Course Description – Race 4

2020 sees a NEW venue and 3 new courses at Werribee Gorge for Race 4 of the MINI Countryman Trail Running Series.

Don’t be fooled by the lesser distances. These runs have plenty of elevation gain / loss and some sections of quite technical running on loose rocky surfaces that will make for some slower going compared to more open trails – giving you a very rewarding challenge.

Each course begins at the Meikles Point Picnic Area beside the hidden beauty that is the Werribee Gorge. These runs really pack some punch and runners will be in for an exhilarating experience amongst new terrain with outstanding views, coupled with the sounds of nature, bird calls and plenty of wildlife to spot along the way.

THE COURSES

Long course: 14km, includes 750m elevation gain / loss
Medium course: 9km, includes 436m elevation gain / loss
Short course: 5.5km, includes 266m elevation gain / loss.

COURSE MAP

Long course – 14km

(Course goes in an anti-clockwise direction on the map ).

With the race commencing beside the beautiful Werribee River, runners immediately commence with a tough 1.8km climb rising nearly 200 vertical metres before reaching high ground where things flatten out. We promise this will be more than rewarding as you are treated to some stunning views across the ranges to the volcanic plains extending towards Geelong and Melbourne.

Long course runners then head north, completing a short out-and-back to the sparsely treed Island Reserve which offers stunning views in all directions and a brutal climb and descent along a rough and eroded track. A flat loop on the summit gives you a chance to rest the legs before the quad burning descent.

Joining back up with the Werribee Gorge Circuit Track, where runners veer west, traversing up higher before a rocky descent to the Werribee River.

Once on the river path, this is a beautiful run beside the meandering river as it is squeezed between the valley walls on either side. There are some rocky sections to negotiate and even a rope “handrail” to give you added balance as you go past a rockpool below. Continue along the aquaduct and soon enough you pop back out at the Meikles Point Picnic Area to finish beside the river. Well done!

Medium course – 9 km

(Course goes in an anti-clockwise direction on the map.)

The race commences beside the beautiful Werribee River, where runners immediately begin with a tough 1.8km climb rising nearly 200 vertical metres before reaching high ground where things flatten out. We promise this will be more than rewarding as you are treated to some stunning views across the ranges to the volcanic plains extending towards Geelong and Melbourne.

Runners do a short circuit on the on the plateau before joining back up with the Werribee Gorge Circuit Track, where runners veer west, traversing up higher before a rocky descent to the Werribee River.

Once on the river path, this is a beautiful run beside the meandering river as it is squeezed between the valley walls on either side. There are some rocky sections to negotiate and even a rope “handrail” to give you added balance as you go past a rockpool below. Continue along the aquaduct and soon enough you pop back out at the Meikles Point Picnic Area to finish beside the river. Well done!

Short course – 5.5km

(Course goes in an anti-clockwise direction on the map.)

The race commences beside the beautiful Werribee River, where runners immediately begin with a tough 1.8km climb rising nearly 200 vertical metres before reaching high ground where things flatten out. We promise this will be more than rewarding as you are treated to some stunning views across the ranges to the volcanic plains extending towards Geelong and Melbourne.

Runners continue to follow the Werribee Gorge Short-Circuit track which veers south not long after the drink station. Runners will then have a thrilling, semi-technical descent down some steeper gradients back to the river, and into the Meikles Point Picnic Area to finish under the finish arch. (Short course runners avoid the gorge and rope ‘handrail’ section of the track explained above.)

WATER POINTS

Short course: There will be one water point on the short course
Medium course: There will be one water point on the medium course that will be located at the XXKM
Long course:  There will be one water point on the long course that will be located at the XXKM
Finish line hydration/nutrition station: There will be water, sports hydration and available at the finish line. Bring your own bottle or cup.

HIIT FACTORY HILL CLIMB

The HIIT Factory Home Straight is a timed section of each course where we encourage you to go full gas to record a fast time for this particular section of track.

At Race 4 the Hiit Factory Home Straight will be… (to be confirmed)

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!

Course Marking

Trail running events are quite different to road running they are not lined with fences or red and white flagging tape and will not have marshals every 100m ready to hand you a drink and direct you where to go every step of the way – you need to keep an eye out for and follow the course markings to make your way around. Keep concentrating and always keep your eyes open and up for course markings, this will make the course very easy to follow and much more interesting.

The following is how the courses will be marked on race day:

Long course:

  • 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)

Medium course:

  • Green arrows (pegged into the ground and fixed to trees or bushes)
  • Green coloured plastic surveyor’s tape (tied to trees or bushes)

Short course:

  • 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.

PASSING ETIQUETTE

With a large number of runners on a narrow trail there are a few points of common etiquette when it comes to passing a runner on the trail that we’d like all participants to be aware of.

If you are a faster runner who wants to pass a slower runner on a narrow bit of track:

  • Let the slower runner know you are there and want to pass. Say something like, “Can I go past when there’s a chance…” or even “Track please” if you’re short of breath. Then wait for a wider section of track – don’t just barge on through
  • The slower runner can then say, “OK, go past on the right” or “just up here it’s a bit wider, go there”. But it’s good to acknowledge that you heard them and give direction for when they can go past
  • It’s also nice for the faster runner to say, “thank you, keep going” once you’re past – share the love
  • If you are going to pass then make sure you are actually faster, don’t pass if you are pushing 120% effort to get around them and then slow down afterwards
  • Slower runners don’t feel like you need to totally stop and bow down as a faster runner comes through, make space but keep trotting along as well

2016 Photo Album (on Facebook)