Event: Surf Coast Trail Marathon
Distance: Full Marathon, Half Marathon or Team Marathon
Type: Point to Point
Where: Torquay Victoria, utilising the Surf Coast Walk
Start: Torquay / Point Addis
Finish: Fairhaven SLSC
Event Partners / Supporters: Saucony, i/o Merino, The Happy Runner, Rouge Wave.
It was my first-ever trail run. I had high expectations, but to be honest, I hated it.
So why go back? Why do an event you hated the first time around?
The first time I did this event, I had everything against me. I got sick prior to the event and had less-than-ideal training.
Fast forward 3 years, and I have countless trail running kilometres in my legs. I’ve run their sister event Afterglow twice. Because of that, I knew that I would have to come back and revisit this event, and experience it in the way I should have experienced it the first time around.
While I didn’t get sick, I was coming back from injury.
With a training plan in place that included yoga, weights and of course, running. I was ready.
My game plan was just to listen to my body and have fun.
Have fun I did.
A monster swell saw 700 runners be greeted with challenging coastal conditions which turned this event into what was dubbed a “duathlon”.
An extra high tided saw many runners including myself having to rock hop along beach sections, much to the amusement of surfers and big wave spectators, and other runners out of course.
With the first kilometre of the half along the beach at Point Addis, it didn’t take long before I was hit by a rogue wave. I had wet feet from there on in.
I sent a message to Tom to let him know, that not only was I already soaking wet, I was also hot. I would end up changing tops at Anglesea.
He had forewarned me that there would be a river crossing. As I had wet feet already, I wasn’t fazed by this. However, I was one of the few runners who knew what was up ahead having been already pre-warned.
While many runners were taking their shoes and socks off to cross the river, I didn’t see the point. I already had wet feet and trying to get wet socks back on, yeah no thanks.
The water wasn’t deep but the current was strong. I was laughing the whole time, as it was so ridiculous, all I could do was laugh.
Having run the course before I was just enjoying the sun, the scenery and generally having a good time.
I could have done without the waves on Urquhart’s Beach. Running on soft sand is hard work. Trying to evade rogue waves was just another hazard and that element made this section the hardest part of the run for me mentally.
I was glad that the beach running was over. We were now on a single track, in the Lorne-Queenscliff coast reserve. With my Moki portable speaker in my pocket, I kept a lot of runners motivated with my running playlist. They appreciated the tunes, I appreciated the pace they were keeping.
This part of the course is all through Beach heathland. While you can’t see the beach in some sections, it’s a charming experience to run through part of the landscape and be amongst nature’s beauty.
When I saw the photographer I gave my cheesy grin, I knew I was near the end. While tired I was happy how I was tracking.
We all set goals, my goal for this run was 2h30. While 2h15m would have been achievable, the 4km at Urquharts took more out of me, and I knew that wasn’t going to happen.
I couldn’t even remember what I ran this event last time. That didn’t matter now, my experience on this run had come full circle. I was having so much fun.
Point Lighthouse now in sight, I knew the end was near, I picked up the pace and when the time came to go through the finishes chute aka up those “dreaded” stairs, I was relieved. This time around the stairs didn’t seem that bad. I know I loathed them last time, but this time around I was ok with them.
I crossed the line in a time of 2h29m51s. I got my sub 2h30, but more importantly, I had a ripper time. What an event, rogue waves and all, it all added to the experience. It’s not something I will forget anytime soon.
Thanks, Tour de Trails for putting on another fantastic event.
Top: Run the Gap 2017 (2XU)
Bottoms: DHB bike shorts
Shoes: Mizuno Kazan
Hat: Peaks & Trails 2016 finishers hat