Race Recap: Mosaic to Mountain 21km Trail

Event: Mosaic to Mountain
Distance: 4.7km, 10km, 21km & 26km
Type: Loop
Where: Dunkeld, Victoria
Start: Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld
Finish: Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld
Sponsors / Supportors : Dunkeld Kindergaten, Royal Mail Hotel, AGL Oaklands Hill Wind Farm, Souther Grampians Cottages, Cafe 109

In 2013 & 2014 I did their 10km events. Which were lovely. Besides a hill at the start the course is relatively flat, and takes in some majestic views of Mount Sturgeon and the Serra Range.

I always knew that I was going to come back to Dunkeld and run this event again.

It’s the major fundraiser for the local kindergarten, so it’s a good cause to get behind.

So when I discovered that Mosaic to Mountain were adding a trail option to their event, I knew I was in.

There were 2 options for the trail event.  A 21km distance, or the 26km Mount Sturgeon challenge.

The Mount Sturgeon challenge really appealed to me, but the event was brought forward by 3 months from October to August.  I knew that I would not get the ideal training in for distance or elevation. So I decided to stick with the 21km distance, and train for the 26km for 2016.


With a change of date, it also means a change of season.  Late spring, to the dead of winter.

It has been cold this winter.  And event day was no exception. It is more so those Arctic winds that cut right to the bone.

I ended up wearing a singlet over my long sleeve top.  I figured if I get hot I could take it off.

It stayed on the entire way.  I had moments were I wish I didn’t have it, but majority of the time I was grateful I wore it.

I was also grateful I wore my gloves.  The top I chose to wear does have thumb hole options, but the gloves came in handy.  I did have to take them off a few times, but I wore them more than I thought I would. 2015 M2M Start

Both trail events kicked off at 8:45am. We all did a small loop around the mosaic before going into farm and vineyard country, then headed into the Grampians National Park.

By the 4km mark I felt like I was in the back of the pack, as we hit the first big ‘hill’.  But I wasn’t out there to win, I was out there to enjoy myself.

For a while I ran with Tom from Balmoral.  This was his first ever event (of any kind).  He had a time goal of 2h30, which was also my time goal, so we stuck together to keep ourselves accountable.

Around the 7km mark the path splits.  Those going left were to tackle the peak that is Mt Sturgeon.  Going right means climbing The Picaninny.

I decided to fast hike up the single lane track. The terrain too rocky for me to run it.  By walking I was conserving my energy.

At the top of the Picaninny was a Marshall checking us off.  She informed me that I was the 5th female.  I didn’t realise I was out in front.  This really surprised me, as I had only seen 2 other women on that part of the track.

On the downhill section of the Picaninny I lost Tom but I also had over taken another female, which put me into 4th, but I still had another 8km to cover. Anything can happen in that time.

The track then follows a dirt road / fireline, which was a relief on the feet.  I felt like I was flying down this section it was a pleasant surprise when I later discovered it was also my fastest km.

Mt Sturgeon SelfieAt the around the 18km mark I decided to take a selfie in the designated “selfie spot” (they had several on course).It was good timing to stop as the top 2 lead runners in the 26km distance ran past me. Wow they were flying, and they made it look so easy.

Overall the event was so well organised.  The course was well marked.  There were several mashalls an volunteers which were all friendly and helpful.

The trail was a mixture of farm paddocks, single lane tracks, sand, fireline and rocky terrain. Total elevation 471m.  And I loved every minute of it.

I crossed the finish line in a time of 2h27m16s.  No other female overtook me, so I still ended up being 4th.

Totally happy with my time, as I ran for joy not to race.

So what happened to Tom for Balmoral?  Well he crossed the line in 2h40.  He was close to his goal time, but I don’t think he took into consideration how much trail running differs from the road. 2h40 is still a ripper of a time. Especially considering it was his first event.

I look forward to returning to Dunkeld in 2016 and tackling the Mount Sturgeon Challenge. I’ve already started planning out training runs.

Top: Puma & RMA singlet
Bottoms: Gore Windstopper tights
Gloves: Fly Active
Socks: Pro Compressions
Shoes: Mizuno Wave Kazan
Buff: RMA
Bag: Salomon Hydration Vest
Fuel: Nuun, SPC Fruit Puree, Watermelon
Map: M2M Map on Strava