Course Description – Plenty Gorge

Sunday 2 June, 2024

The trails at Plenty Gorge provide challenging but rewarding running and are a popular favourite for Series runners due to the natural bush landscapes, variable terrain and friendly Aussie wildlife to cheer you on.

Runners will criss-cross the Plenty Gorge a couple of times, climbing up and down the sides of the valley and its steep sided walls. Each course allows competitors to enjoy the views from the valley top, but also sees Medium and Long course runners definitely getting your feet wet crossing the ankle-deep Plenty River at the valley bottom – an often talked about feature that adds to the sense of adventure and escape! #BitumenIsBoring.

THE COURSES

Long course: 24km
Medium course: 13km
Short course: 7km

COURSE MAP

CLICK HERE or on image below to view detailed course maps.

Long course

Length: 23.5km. Elevation gain: 640m ascent Water Pts: 5.5km, 12.5km and 17km pts

The Long Course route completes a figure 8 circuit through the parkland, coming back past the start/finish area mid way through the race. It features a number of short and sometimes steep climbs and crosses the Plenty River on 6 occasions, where you may get wet passing through calf deep water.

It’s a great adventure run for the more dedicated trail runners.

Medium course

Length: 12.5km. Elevation gain: 320m ascent Water Pts: 8km pt

The Medium Course completes a single loop to the south of the start finish area, weaving in and out of the bushland on some popular running and riding trails. It includes a number of hills (but considerably less than the long course) and crosses the Plenty River on 2 occasions where you’ll get wet passing through calf deep water.

It’s a great run for all runners.

Short course

Length: 7km. Elevation gain: 143m ascent Water Pts: there are no water points on the short course

The Short Course provides a great introduction to trail running with a single loop through the bushland made friendly with kangaroos, echidnas and kookaburras. It does not cross the Plenty River (so your feet stay dry!) and is an achievable run for those getting into trail running.

RIVER CROSSINGS

The Medium and Long courses cross the Plenty River on several occasions and may result in you getting wet feet. Pending the rainfall leading up to the day these river crossings may be up to calf – knee deep but there is a rope to hold onto for support and stability and a courser marshal to supervise.

We advise all runners to TAKE CARE crossing the river, and suggest that you walk across and take your time to avoid potentially falling in (although that would add to the adventure even more!). This is another reason not to wear headphones because if you fall over or drop it your device will soon be water-logged.

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