Event Overview

Welcome to the Trail Running Series presented by The North Face

Trail running takes you off-road! 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. In fact, many long-time road runners who experience a tail run never return to the road, being instantly hooked on the fresh air and flow of the bush.

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 time trail fairies 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.

2017 features and intiatives include:

  • Two new locations for race 1 and 2
  • New kids' runs at race 3 and 4
  • Updated courses at race 4
  • The same variety of magnificent natural landscapes to run through!
  • Spectacular night race
  • Friendly social atmosphere
  • Group offers, competitions and more!

So come see what all the excitement is about! #bitumenisboring

Race Date Venue Distances More details
1 Sunday 18 June Westerfolds Park 5km / 11km / 15km Read more...
2 Sunday 9 July Smiths Gully 7km / 13km / 18.5km Read more...
3 Sunday 6 August Silvan 7km / 15.5km / 21km Read more...
4 Sunday 10 September Anglesea** 8km / 15km / 23km Read more...
5 Friday 6 October Studley Park 5km / 11km / 15km Read more...

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


"I liked finishing in an atmosphere encouraging you to hang around and support other runners coming in." -  Meagan Butler (2016 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 - 2 new in 2017!
  • 3 course options at each race for ALL running abilities
  • A NIGHT RACE 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 love the series. It’s a really relaxed atmosphere and when you’re enjoying the run you tend to run faster and the undulations of the trails are nicer on the body that road running,” said Rebecca.

“I had an awesome time. The number of people here is great and it’s a fantastic atmosphere,” said Katherine from Bentleigh East, Race 1.

“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,” said Chris, Race 1.

“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,” said Lauren, Race 2.

“It’s a really chilled race atmosphere. I like that it’s a small event so the trails are not too crowded. I love running through the bush and the single track is just lovely,” said Nada, Race 2.

“With the long downhill section for the first half I just kept thinking ‘what goes down, must come up’ but there were lots of other competitors to chat with along the way and it was a great day out in the Dandenongs,” said Rob, Race 3 Long Course Winner.

“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,” said Despina, Race 4.

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!



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