Hundreds of runners and even more supporters have illuminated the trails of Studley Park, Yarra Bend, Kew for the fifth and final race of the 2016 HOKA ONE ONE Trail Running Series on Friday 23rd September.
The inaugural Night Race saw runners fly across the trails of the 5km, 11km and 15km courses, and sprint home along a fairy-lit finisher’s chute at the Studley Park Boathouse, to the sound of cheering and cowbells which echoed out across the sleepy Yarra River.
The series was expanded in 2016 to include five off-road races between June and September, each event drawing over 1000 runners, from recreational to elites; some seasoned trail runners, and others looking for a new thrill to repetitious running on bitumen.
Starting six years ago, the series has quickly become Australia’s most popular, bringing trail running to everyone with its welcoming race atmosphere, mix of short distance races and range of breathtaking wilderness locations all within one hour of Melbourne.
Short course winner and overall VFuel Long Course Series champion Francesco Ciancio of Deer Park has added another victory to his stellar month of running, following his win at the Surf Coast Century 100km Ultra Marathon at the start of September.
“It’s been about three years that I’ve been doing this event, and this was the first event that got me into trail running. Tomorrow morning I’m doing a 63km Ultra in Lorne, so I decided to run the short tonight,” a humble Ciancio said.
“I just wanted to say thanks to everyone, and all the organisers at Rapid Ascent, I really appreciate the job they do. I’m looking forward to next year.”
Short course runner Gillian Light from Geelong is already looking forward to the 2017 Series.
“That was a fantastic final event; this event and the series gets a huge thumbs up from me – I’ve loved each of the courses and found the whole thing to be really well organised. Most importantly, the events had a very friendly, welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. Great events, friendly volunteers and fellow runners and amazing locations. See you all again next year!”
Bev Allen travelled from Tasmania to all five races of the HOKA ONE ONE Trail Running Series with members of her local running club, ultimately winning her VFuel Long Course category and placing ninth in the series overall.
“Thanks so much for an amazing event to finish the series. All of us from Team Ultrain had the most amazing time coming over from Tassie for the series. Thanks to all the organizers and volunteers for all your hard work and putting together such well-run events.”
Sam Maffett, General Manager at Rapid Ascent said the night race was introduced to add a completely new dimension to the series.
“The concept of bringing us all together for a race around these trails in the cover of darkness was bound to be a blast. And it’s been really good fun, the enthusiasm out there was so uplifting, I’m sure we’ll continue it next year,” Maffett said.
“Looking back over the last three to four months, it’s been a fantastic series; we’ve raced around here at Yarra Bend, we’ve been to Plenty Gorge, we’ve conquered the hills of Silvan and the Dandenongs, back to Anglesea, and then back here tonight. It’s been an incredible journey.
“I genuinely enjoy these races, and that’s because of the spirit, the enthusiasm, the smiles, and just the downright fun that the runners bring to these races.
“On behalf of Rapid Ascent, I want to thank you, and thank those who have helped make this event happen. Our new event partners HOKA ONE ONE, naming rights sponsor for the series this year; we greatly appreciate their support, and the other sponsors out there, VFuel our Long Course partner, Active Feet, Anytime Fitness, Physio Health, Halfworn, EVO Sportswear, Cycle Cover and Black Diamond.”
OVERALL SERIES RESULTS:
Short Course Overall Series Results
1. Mark Portbury
2. Chris Till
3. Callum White
Short Course Overall Series Results Female
1. Taryn Furletti
2. Kerrie Loveless
3. Emma Finn
CLICK HERE for the full list of Short Course Series Results
Medium Course Overall Series Results
1. Ken Myers
2. Michael Mackenzie
3. Stephen Ward
Medium Course Overall Series Results Female
1. Amanda Branson
2. Nicola Bowman
3. Megan Shaw
CLICK HERE for the full list of Medium Course Series Results
VFuel Long Course Overall Series Results
1. Francesco Ciancio
2. Mark Corbyn
3. Lee Eddison
VFuel Long Course Overall Series Results Female
1. Meags Butler
2. Stephanie Radford
3. Jess Batton
CLICK HERE for the full list of VFuel Long Course Series Results
• Race 1: Sunday 5 June – Studley Park – 5km / 11km / 15km
• Race 2: Sunday 10 July – Plenty Gorge – 6km / 12km / 17km
• Race 3: Sunday 7 August – Silvan, Dandenong Ranges – 7km / 15km / 20km
• Race 4: Sunday 4 September – Anglesea – 8km / 15km / 23km
• NEW Night Race 5: Friday 23 September – Studley Park – 5km / 11km / 15km
For Series photos head to the albums on the event Facebook Page HERE.
Further details on the 2016 HOKA ONE ONE Trail Running Series can be found at the event website at www.HokaOneOneTrailSeries.com.au