SATURDAY 9th MARCH 2019
25km REDWOODS RUSH
ASCENT: 890m (approx)
CUT OFF: 11am @ half way aid station (2.5hrs) / no cut off for finish, expected last finisher 4hr 30min
RECORD: 1:44:31 / John Dutton
This one's a blast. A fast blast. So if you're not up for the ultra distance and don't want to be hit by too many hills, this is your beast. It's based on the mostly flat O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail, which scoots along the northern flank of the Warburton Valley, an old access trail for the aqueduct that used to be the delivery channel for much of water in Melbourne's east. It sidles along eastward towards O'Shannassy Weir, but we'll only take you as far as the magnificent Redwoods Forest, a hidden gem out at a place called Cement Creek. This is an out-and-back, but the trail is double track (see aerial image below), so there's plenty of passing space, and it is stunning, surrounded as you are by huge mountain ash and quite incredible fern tree walls that rise up to dwarf you at certain bends. It may be flat but it's still pretty wild!
Oh – and you do have to watch the hill at the beginning as we route you up Martyrs Rd, just one of the steepest residential streets in the Southern Hemisphere. It's short, however, and you nail it not long after leaving the Warburton Football Club, having run some sweet single track riverside. Then it's the out-and-back to the Redwoods, with a short loop through the towering trees that are one of Victoria's few remaining remnants of experiments to grow Californian Redwoods. These ones were planted by the Board of Works about1930. Included in the stand is Bishop Pine, Douglas Fir and Californian Redwood. Further plantings of Radiata Pine, Western Red Cedar and Redwood took place in 1960–63. There are over 1476 trees ranging from 20 metres to the giants stretching 55 metres into the sky. Worth running to... but run fast as this one is likely to attract some speedsters! (or get your support crew to meet you out at the Redwoods for a quick mid-run picnic if you're planning on going at a more civilised pace).
Fast and fun along the O'Shannassy Aqueduct Trail out to the giant and atmospheric Redwood Forest. No, our event photographers will not be able to get this shot for you...