Race 5 Course description
Race 5 will be conducted at Yarra Bend but does so under the cover of darkness with all races being held after sunset with runners carrying a (head) torch to light their way along the trails!
The courses pass through some superb, inner city wilderness that will be shown in a new light (!) compared to running through the same areas in daylight. Runners will experience the trails in a completely new way that will open your eyes to the difference between night and day in the natural landscape and be a lot of fun for everyone involved.
Start / finish area: Yarra Bend Road, Yarra Bend (exact oval location to be announced shortly)
Le Bent Long Course: 15km, includes 207m elevation gain / loss
Medium Course: 10.8km, includes 185m elevation gain / loss
Short Course: 5km, includes 61m elevation gain / loss.
Note: The courses are slightly adjusted from 2016 and 2017 due to the change in start/finish location, but follow almost identical courses, with some slight tweaks, giving peace of mind and comfort for those new to night running.
Below is the draft course map only. Exact start/finish to be announced shortly - which will lead to a few course tweaks (nothing major!).
Le Bent Long Course - 15km
Medium Course - 10.8km
Short Course - 5km
The courses will be very similiar to those used in the 2016 and 2017 night race and as used in the previous race 1 events held at Studley Park over the years - so runners should be familiar with the trails and feel more comfortable about racing along them in darkness. Only some slight tweaks will be included for 2018 depending on final start line location.
*All 3 course descriptions below are from 2016 & 2017. The start and end of each course will change slightly given the new venue expo location, however the 'middle parts' should all be fairly similar. Exact course descriptions will be detailed shortly.
Long Course - 15km*
(Course goes in a clockwise direction on the map)
All runners start out on Yarra Bend Road for the first 800m before turning left to run along a double track down to the river to just above Dights Falls before turning right to run up a double track beside the freeway back up to Yarra Bend Road. Cross over the freeway (on a bridge!) and then turn left again to complete another loop this time down towards to Merri Creek before crossing over Yarra Bend Road. Descend to the Yarra River to complete an 800m loop through the bush before returning on a two way section of track under the freeway (all runners keep right). From here, the course continues beside the Yarra before heading up some steps to cross the river at the ‘Pipe Bridge’ at the Fairfield Park Boathouse at the (approx) 6.5km mark.
After a short climb, continue along the footpath beside Yarra Boulevard for 400m and then turn left to descend down some steps to the water point located at the bottom at the 7.6km point. Turn right onto the main Yarra Trail upstream for approximately 800m and then turn left to pick up some flowing single track beside the river and come back past the water point at the 9.2km point.
From here, through to the finish, the narrow trail follows the river with some superb trail running through beautiful bushland, broken only by a short 700m stretch on the sealed footpath beside the Yarra Boulevard. All courses come together 700m from the finish and then continues beside the river and through to the HIIT Factory Home Straight to the finish line in the Studley Park Boathouse.
Medium Course - 10.8km*
(Course goes in a clockwise loop on the map)
The medium course is very similar to the long course but just omits some additional ‘loops’. All runners start out on Yarra Bend Road for the first 800m before being directed onto the gravel footpath on the left hand side of the road. Soon after, runners cross over the Eastern Freeway Bridge and then turn right and descend down to the Yarra River to complete an 800m loop through the bush before returning on a two way section of track under the freeway (all runners keep right).
From here, the course continues beside the Yarra before heading up some steps to cross the river at the ‘Pipe Bridge’ at the Fairfield Park Boathouse at the (approx) 3.8km mark. After a short climb, runners come to the water station on the Yarra Boulevard at the (approx) 4.5km point before descending down some steps to the river.
From here, through to the finish, the narrow trail follows the river with some superb trail running through beautiful bushland, broken only by a short 700m stretch on the sealed footpath beside the Yarra Boulevard. The long course and short course trails come together 700m from the finish and then continues beside the river through the HIIT Factory Home Straight to the finish line in the Studley Park Boathouse.
Short Course - 5km*
(Course goes in anti-clockwise direction)
All runners start on Yarra Bend Road for the first 800m before being directed onto the gravel footpath on the left hand side of the road. Soon after, runners are directed to turn left and follow a flat double track beside the ovals before it narrows into a fun section of trail through the trees at the 1.8km point. (This section of trail beside the ovals was also run by the Long Course runners but in the opposite direction so disregard the red course markings going in the opposite direction).
After exiting the trees, runners turn left and follow a scenic trail beside the river back past the start area and then over the ‘Swing Bridge’ to then turn left and complete a 1.2km loop leading to the finish in the Studley Park Boathouse. Note: the long course and short course trails come together 700m from the finish for a final dash on the river side trails through the HIIT Factory Home Straight and into the finish at the Studley Park Boathouse.
Short course: There will be no water points on the 5km course.
Medium course: There will one water point at the 5km mark after the course has turned away from Yarra Boulevard at the bottom of the stairs.
Long course: There will be one water point that you pass twice, situated at the base of the stairs below Yarra Boulevard. You will pass this water station at the 7.6km and 9.2km point.
CLIF Bar Finish line hydration/nutrition station: There will be water, sports hydration and CLIF Bar available at the finish line. Bring your own bottle or cup.
The HIIT Factory Home Straight
The HIIT Factory Home Straight is a short timed section of each course that leads into the finish line. Being just ~100m long we encourage you to crank up the legs and ‘sprint’ as fast as you can for a speedy finish whilst the crowd cheers you home!! Your HIIT Factory Home Straight times will be published in the results and we’ll award a small prize to the fastest (and funniest!) to add to the fun!
Check out the details of the HIIT Factory’s high intensity sessions to help your cross-training!
The courses for the night race will be marked in a very similar way to when they were raced in daylight, with arrows and marking tape marking the course. Additional steps will be taken to make these course markings as clear as possible, being that:
- Reflective surveyors tape will also be tied along the course that shines brightly when illuminated with your torch
- Reflective strips will be stuck to the coloured arrows marking the course
- Glow sticks will also be set up along sections of the course to help light the way – especially in open areas
- Additional marshals will be stationed at key locations along the course
Otherwise the course will be marked in a similar way to all other races:
- Red and/or orange arrows (pegged into the ground and fixed to trees or bushes)
- Fluoro pink coloured plastic surveyor’s tape (tied to trees or bushes)
- Green arrows (pegged into the ground and fixed to trees or bushes)
- Green coloured plastic surveyor’s tape (tied to trees or bushes)
- Blue arrows (pegged into the ground and fixed to trees or bushes)
- Aqua blue coloured plastic surveyor’s tape (tied to trees or bushes)
All track intersections will be clearly marked and care should be taken to follow the arrows. Surveyor’s tape will be placed immediately following a track junction to confirm you are on the correct track. Track markings on the longer, straighter sections, where there are no other options or intersections will be far more spread out so take your time at the intersections to make sure you are on the right track. Unless otherwise marked or directed, competitors should follow the most major track at all intersections. If there is no arrow at a minor track junction then continue along the major track.