Event: 2016 BLACK DIAMOND AFTERGLOW TRAIL RUN
Date: Saturday the 26th November 2016
Distances: 12km / 21km
Organised by: Tour de Trails
The Surf Coast in Victoria is set to glow, glitter and glam it up with an announcement that the Black Diamond Afterglow Night Trail Run will return on Saturday 26th November, 2016, attracting up to 700 runners attired in their disco ball best.
Sporting everything from bad-taste tight-and-bright leotards (that’s just the blokes) to glow-in-the-dark costumes, runners will shine their night lights on the Surf Coast Walk, choosing to run either a 21km or a 12km route, both finishing in Torquay.
Last year the event proved such a hit with serious and fun runners alike, that it doubled competitor numbers from its inaugural outing, breaking down the perceptions of trail running as a hardcore, mountain-staged pursuit, and re-casting it as a fluorescent family outing.
Afterglow – Surf Coast Twilight Trail Half Marathon.
The FAQ’s state that you should bring your best glow-style. Could be a fluro leg warmers. Glow paint. Could be eighties. Just get it onnnnnn baby. But what’s an event that questions the existence of ‘trail running rainbow unicorns’ without said ‘trail running rainbow unicorns’? A unicorn onesie and a half-marathon – what could go wrong? 😉
Knowing the first few kilometers were going to be congested and have a bit of climbing we set of at a reduced pace, but 2km in and things are not proceeding as expected; T was finding the hills much harder going than usually be the case – danger Will Robinson! This was to be acknowledged when we saw Tracy’s Strava suffer score was an Epic 503! A bit of a feed at the 5km point (just as we reach the saxophone player) and some leveling off of the fire trail saw things improve. When we hit the drop from 6km we really saw things come back together.
Just as Tracy got her stride back we started to merge with the 12km runners (many with head phones) who were just starting their run. A big advantage of running faster last year was I was already past the 12km start before they took off – this certainly was not helpful for those slower runners in the fast wave as it was either stop-start or weave. As we dropped into Bells Beach I was prepared to go straight back up the stairs to the car park but this was not to be, this year the course went along the soft sand of Bells Beach itself – given the soft sand and the congestion from the 12km this part was re-dubbed “Hell’s Beach”. After the climb out at the end of Bells it was onto more solid beach side trails and even the sandy trail at Jan Juc was not as soft this year.
After a quick gel at danger point we were soon dropping onto the beach run at Torquay and low and behold the tide is out, there is some hard packed sand and it is perfect conditions for a beach run. As we approach the end of the beach run and are turned back into the dunes, it is noticeable that we have been turned in about 300m earlier than last year and the “Dune of Death” is no longer a part of the course. The calf muscles are pretty happy about this turn of events, but it does seem fair that the “Dune of Death” has been replaced by “Hell’s Beach” for the therapeutic sting to the calves delivered by a bit of soft sand. I was a bit disappointing that there was no didgeridoo in the sand dune this year (and no drummer on the Spring Creek boardwalk) the live music was one of the the things that set this event apart from the others. From the dunes it was two kilometers back along the path to Bombora’s, bling … and beer.
Finish time: 2h26m39s