Race Review: Run from the Hills

Event: Run from the Hills
Distance: 21km, 10km, 5km & 2km kids run
Type: Point to Point
Where: Avoca, Victoria
Start: Pyrenees State Forest
Finish: Mount Avoca Winery
Event Sponsors:  Big Hill Events, Magellan, Endura, Trail Run Mag

This run is dedicated to my mum.    A fellow runner (not trails though), as this event, was on her birthday.  I hope you had a fantastic day mum, and look forward to seeing you soon.

We couldn’t have asked for a better day.  It was slightly overcast, the temp was cool, and there was a slight breeze.  Perfect running conditions for the Run From the Hills event.

The company that organises this event is called “Big Hill Events”, now with a name like that you can expect that they have a love of their hills, and plenty of hills there were.


I’m not too sure how I found out about Run from the Hills, but it has been on my bucket list for well over a year.

Arriving at Mount Avoca Wineries, I collected my race bib, and signed the kids up for the free 2km fun run around the vines.  I told Miles that I was hoping I would be back in time to run with him.  As they were aiming to do the kids run at approx 12:30pm.  I was hoping that I would be back by then.

I kissed the kids & Tom goodbye while I got on the bus to take us up to the start line, approx 30 mins away.

I chatted to the lady sitting next to me (let’s call her Kate).  She told me she did the race last year and hated it.  Kate also said that she had walked some of the hills.  I asked Kate why she was doing it again.  She told me that she hasn’t done much since doing the Melbourne Marathon, and wanted to get her mojo back, as she said she kinda lost it.  She also told me that she thought that a change of scene would help her find it.

Kate I never saw you after I finished, I hope you found your mojo.

Ronin the race director told us a bit about the history of how this race came about.  He also told us what to expect along the way, and bid us farewell & good luck.

I did not know what to expect on this run, but I came prepared.  I wore my hydration vest, as well as a separate bottle of iso whey electrolyte formula.  In one pocket was enough amazeballs to see me through the race, as well as an endura gel.  In the other was my hanky and iPod.

The iPod ended up saving the day when it came to recording my time. Yep, I ran this raced naked (again).
Gez I’m not having much luck with races and my watch am I?!

My garmin is always fully charged just days prior to an event. However, this time there was have been a glitch, as on race morning I put my watch on (though I didn’t look at the face), and as it was cold I put on my jacket.  It wasn’t until I went to the car at the event village to get the rest of my gear and take off the jacket that I noticed that I was stuck on yesterday’s date.  After doing a hard reset it told me “battery low” and then just turned itself off.

It’s safe to say I was bummed.  But the iPod did have a timer, and while it didn’t record my split times (which I would love to know), it did record my overall time and give me a ballpark figure of how I went.

While I didn’t listen to my iPod for the first half of the race, I decided that I would towards the end if I needed it.

Out on course

The Run From the Hills course offers a mix of fireline roads, 4wd tracks, double tracks, single tracks, hills, hills, and more hills.  You will also have the pleasure of running part of the Pyrenees Endurance Walking trail. It was well marked, the marshalls were all lovely and friendly, and the feed station at the 10km mark was a welcome sight.

One of the things Ronin the race director tells us was that his parents were marshaling the 10km feed station.  He told us if his parents said “it’s all downhill from here”, that they were lying. I had to have a bit of a giggle.  Yep, I had studied the course (I know I’m totally nerdy like that), I like to know what I’m getting into and knew to expect hills in the 2nd half of the course, just not as intense as that first half.

After the halfway point, I felt like I was on my own.  With the density of the bush, I couldn’t see anyone in front of me, or behind me. I was running my own race.

The track became less technical around the 12km mark.  It was here that I decided to listen to my iPod, I need to fill my head with something else. I found a RockMyRun Mix and kept going forward.

The thing about not wearing a watch is it’s hard to determine how long you have been running or even how far.  The music helped to pass the time.  When I got to the last water station I discovered that I still had 5km to go.  *sigh* Yep I sighed, it was only 5km, but it was till 5km.  I was tired. I knew that 5km would take about 30 minutes. I just kept putting one foot in front of another.

With a race like this is that you can’t let the thought of “I can’t let anyone pass me” get to you.  Sure I passed people, and others passed me.  You can’t judge yourself against others, especially in a trail event. You don’t know if that person who is passing you has years of trail experience in them, or is having a really crappy run. While I would have loved to run this race closer to the 2-hour mark, I knew earlier on in the race that that wasn’t going to happen.

So I went in just to run, and to enjoy it.

Enjoy it I did.

According to my iPod I ran this event in a time of 2h31m46s.  This makes me super happy because this was a tougher course than Surf Coast Trail Marathon, and I was actually able to train for this event, unlike the circumstances around SCTM. The fact that I ran this race in a better time than Surf Coast makes me proud that I did it.

One thing is for sure, I’m glad I chose to do this event after getting some trail running experience in me. If you have never done a trail race before then please reconsider this event if you are a beginner, and look at an entry-level event like Run The Gap or Surf Coast Trail Marathon. While both have elevation these races are a lot easier in comparison to Run From The Hills.

I would recommend Run from the Hills to anyone that has had any trail running experience, and loves the outdoors/wilderness.

Personally, all I can say about this course is “Goat Country”. Running from the hills makes you feel like you are in the wilderness, running through various terrain in different conditions. It’s a wild country and I loved it.

But what about the kids?

Well, they did a 2km run through the vineyards.  When I crossed the finish line the kids had already left.  Keeping my promise, I went after them, seeing if I could catch up to them.

Kayla was flying and loved every minute of it. I never saw her.

I did take a few short cuts, to see if I could get to Miles, I found him with about 300m to go (of course).  He took a wrong turn though, and this is why there is no finished photo of him.

He did great though.  So proud of both the kids.

Needless to say after running 21km and then another 2km for the kids run, I was pooped. I ached.  I ended up aching for 2 days after the event, but it was worth it. Especially the massage I gave myself as a reward.

Will I do it next year? Ask me next year around August, and I’ll let you know.

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Top: SN merino singlet
Hat: Adidas
Pants: DNB bike shorts
Shoes: Salomon Speedcross 3
Gaiters: Trail Gaiters
Vest: Salomon xt wings vest
Fuel: Amazeballs, Endura, Isowhey Sports Electrolyte, Water
Music: RockMyRun & Sheppard – Geronimo

8 thoughts on “Race Review: Run from the Hills”

  1. If I lived near there I think this would be a race I would enjoy running!
    Congrats on your finish and great job on the time for a trail run, quite impressive!!!
    Love that you made it a family event, even if it made you even more sore:) Great memories for you all to have though, so worth it!

  2. Looks like a great race, and definitely one I’ll have to consider for next year! The kids run is a great idea and it sounds like it was a lot of fun, even if you already completed a 21km warm up, and some wrong turns and short-cuts were taken!

    1. At one of the check points I said I was looking for my son, he told me to cut though 😉
      Would have loved to have run faster, but I was pooped as it was.
      It’s a tough course, but very rewarding with the environment you are in.
      thanks for posting Cecilia

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