Event: 2015 Afterglow Twilight Trail Half Marathon
Date: Saturday the 28th November 2015
Location: Torquay, Victoria
Organised by: Tour De Trails
I had been looking at the Afterglow trail half marathon last year but it just did not fit into the calendar, so as soon as the 2015 date was announced it was penciled into the calendar. I registered in the second wave for those who expected to finish faster than 2h 30m.
❝ The course is non-technical and well sign posted. While offering plenty of great trails for experienced trail runners, it is also perfect for road runners looking to get a little dirty with their running. Remember you will be starting in the twilight, but finishing in the dark. This means IT IS MANDATORY that every competitor has a head torch on their person from the start. ❞
Ok, a non-technical course with the only requirement being to carry a head torch. But having these simple requirements you might not read the FAQs, and you HAVE to read the FAQs as they are hilarious;
Having damaged the ankle a fortnight ago at Run From the Hills, I was uncertain how the ankle would hold up to another trail half marathon only a fortnight after being damaged. But I also needed a Two Bays qualifier so needed to finish in under 2h 15m; this meant some tempo running was in order 😉
We gathered at Torquay and collected our race bibs, and then had to work out how much to eat as an evening run is out of the ordinary and the standard breakfast then run plan was not going to work. We settled on a “spud” pizza and it worked a treat. Then it was time to get dressed / fluro up!
The bus shuttles out to the start were quite efficient, I managed to sit next to Francesco who was totally focused and in the zone [and went on to win in 1:23:40.8!]. After a short briefing, and some drone fly pasts, it was time to run.
After some initial sorting out along the first kilometer I was able to get into a bit of a groove and run some tempo. The run was great some really good mixed trail surfaces from rock steps, to boardwalks, some soft sand and some beach. Though some warning; the soft sand between 12 & 13km was quite soft and was possibly the hardest section of the course. I was ok drinking from the backpack although I had selected one of the bladders that leaked [Doh!], and ate a gel [Torq – Rhubarb & Custard – yum!] at about the 16km mark so the self sufficient practice for Two Bays is underway – but I do need to move across to the Salomon vest rather than the hydration backpack I have been using.
The entertainment during the run is great with musicians on course, well stocked aid stations with volunteers dressed in fluro, and the general buzz off the event continues for the whole course. The final dune as you come in from fisherman’s beach is cruel [calf cramps anyone?], but it is followed up by a great section of single trail between the tea tree before you hit the road and then onto the finish. And a finish time of 01:57:33 qualifies me for Two Bays.
The ankles made it, but it is game over for the sneakers. Time for some new ones!
** Trail running unicorns do exist **