June 9, 2022

Trail runners served up surf with their turf

More than 600 eager runners will descend on the Surf Coast on Saturday 18th June, lured seaside by clifftop turf trails and big surf views, a combination that has established the Brooks Surf Coast Trail Marathon as the most infamous winter trail marathon on the Australia running calendar.

In its nine-year history, the event has experienced at least four big swell tides that have lapped at competitors’ feet at points where the Surf Coast Walk route skirts the seaboard.

“It’s also fair to say that a couple of years, the conditions got a little wild and woolly out there, and people got their feet wet,” says Race Director and Anglesea resident, Chris Ord.

“But that’s the beauty and challenge of this particular coastal run – while it takes in the safety, serenity and latte stops of villages such as Torquay, Anglesea and Aireys Inlet, it also features remote, pristine and rather wild stretches of beach and hinterland trails. That’s why our tagline is ‘Run With The Wild Things!’,” says Chris.

The Brooks Surf Coast Trail Marathon features a full marathon (42km) starting at the Salty Dog Café in Torquay and finishing at the Fairhaven Surf Lifesaving Club. It can be completed solo or in teams of two tackling half the distance each. The half marathon (21km) category starts at Point Addis, and finishing at Fairhaven.

“There’s some excellent singletrack especially through Ironbark Forest and down to Point Addis and on the clifftops between Urquharts Beach and Split Point Lighthouse in Aireys. Then there’s some mellow esplanade sections through the townships of Torquay, Anglesea and Aireys.

"The course throws a mixed bag of trail environments at runners across both distances as they run the length of the Surf Coast Walk,” says Chris.

“And yes, there’s the odd stretch of beach, but that includes the famous Bells Beach, which we regard as a hallowed ground – or sand –  to run across. That’s also the point where you will get a sense of what’s ahead – look to how many surfers are out and the size of the waves and you’ll know if you are going to get wet feet or not later down the trail come the Urquhart’s Beach section!

Entries will remain open online until event day. The event also heralds an ‘after-party’ featuring a live eighties cover band strutting their stuff at the Airey’s Pub from 7pm, with everyone welcome.

“The real question is, will runners leave enough in their legs to still get their groove on in the evening?”

Event details here.

Surf Coast Trail Marathon is supported by the Surf Coast Shire and Surf Coast Events via its Major Events Grant Program, along with Brooks Running, Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park, Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority, Tailwind Nutrition, Surf Coast Trail Runners, Melton City Runners, T8, Salty Dog Cafe, The Aireys Pub, Salt Brewing, The Happy Runner, Active Feet Geelong & Ocean Grove, Glimmer Gear, Torquay Sports Medicine Centre.  www.afterglowtrail.com.au

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