A Rather Rad Day Out – Salomon Trail Run and Melburn Roobaix

Damn it!!!! I left my number plate at home!!!

Just as I arrive at the near pole position parking spot on Yarra Boulevard I realise that in my disorderly haste to pack for the days adventure I forgot the one thing I needed most. My race number. I had my running gear, a change of clothes, my helmet and bike (more on that later) and camera… but no race number…

So a quick call to Megs.

“Baby, where are you? Do you need anything? I need to go back home. I left my number”

“Registration, I ran with everything I need. Holy cow dude, you’re gonna be pushing it. Don’t speed.. you’re a nuffy!”

Meaghan,  having run an easy 17 km before the race even started, kindly pointed out my complete lack of utility and I set off back to the house. Luckily, on a cold Sunday morning in Melbourne, there is very little traffic. Unusually high numbers of bikes though in all shapes and sizes, made my cross-town traverse just that little bit more interesting and setting the scene for things to come.

By the time I got back to Studley Park there were very few car spots left, the one I got was a little over 1 km away. Such is the growing popularity of this event. I went down to registration, picked up my new “Bitumen is Boring” shirt and caught up with the other members of TNP. I had about 10 minutes to spare. I perform better under pressure anyway.

Leg 1 – Salomon Trail Running Series Race 1

Such was the pre race preparation for the latest in my year of adventures as the Banzai Adventurer for 2012. The Rapid Ascent, Salomon Trail Running Series Race 1 at StudleyPark had attracted over 1200 runners, from all walks of life. Due to such large numbers taking part, event organisers asked us to self seed. If you are a “fast” runner start at the front, a “medium” runner in the middle and the remainder behind. I exchanged a few nervous words with Meaghan and decided to head up front, with a very clear race plan to stay at the back and see if I could stay with them. My running coach, Liam from Vigor Running, reassured me that this was a good tactic, all I needed to do was have some discipline at the start and pace myself…. mmm pace myself.

Uploaded picture from Rapid Ascent’s awesome automatic upload thingy by Pic2Go

Moments later we were away. My discipline evaporated and I took off determined to hang in the middle for as long as I could – afterall, I was feeling great. By the time we all got to the drink station I was starting to really feel the extra pace, most of my training so far had been long slow distance so the extra effort was starting to hurt. The trails along the Yarra are quite spectacular, it is amazing to consider that you are practically in the CBD. No time for sight seeing though, by the half way point I was doing my best just to hang on.

Thankfully, after the turn back towards Studley park, the trails narrowed somewhat and we all seemed to get into a rhythm. I got my breathing under control and started to really enjoy the run. Be this stage in the race, there were less people passing me and I was passing less people. We were like a smelly, sweaty, brightly coloured congo line, single file, headed towards the finish at the boathouse.

Before long the loudspeaker calls of the race caller got louder, the pace picked up just that little bit more and we all surged through the finish. A little muddier, all grinning.

This event was a real treat! Runners from all walks of life participated. Hundreds of first timers and runners of all abilities and fitness levels were out in force. Off road events like this trail running series cater for all, promoting participation and (certainly back where I am in the pack) encouraging competitors to challenge themselves in a safe and rewarding environment, surrounded by like minded people getting out there.

Just like a grinning, smelly congo line

Milling at the finish, I joined the hundreds of runners, family members and general public sheering finishers as they came through. I even caught up with Scott Knabel, recently famous for this inspirational video. Even more down to earth in person.

As far as I can tell, everyone who started, finished and I have a sneaking suspicion that most are already talking about the next event. Meaghan started 5 minutes behind me so I knew she’d be through shortly after I finished.

Which she was… as always with a grin from ear to ear.

After the race we meandered down to the boat house for a coffee before the long trek back to the car. Effectively a feed station and transition, for I still had another event to do. For some reason, the first race in the series coincided with another classic Melbourne event.

Leg 2 – The 2012 Melburn Roobaix.

The reason there were so many extra bikes on the road during my last minute dash back home earlier in the day. The Melburn Roobaix is a 40 km bike rally through the Melbourne Suburbs. Designed very much as an all inclusive fun bike treasure hunt aroundMelbourne, it has quickly grown to now well over 2000 riders taking part.

The route remains secret until the morning of the race

Just like the marginally more famous “Sister Event” the Paris Roubaix, the Melburn Roobaix is a one day cycling classic that takes in 12 cobble stone alleyways around Melbourne. Riders of all shapes and sizes on equally diverse steeds navigate their way around the 40 km course ending at the Brunswick Velodrome. Judging by the smiles on the dials of all the riders I saw on Sunday, the event was fun for all.

Here’s a short highlight reel.

So that was it. I reckon it was probably the most unusual duathlon I’ve done.

A challenging, and probably a little too quick trail run and a 40 km tour de burbs. I wonder how many other competitors at Race 1 of the Salomon Trail Running Series backed up to completeMelbourne’s most rad duathlon.

Next event in my year of adventures is Race 2 of the Salomon Trial Running Series (STRS) at Plenty Gorge in July, then Anaconda Noosa, Race 3 STRS, Mainpeak Multisport inPerth, Race 4 STRS then the Surfcoast Century…
For more about Studley Park check out the Rapid Ascent report or this blog post.
For more about Melburn Roobaix – try this guy or this blog.

That will bring us to September.. Stay tuned folks there are plenty of adventures to come.

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6 Responses to A Rather Rad Day Out – Salomon Trail Run and Melburn Roobaix

  1. Bob Jenkins says:

    Seems like it’s common practice to forget at least one important piece of gear for every race. Really, it’s the best way to force yourself into an upgrade. I’ve had to buy new bike shoes, helmets and even socks, so don’t feel bad.

    Love the website!

  2. David says:

    I only did the run that day but saw all the cyclists out and about for the Roubaix, weeks later I asked my friend that did it to show me the big hill in the cobblestones and we did it with his small daughter in the back of his bike.
    I also did the Plenty Gorge race, and loved it!, sending your video of that one to my GF that was overseas that day.

    • Thanks David. Melburn Roobaix is a great day out! That hill would have been nuts with a passenger! The running series is proving to be a barrel of fun – I’m really enjoying it. Of course I am not very close to the front, so I have a lot more time to enjoy it back in the pack where I am. See you at Race 3 – Silvan.. Adam

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