route of the scenic Surf Coast Walk and finish at Fairhaven.
This year’s event will bring a small, but for many welcome, change with a new finish line.
Traditionally we finish atop the stairs at the Fairhaven Surf Lifesaving Club. And while for many that is a favourite, quirky if tough finish, we have decided to make this year a little ‘easier’ finishing on the sands of Fairhaven Beach – great for sprint finishers and for the finish line photo, given the lighthouse looms on the horizon.
—Chris Ord, race organiser
What Else’s in Store
Another new addition this year is the after-party featuring live music, food and celebratory drinks at Aireys Inlet Pub and local Rogue Wave Brewing Company.
Besides highlighting Surf Coast Walk’s beauty, the Saucony Surf Coast Trail Marathon will continue its tradition of raising funds for Anglesea Primary School.
Last year, $2000 was raised for the local school. The local economy also enjoyed a boost of more than $135,000 in visitor spending during a traditionally quiet period for tourism on the Surf Coast.
Sign Up Now
With a cap on race entries and more than two thirds already sold, you’d want to grab your tickets now! Registration closes on Tuesday, 21 June 2016 at 7:00 p.m. (GMT+10:00).
Entry fees are going for A$135 for the full marathon and A$85 for the half marathon.
To find out more and register online, visit the official Saucony Surf Coast Trail Marathon website.
Need reasons to start trail running? Or perhaps you feel like giving up on your everyday run? Give this half or full marathon a shot and see the transformation when you start being a trailite.