Course Description – Silvan

UPDATE 4-11-2021: 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 16YRS AND OVER 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.


The Silvan race is often rated as everyone’s favourite event thanks to the beautiful scenery and sense of satisfaction at the finish line – but it’s not easy running out there so be prepared!.

You should be aware that all courses at Silvan are a little harder than others in the Series! It is not that the terrain is rougher but there are some significant hills that will cause you to change down a gear or two. Don’t be afraid… be prepared and you will love it!

We are also thrilled to include the Kids Run as part of the events at Silvan – designed for kids aged up to 12yrs this is a great way to get involved when you’re young! Click here for more

The courses

Long Course: 20.5km, approx 762m elevation gain / loss
Medium course: 15.5km, approx 523m elevation gain / loss
Short Course: 8.2km, approx 272m elevation gain / loss
Kids Run: 1.7km (small loop to/from Event Expo area)

Course description

The courses are different to recent years as a result of storm damage on the tracks.

Long Course – 20.5km

All runners will gather in the start / finish chute in Silvan Regional Park in the wide grassy parkland facing away from the dam wall. Once under way, runners turn left on to Stonyford Road and then turn right to continue along a fast flat 4WD track for approx 3km heading north.

Runners turn left on to Alpina Tk for a steadily climb (the first of many), then a short sharp descent before a longer gradual climb up Richardsons Tk to finally reach the first high point of the course at the 5.2km pt. A steep and fast descent down to Olinda Ck soon follows that will really hammer the quads!

You then have a long, gradual climb on a mixture of grassy 4WD tracks and single track up hill and into the RJ Hamer Arboretum area. Other than a short section up KC Track much of this should be runnable right to the top at the Arboretum car park – which provides great views into the upper Yarra River valley.

From here its anchors-away for a flying descent back down into the Stonyford Valley. There is a final climb to the edge of the reservoir catchment and then its downhill back to the road and into the finish chute at the base of dam wall. Enjoy!!

Medium Course – 15.5km

The medium course is very similar to the long course but just misses some of the earlier sections.
All runners gather in the start / finish chute facing away from the dam wall and once under way, runners turn left on Stonyford Road and soon after turn right on to a flat contouring track where you join the long course route at the 1.8km pt.

After re-joining the long course route you have a long, gradual climb on a mixture of grassy 4WD tracks and single track up hill and into the RJ Hamer Arboretum area. Other than a short section up KC Track much of this should be runnable right to the top at the Arboretum car park – which provides great views into the upper Yarra River valley.

From here its anchors-away for a flying descent back down into the Stonyford Valley. There is a final climb to the edge of the reservoir catchment and then its downhill back to the road and into the finish chute at the base of dam wall. Enjoy!!

Short Course – 8.2km

The short course is similar to the first section of the long course and completes a loop to the north.
All runners gather in the start / finish chute facing away from the dam wall and once under way, runners turn left onto Stonyford Road and then shortly after turn right to run along a fast flat track for 3kms heading north.

Runners turn left on to Alpina Tk for a steadily climb, followed by a short sharp then descent then prepare for a longer gradual climb up Richardson’s Tk to reach the high point of the course at the 5.2km pt. A steep and fast descent down to Olinda Ck soon follows where runners turn left for the final 1.5km section beside the creek through some lovely tree ferns. Soon you cross the road and then run into the finish chute at the base of the dam wall. Well done.

KIDS COURSE – 1.7KM

This is a fun and safe course for kids that will give them a taste for the trail running we all love so much! The course includes a short section on Stonyford Rd (traffic halted by traffic controllers) before returning to the Silvan Reservoir Park where parents can watch and cheer. We recommend that adults / parents do not run with your child but let them experience it for themselves and grow their independence.

Course description: All kids will gather in the start / finish chute facing away from the dam wall. Once under way, kids turn left onto Stonyford Road and then turn left again to return along some single track and back into Silvan Resevoir Park. Once back in the parkland kids complete a loop around the perimeter of the grassed area, tackling the hill to start with and then a fun downhill on the grass to finish under the arch to the cheers of the crowd. WELL DONE!

Water points

Water points will have cups of water and sports hydration available. Please take only what you can drink and place your cup in a bin afterwards. We encourage you to bring a reusable cup with you.

Kids’ Run: NO water point on the short course.
Short course: NO water point on the short course.
Medium course: TWO water points on the medium course located at approximately the 4km and 11.5km points.
Long course: TWO water points on the long course that will be located at approximately the 9km and 17km points.
Finish line hydration/nutrition station: There will be water, sports hydration and fruit available at the finish line. Please BYO cup/bottle or reusable cup (can also be purchased at event).

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:

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)
  • with white flour arrows marked on the ground

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)
  • with white flour arrows marked on the ground

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)
  • with white flour arrows marked on the ground.

Please be aware that the long, medium and short courses come together and separate throughout each race so keep a close eye out for the course markings for your route so you don’t go the wrong way.

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 sharing 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.