Event: 2017-07-09 Trail Running Series – Race #2
Distance: 7.5km /13.5km/ 17.5km
Date: Sunday 18th June 2017
Location: Smiths Gully – Rob Roy Hill Climb Venue
Organised by: Rapid Ascent
Race 2 of the Trail Running Series takes place at the exciting NEW location of Smiths Gully in the Yarra Valley. Smiths Gully is a small rural region located in Melbourne’s north eastern outskirts with a delightful mix of farming and bushland, rolling hills and quaint country villages filled with charismatic general stores and well stocked bakeries.
The Trail Running Series – Race #2 Smiths Gully
The plan for this race had been to hammer the HIIT Hill climb (regaining ground in the Liam vs Darren sprint challenge), and then meet Tracy at the top of the climb and continue, having a social run for the rest of the course. The climb is the equivalent of a double Westerfolds Manor Hill and looked suitable for a fast ascent. Along comes reality and “here’s a bug for you!”; three days of bed rest and I wasn’t sure until Sunday morning if I would even be running 😦 This was disappointing as on the day the climb felt like it could be run quite fast. I wasn’t the only one questioning how wise it was to run and Liam dropped to the short course for this event.
Gathering at Smiths Gully, it was actually fairly warm (7°C) with no frost or ice.
We had been warned about the wall at the top of the climb, but were not sure what to expect. Once at the top we discovered we needed to go up and over the safety tyre wall to get out the hill climb circuit anto the rest of the course. Unorthodox Steeplechase it is then …
The medium course then settled into some gravel road, a short stretch of bitumen (remember: bitumen is boring), and then swapping between single trail and gravel roads. Nothing technical and I would expect this course could be comfortably run in standard road sneakers.
Views from the ridge lines were great – looking over to Kinglake, across to the Yarra Valley or across the rural fringe looking back to Melbourne. Careful observers may notice 500m at c.3:30m/km pace in the Strava stat’s – this is what happens when you change phones and don’t setup your photo app’s *before* the run, and you need to catch back up to your social run partner 😆 ( The app in question is Viewranger, a great app but I recommend setting it up before you leave home. )
The last half of the course was predominantly on some great single trail, with heads of switchbacks snaking through the light forest. Runner were very good about letting people past, and calling for track as required (a couple of exceptions, mostly runners with headphones — Don’t be *that* runner!) Pretty soon it was the Unorthodox Steeplechase, the return, and back onto the hill climb track and down to the finish. A great course, highly recommended.
And 🥈well done Liam! Age grade second place in the short course.
★ Flickr 2017-07-09 Trail Running Series – Race #2 Smiths Gully
📈 STRAVA or it didn’t happen: Trail Series #2 Smiths Gully
🗺️ Relive: https://www.relive.cc/view/1074304178
Next?: 🚴 Tour de Beechworth – The two peaks Stanley ride