Regarding issues on the short course at Race #4 at Anglesea.
We were very sorry to hear that a number of short course runners went the wrong way – turning left rather than turning right at the 5km pt at the top of the hill. We are very aware that this has upset some runners’ race plans and ambitions for the series and are regretful that it occurred.
Sam addressed the situation at the race presentations but we explain our actions below for those who did not hear that at the time:
The course error was first brought to our attention by runners at the finish line (at least 20mins after the incident started) and as soon as we heard about the issue we sent Race Director John Jacoby to the scene to investigate the issue and look at the cause of problem. John said that all the course markings were still in place and that there was no visible indication for runners to turn left rather than turn right. There was a small red/green/blue arrow just over the stack of timber pointing right, pink, green and blue tape tied to the gate to the right of the junction and another red/green/blue arrow indicating the correct direction 20m further on where you start descending the stone stairs. There were no blue markings at any point along the trail to the left. As an explanation, we always place an arrow and coloured tape after a junction to indicate the correct direction. We believe all these markings were in place during the run and that this was sufficient to direct runners the right way.
The course we raced exactly matched the course map and description in the program, and was also 98% the same as the last 4 years where runners also went through this junction and turned right to descend the stairs.
So why did so many runners go wrong? That is a good question and we are not sure why runners turned left. We can only assume that one of the lead runners turned left (because it was downhill?) and many other runners simply followed without truly looking for the course markings.
We sympathise with the disappointment runners are feeling because of this error but provide encouragement for you to please be aware of your surroundings and carefully follow the course markings rather than just the runner in front of you.