THAT INTERIM period where the cricket season is winding down and the footy season hasn’t quite started yet means only one thing for our local running community; it is time — once again — to lace up those runners and tackle the Run Warrandyte fun run.
This is the second year of the 21km course option, and the allure of a half-marathon and any excuse to run the picturesque riverside trial in Pound Bend saw me two-for-two with the 21km distance.
For those who do not know, the 5km–21km distances are one to four laps of a course that takes runners up Everard Drive and onto the Tank Track, before a sweeping downhill section to the walking track, then the hard slog up to Third Street, before following West End Road back down to the Sports Pavilion and the start/ finish.
With its placement at the beginning of March, often bushfires, dehydration, and snakes are your biggest worry.
But, the recent, unusual weather and the brief soaking the township received the previous day, the course and conditions were cool and damp, making for some fast single trail through the lush, green forest alongside a flowing Yarra River.
Four laps of this course has you out there for a long time, but starting first and finishing after all the other distances had been completed meant I managed to see most of the other distance runners out on the course.
From 5km to 21km, young kids to seasoned recreational runners, everyone was smiling and just enjoying being out in Warrandyte’s bush environment.
Hats off to the community of volunteers who gave up a sleep-in on a Sunday morning to guide and cheer the runners around the course.
With a little over 100 metres of elevation per lap, the 21km event accumulates between 400 and 450 metres (depending on your smartwatch) of elevation over the four laps, which makes this course fun but challenging at any distance.
The atmosphere around the event village was electric, and kudos to the organisers who have designed a course where the buzz of onlookers and the activities in the event village invigorates and motivates you to go another lap.
I can say with certainty that the Run Warrandyte fun run has matured into an excellent community event, and I am looking forward to taking on its challenging hills and trails in 2023.
I hope they don’t add any more laps; I might not be able to help myself.
For all of this year’s results visit: https://www.runwarrandyte.com/