Event: Hoka One One Trail Running Series : Race 2 : Plenty Gorge
Distance: 6km short / 12km medium / 17km long
Date: Sunday the 10th July 2016
Location: Yellow Gum Park, Plenty Gorge
Organised by: Rapid Ascent
This often forgotten corner of Melbourne is located just past Bundoora and sits just 30km (or 40 minutes drive) from the Melbourne CBD – but step out of the car and you will feel a world away with a beautiful natural setting all around you.
The Plenty Gorge race will see short, medium and long course runners complete a scenic loop deep within local bushland made friendly with plenty of kangaroos, echidnas, galahs and other friendly Aussie wildlife to keep you company.
The courses are also a little tougher than Race 1 at Yarra Bend as you will criss-cross the Plenty Gorge a couple of times, climbing up and down the sides of the valley and its steep sided walls. Whilst enjoying the views along the gorge when you are at the valley top, runners will definitely get your feet wet crossing the river at the valley bottom – this added adventure component is an often talked about feature and very popular feature of the races!
The start and finish are located in the Yellow Gum Park picnic area at the end of Goldsworthy Lane beside Blue Lake. The nearby lookout provides panoramic views of Plenty Gorge and the surrounding parkland and should keep families and friends busy whilst runners are off enjoying the trails.
Unusually for the Plenty Gorge trail run it was not a very cold morning, which was good seeing we had flown home from the Gold Coast on the Friday. This year was a step up from the short course to the medium course, so I was expecting a few less traffic jams on the course … this was not to be, at least not back in the pack. As soon as we get to the single trail descent with a little technical in the mix we are walking in single file.
( I was using this one as another training run for Wonderland, working out where to store the extra kit in the race vest etc. and running with Tracy rather than racing. )
We caught up with quite a few Westerfoldians, and actually made the start of the long course in time to wish the runners luck. It was then time for the short course to take off, so I became official clothing holder (those extra dry bags were useful) so that our runners could stay warmer for longer. Interestingly there was not enough separation between short and medium courses to fit in both for R2, the short were still off on their course when the medium took off.
The Plenty Gorge course has a lot more trail than the Studley Park course; with muddy descents, the river crossing, some nice single trail MTB switch backs, and a run along the gorge wall all thrown in to mix things up.
Congratulations to Liam for a 3rd place in his age group on the Short Course, Peter for 2nd in his age group for the Short Course, and an awesome run from Aaron to win the Medium Course!