The trail running spotlight is on northeast Tasmania's lush wilderness, the site of the newly launched Tassie Trail Fest. Happening from Saturday, 12 to Monday, 14 March 2016, the trail running event will be set on some of Australia's best mountain bike trails.
Gaining fame in mountain biking circles, Derby town has 80 km of newly installed trails weaving through majestic strands of towering forest, moss-covered rockeries and giant fern tunnels. While less technical than rugged mountain routes, mountain biking trails still pose physical challenges for runners and make for one of the best trail running experiences.
Being custom built, they are smooth and 'flowy' for the most part, but that constant undulation, and berm running, really does put a bunch of different forces on the body that even experienced trail runners will find puts the pinch on. Especially on the seventh berm in short succession at 32 kilometres!
—Chris Ord, Tour de Trails event organiser
Run Any Trail You Fancy
Designed for everyone, from children and novices to hardcore trail runners, the three-day festival offers several distances: 44 km Marathon, two 21 km Half Marathon categories, 14 km Day Run, 14 km Night Run, two 6.5 km Runs, a free 2 km Kids Run, and the Derby Dash for Cash Time Trial 2 km.
The Marathon and Half Marathon on Saturday, 12 March takes runners to see incredible shore views of Cascade Dam and the spectacular Paris Dam Wall. Runners can also opt for another Half Marathon route on Sunday, 13 March will take place on the beautiful, if intense, trails at Blue Tier.
If one day or one run isn't enough, there are also All Fest Passes and a Multiday Ultra Madness category, where participants can run every conceivable event! Seasoned runners are welcomed to strive for the "King & Queen of Tassie Trails" title prize of A$500 by entering in the marathon, one of the 14 km runs and the Dash for Cash.
Celebrate Trail Running Like Never Before
Other highlights in the three-day event include running seminars, the Trails in Motion Film Festival and live entertainment.
Tasmanian local trail running heroine and elite athlete Hanny Allston will present a seminar on training and nutrition, while fellow elite runner Mathieu Dore will present a masterclass on strength and conditioning for runners.
The Tassie Trail fest will round up with the 2 km Time Trail on Monday, which event director Chris Ord says is "something that can be done on a hangover fuelled by a morning BBQ".
The focus on fun is specifically to be inclusive of runners of all abilities while also celebrating the trail running lifestyle and the amazing trails on offer across Tasmania and in Derby in particular.
We believe that the Tassie trail fest will quickly become an iconic trail event for Tasmania and indeed Australia.
Runners are encouraged to enter early and, importantly, arrange accommodation in Derby or surrounding towns, as it is limited.
There will also be a free walk-in-walk-out standing camp available in town with tents, cots and mattresses. Facilities are limited so book them early once online reservations for the camp open in January 2016.
Register before 20 December!
Get a free 'Run Like A Tiger' event T-shirt if you enter by 20 December 2015.
Registration fees start from A$15 for the Derby Dash for Cash Time Trial 2 km Run. Sign up for the any of the 6.5 km runs for A$20, or the 14 km Day Run or Night Run for A$45. Half Marathon sign-ups are currently priced at A$80 and Marathon entry costs A$130. The 2 km Kids Run is free and sign up is on the day itself.
Multi-race adrenaline junkies can take up these challenges (each valued up to AS335):
- King & Queen of Tassie Trails category for A$220,
- All Fest Pass for A$220, or
- Multiday Ultra Madness for A$180
If you don't wish to run but want to attend any of the social gatherings – the Trails in Motion Film Fest, live music celebrations, or the running seminars – you can still do so for just A$20.
Visit the Tassie Trail Fest website for more details.