Course Description – Yarra Bend

Race 1 wave start lists are now live on the website and linked below.

> LONG COURSE WAVE START TIMES <

> MEDIUM COURSE WAVE START TIMES <

> SHORT COURSE WAVE START TIMES <

All runners who entered before 9:00am Friday have been allocated a specific start wave, please check the list and ensure you line up for your designated start.
(We would greatly appreciate it if you did not swap around or start in another wave as it compromises our plans as we cannot exceed the group size limits. Requests with a good reason can be discussed at the registration marquee on the day. Thank you.)
Entries are still open with new entrants being allocated a wave start time after pre-entered runners, as follows:

  • Long course: new entrants will start between 9:40am and 9:45am
  • Medium course: new entrants will start between 11:05am and 11:10am
  • Short course: new entrants will start between 12:15pm and 12:35pm

Please arrive no more than 20mins before your start and read the event program as refresher for how things will roll. It’s going to be super fun to be back on the trails together!

COVID Update 2:00pm 16 June: We are thrilled to confirm that the Trail Series race #1 will take place on Sunday 20th June as planned. Races will commence in a series of wave starts (so we don’t exceed the permitted group sizes) and runners are asked to arrive no more than 20minutes before your start time and leave soon after finishing. All event details are explained in the event program HERE.


The courses

The courses pass through some superb, inner city wilderness that weave along the Yarra River trails in the natural landscape and be a lot of fun for everyone involved.

Start / finish area: End of Deep Rock Rd. Yarra Bend Park, Fairfield

Long Course: 15km, includes 310m elevation gain / loss
Medium Course: 10.3km, includes 270m elevation gain / loss
Short Course: 5.2km, includes 95m elevation gain / loss.

Course map

Course map for Race #1 can be downloaded here to your maps.me app or garmin device. Click here

Elevation profiles

Long Course – 15km

Medium Course – 10.3km

Short Course – 5.2km

Course description

See the notes for how each rac ewil be started on the Race Schedule page here.

The trails are quite flat and easy flowing, just be aware for the odd exposed root or rock on the trail but on the whole they provide some fun, fast and flowing running.

Long Course – 15km

(Course goes in a clockwise direction on the map)

All runners start on the grass next to Deep Rock Road heading east, then turn left onto the gravel footpath beside Yarra Bend Road and then left again just before the freeway bridge to descend down towards Dights Falls. Just above the Falls you turn right to go under the freeway bridge and then run up a double track beside the Merri Creek before crossing over Yarra Bend Road and descending to the Yarra River to complete an 800m loop that involved a section of two-way traffic where runners must 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) 4.9km mark.

After a short climb, continue along the footpath beside Yarra Boulevard for 400m and then turn left to descend down some steps at the 6.1km 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 7.8km point.

The next ~6km of running is almost all along the narrow single tracks that follow the Yarra River with some superb trail running through beautiful bushland, broken only by a short 1km stretch on the sealed footpath beside the Yarra Boulevard. At the 13.7km point runners cross over the Yarra on the ‘Swing Bridge’ adjacent the Studley Park Boathouse and then turn left to continue on single track through to the finish in the event expo.

Medium Course – 10.3km*

(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’. After starting on Deep Rock Road, runners turn left onto the gravel footpath beside Yarra Bend Road for 400m and then cross over Yarra Bend Road to descend to the Yarra River on a fast moving double track. From here, the course continues upstream beside the Yarra before heading up some steps to cross the river at the ‘Pipe Bridge’ at the Fairfield Park Boathouse at the (approx) 2km mark.

After a short climb, continue along the footpath beside Yarra Boulevard for 400m and then turn left to descend down some steps at the 3.2km point. Turn left onto the Yarra Trails and enjoy the next ~6km of running that is almost all along the narrow single tracks that follow the Yarra River providing some superb trail running through beautiful bushland, broken only by a short 1km stretch on the sealed footpath beside the Yarra Boulevard. At the 9km point runners cross over the Yarra on the ‘Swing Bridge’ adjacent the Studley Park Boathouse and then turn left to continue on single track through to the finish in the event expo.

Short Course – 5.2km

(Course goes in anti-clockwise direction)

The short course basically completes the first section of the long course before taking a ‘short cut’ back to the event centre. All runners start on Deep Rock Road heading east, then turn left onto the gravel footpath beside Yarra Bend Road and then left again just before the freeway bridge to descend down towards Dights Falls. Just above the Falls you turn right to go under the freeway bridge and then run up a double track beside the Merri Creek before crossing over Yarra Bend Road and descending to the Yarra River.

Short course runners turn right to go under the Freeway bridge and then continue on single track beside the river before a short climb to cut through the RMIT Surveying Station, crossing over the Yarra Bend Road (take care when crossing the road) and then descending into the finish line in the event centre.

Water points

There will be no water points on the courses in 2021 due to the COVID restrictions in place on event day.

Finish line hydration/nutrition station: There will be water, sports hydration and fruit available at the finish line. Please provide your own cup or water bottle. We will not be providing cups.

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!

Course marking

Trail running events are quite different to road running events in that they require you to look and think about where you are going because, not only will you pass through some lovely wilderness, but you need to KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR COURSE MARKINGS. Trail running courses are not lined with fences or red and white flagging tape and will not have marshals every 10m 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.

Having said that, if you have your head up and are looking where you are going the course will be easy to follow and will be marked as follows:

The 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)

The 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)

The 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.