October 27, 2022

Environmental run

The Friends of the Eastern Otways will use a large donation from organisers of the Surf Coast Century ultra-marathon to develop a digital guide to the region’s bush walks. Torquay-based  after more than 1,000 competitors last month took on courses of between 50km and 100km along coastal trails and beaches of the Great Ocean Road in the 11th edition of the event.

Rapid Ascent general manager Sam Maffett said the donation was one step the company and its stakeholders wanted to take to show support for the work done by the Friends of Easter Otways in the course area. “We wanted to help visitors understand just how special this area is and how we need to take care of it.

“We highly value the natural environment where we run, walk and live.”

Before the marathon, signs were created and set up along the course that identified wildflowers in that particular area, and others highlighted birds and other fauna that live in the region. Similar information was shared with runners in pre-event day booklets to educate them about the unique area and how to help preserve it.

Rapid Ascent is also working at minimising single-use items at their events, as well as cutting the amount of merchandise and “needless give-aways”, Mr Maffett said.

“I think the steps we took this year added a greater depth of experience for those who ran, so they knew more about the hinterland and coastal landscape we often take for granted.”

Friends of the Eastern Otways president Peter Crowcroft thanked the company for its support in promoting the areas unique environmental values and said the addition of signs to the run course were a “positive”.

“This generous donation will facilitate our project to create a digital guide to many local bush walks, including information about the Great Otway National Park's biodiversity and environment,” Mr Crowcroft said.

The 2023 edition of the event is set for September 16 and will again be run in partnership with the Friends of the Eastern Otways.

More event information here.

Surf Coast Times story here.

Photo: A runner during last month’s Surf Coast Century.

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