Event Overview

Welcome to the Trail Running Series presented by The North Face

Trail running takes you off-road... because #BitumenIsBoring! And what’s not to love about it when trail running takes you through magnificent wilderness, past towering trees, trickling creeks, almighty tree ferns and native wildlife all in a friendly event atmosphere.

The Trail Running Series is the pre-eminent trail running series in Australia with an incredible race atmosphere that is welcoming of all runners – first timers through to the running elite. The Series has revolutionised trail running in Australia and continues to lead the way with it being one of the most popular events in Australia.

2018 features and intiatives include:

  • NEW 'Saturday' night race 
  • NEW venue area for Race 5 (Yarra Bend)
  • Kids' runs at race 3 and 4 - back by popular demand
  • Updated courses at race 4 (Anglesea)
  • Magnificent natural landscapes
  • Post Series wrap-up party at Race 5
  • Friendly social atmosphere
  • Group offers, competitions and more!

So come see what all the excitement is about! 

Race Date Venue Distances More details
1 Sunday 17 June Westerfolds Park 5km / 11km / 15km Read more...
2 Sunday 15 July Smiths Gully 7km / 13km / 18.5km Read more...
3 Sunday 5 August Silvan 7km / 15.5km / 21km Read more...
4 Sunday 16 September Anglesea** 8km / 15km / 23km Read more...
5 Saturday 6 October Yarra Bend 5km / 11km / 15km Read more...

** Race 4 is held in conjunction with the acclaimed Surf Coast Century 100km ultra marathon on the Saturday.


"I really likes the introduction of races for children this year (2017) - a great innovation to make this a true family event." Jess Batton - 2017 participant.


Follow us on the The Trail Running Series Facebook page for plenty of honest interaction and ethusiasm.


What is The Trail Running Series presented by The North Face all about?

The Trail Running Series presented by The North Face is all about making trail running accessible to as many people as possible. You don’t have to run ultra-distances to be part of it. You don’t need years of experience nor all the latest gear... all you need is a come-and-try-it attitude and a bit of fitness to get around the course. All races are designed to be fun, scenic and rewarding for all runners with a friendly event atmosphere that is truly welcoming of everyone.

We find that roughly 55% of participants are women and whilst some people run to win, plenty of people just come for a dose of fresh air with their buddies on a Sunday morning then head to the nearest café for brunch before getting on with the rest of their day.

Check out the photo galleries for insights into the people and places we go and start getting excited because you're sure to love every step.

Why enter The Trail Running Series?

  • Genuine trail and wilderness experiences with quality courses in magnificent locations
  • 3 course options at each race for ALL running abilities
  • A NIGHT RACE (now on SATURDAY) that will truly invigorate your running, followed by a massive end-of-series celebration 
  • Great value for money, especially for 'Gold Runners' who enter at least 4 of the Series events
  • Friendly event atmosphere
  • Accessible locations located within 1hrs drive of Melbourne
  • Interactive Race Village at the Start/Finish line
  • Fantastic prizes in all categories

Comments from past participants

“I made it to the end so I’m pretty happy with that. It’s my first ever trail running event and I’ve booked in for the Series. I had a great time,” Chris, Race 1, 2016

“The hills were a lot steeper than I imagined they would be but the single track was really fun to run on; it was wonderful. Everyone on course was really encouraging and I had a great day,” Lauren, Race 2, 2017

“The hills were really tough but it’s a great off-road course, everyone is really encouraging and it’s a very friendly atmosphere and a well-organised event,” Despina, Race 4, 2017.

What is trail running?

Trail running is all about leaving the noise, pollution and boring bitumen that characterises road running far behind. Instead, it's all about running in the refreshing environs of nature: in forests, through parklands, in valleys and on mountains, over creeks and under towering stands of gum trees.

So long as it is off road, it’s trail running. The best trail running is on ‘single track’ – usually walking/hiking trails that you can only traverse on foot. These are the best trails because they tend to lead you into the most pristine and stunning environments and have a great sense of flow.

Trail running does also encompass some running on dirt roads and fire trails and, due to logistics, can sometimes at a push include short stretches of road running to get from one trail to another. But, essentially, trail running is all about running in beautiful and inspiring parts of the world that remain as Mother Nature intended: untouched and wild.

How technical?

The courses for The Trail Running Series can accurately be described as being largely non-technical with clear and straight forward footing. This means that you will NOT be running over extensive rock scree, slippery surfaces, clambering up the sides of mountains or ‘bush-bashing’ through the scrub. Yes it can be muddy and yes there are hills, but the courses are all very well marked with arrows and marking tape, and the terrain is solid underfoot and very run-able.

So if you are afraid of rolling an ankle or ‘doing yourself an injury’ then fear not, the races are generally very safe and easy to follow and stay upright!


For exclusive offers and updates

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign Up

© 2019 Rapid Ascent. All rights reserved.