Course Description – Werribee

COVID REQUIREMENTS – FULLY VACCINATED – We take the risks of COVID-19 very seriously and follow the Government’s restrictions for events and group gatherings which mandate that ALL EVENT ATTENDEES OVER THE AGE OF 12 YEARS AND 2 MONTHS MUST BE FULLY VACCINATED to attend on race day, or have a valid medical exemption.All attendees must check-in and show proof of vaccination status on arrival at the event.


OFFICIAL EVENT PROGRAM: The event program is essential reading for all event attendees and covers details like event schedule, course maps, parking details and more. READ IT HERE


2021 sees a NEW venue and 3 new courses at Werribee Gorge for Race 4 of the Trail Running Series.

Don’t be fooled by the shorter 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.

Course preview video:

THE COURSES

Long course: 13.5km, includes 750m elevation gain / loss
Medium course: 8.5km, includes 436m elevation gain / loss
Short course: 5.5km, includes 266m elevation gain / loss.

COURSE MAP

Course map for Race #4 can be downloaded here to your maps.me app or garmin device. Click here

Long course – 13.5km

(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 2.2km climb rising nearly 300 vertical metres in a stepped climb before reaching high ground where things flatten out (a bit) at the water point.

Long course runners continue north, descending through more open bushland before another steep climb up to the unique Island Reserve where you complete a circuit of this flat topped summit, providing views in all directions on the way around. Runners descend down the same track (keep left to avoid climbing runners) before a longer and more gradual climb through more open country back to the water point at the 9.2km mark.

After a final steep climb runners commence a steep and at times rocky and technical descent into the upper reaches of the Werribee Gorge river bed. The track beside the river makes for some beautiful running as the valley sides become impressive cliffs with just the river and the trail at the bottom. There are some rocky sections to negotiate along the river so watch your footing and keep an eye out for the odd snake as well.

There is a very notable rocky outcrop at the ~13km point that you have to climb around, holding on to a steel cable as a handrail – see description below. Take care at this spot and be patient and supportive of one another if there is a bit of a queue. From the ‘rock outcrop’ onwards it is a flat aqueduct trail through to the finish line in the expo area – well done.

Medium course – 8.5 km

(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 2.5km climb rising nearly 300 vertical metres in a stepped climb before reaching high ground where things flatten out (a bit) at the water point at the 3km pt.

Medium course runners tackle just one more steep climb after the water point and then commence a steep and at times rocky and technical descent into the upper reaches of the Werribee Gorge river bed. The track beside the river makes for some beautiful running as the valley sides become impressive cliffs with just the river and the trail at the bottom. There are some rocky sections to negotiate along the river so watch your footing and keep an eye out for the odd snake as well.

There is a very notable rock outcrop at the ~7.5km point that you have to climb around, holding on to a steel cable as a handrail – see description below. Take care at this spot and be patient and supportive of one another if there is a bit of a queue. From the ‘rock outcrop’ onwards it is a flat aqueduct trail through to the finish line in the expo area – well done.

Short course – 5.5km

(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 2.5km climb rising nearly 300 vertical metres in a stepped climb before reaching high ground where things flatten out (a bit) at the water point at the 3km pt.

Soon after after the water point short course runners then commence a steep and very direct descent back down to the river just upstream of the finish area. Parts of this descent are loose with some slippery corners and rocky sections to negotiate so take care to keep traction as you descend at speed through the bushland. Once you reach the bottom of the descent turn left for a final 200m into the finish line – well done!

The Rock Outcrop

As outlined in the course descriptions above, long and medium course runners must negotiate a rock outcrop ~1km from the finish. This is a steep rocky bluff that drops into the water which runners must traverse across – being about 50m long from start to finish. There is a very solid steel cable anchored into the rock to hold on to and firm placements for your feet – so it is not hard but requires you to slow down and look at what you are doing.

The rock outcrop, cable and traverse is a feature of the Parks Victoria walks in the area that the general public frequently use (so as experienced trail runners we’re sure you’ll be fine!) and we will have a marshal there to assist.

Here are a couple of photos and the traverse features in our course preview video here (see 40sec pt).

WATER POINTS

Short course: There will be one water point on the short course at approimately the 3km point. Please provide your own cup or water bottle. We will not be providing cups.
Medium course: There will be one water point on the medium course that will be located at approximately the 3km. Please provide your own cup or water bottle. We will not be providing cups.
Long course:  There will be two water point on the long course that will be located at approximately the 2.5km point and at approximately the 9km point. Please provide your own cup or water bottle. We will not be providing cups.
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 HOME STRAIGHT

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.

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