Falls Creek Mountain Raid - Trail Run Course Descriptions and Maps
Falls Creek has been a popular hangout for runners for many years (just ask Craig Mottram, Steve Moneghetti and their mates) due to the diverse network of trails, stunning scenery and friendly locals.
Following the terrific feedback we received from the 2015 events, we will again be conducting a trail running 'festival' with 4 different races being held over the Mountain Raid weekend.
Each of these races will be held on clearly marked courses in a supervised, friendly race environment, through magnificent alpine wilderness!
EVENT PROGRAM: The official event program for the 2016 Trail Running races can be downloaded from here.
Four trail runs
Runners Kitchen Alpine Ash Run
This race takes runners on a journey above the tree line and along trails with wide open views of the high country. Runners start with a solid climb out of the village, and up to Cloud 9 for some magnificent running above the tree line with views in all directions. Soon enough you'll be enjoying stunning ridgetop running before careering downhill on some of the new MTB trails before returning to the village and into the finish at Slalom Plaza. This run is big on views and big open spaces – a rewarding run in more ways than one. We expect a winning time of approx 50mins.
How quickly can you get from the base of the village to the top of the summit chair and back again in a straight up, lung busting smashfest? This is the ultimate course at Falls Creek and the ultimate challenge for runners of all abilities. Starting at the Slalom Plaza runners will power up through the streets of the village before tackling the Summit Bowl headwall with a steep, straight up ascent to the top of the chair, to ring the bell and then return back along the same course in a mad-as, downhill dash to the finish. Not a race for the faint hearted, this is a lactic acid overdose that will drain you to the bone. Where do I sign up?!
Falls Creek Explorer
This is a new run for 2016 that is easier than all the other runs and is ideal for newcomers to trail running or those looking for some fresh air on Sunday morning! Starting at Slalom Plaza runners commence up on the Wombat Ski Run Trail before turning a long flowing downhill through the snow gums that leads into the summit bowl and the flat aqueduct trail. Keep running to the ‘Wishing Well’ and then turn right onto a fun, switchback descent down a mountain bike trail before a final climb through the village to the finish back at Slalom Plaza.
Heathy Spur Run
Pure trail running bliss in an almighty alpine setting. This run will lead competitors deep into the wilderness, past cattleman’s huts, through fields of alpine daisy’s and across sections of the spectacular Bogong High Plains. You’ll run part way round the Rocky Valley Pondage before joining sections of the Alpine Walking Track that stretches out above the tree line providing endless views of alpine peaks in all directions. Turning for home you’ll wind down the picturesque Heathy Spur trail as it twists and turns between the snow gums and alpine pastures before depositing you back at the Slalom Plaza at the end of a magnificent run. The longest but most scenic run of the weekend.
King and Queen of the Trails
In recognition of the fact that too much running is never enough, we will calculate and award a King and Queen of the Trail trophy by determining the fastest combined, overall male and female runner who completes the trifecta: The Alpine Ash Run, The Summit Sprint and The Heathy Spur Run.
This is the ‘premier category’ of the weekend and one we encourage all runners to enter.
The terrain around Falls Creek and the Bogong High Plains includes a mixture of rock and hard pack earth (as well as wild flowers, shrubs and snowgums!) that makes for some great trail running. The trails you’ll be running over are what we’d call low-level technical, meaning you need to watch where you put your feet some of the time whilst at other times you’ll be able to lift your head and take in the views. You won’t be scrambling over boulders or jumping rocky gaps (so don’t freak out) but it means that you’ll do well to be light on your feet and watch where you step from time to time you can keep moving OK.
There are a couple of decent hills included in all the courses that will see your thighs pumping hard to keep pace, and equally so there are some steepish descents that you’ll need to concentrate on to avoid getting up-close and personal with a snow gum – but the pure joy if running in the alpine air makes it all so worth it!
Trail running events are quite different to road running events in that they do require you to look and think a bit about where you are going because, not only will you pass through some lovely wilderness, but you need to KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR COURSE MARKINGS.
If you have your head up and are looking where you are going, the course will be easy to follow.
There will be an appropriate number of water points on each course to allow you to keep hydrated as you race. Further details on water points will be provided nearer the time.
There will also be water and hydration products available at the finish line (in addition to food/coffee...)