Race Recap: Afterglow

Event: Afterglow – Twilight Night Trail Run
Date: 28th November 2015
Distance: 21km or 12km
Type: Trail, Point to Point
Where: Point Addis to Torquay, Victoria
Event Partners: Black Diamond, Tailwind, The Happy Runner, Surf Coast Trail Runners

Afterglow is the sister event to the Surf Coast Trail Marathon, and is currently the only Half Trail Marathon that runs at twilight in Australia.

If bad-taste, tight & bright, glow in the dark, afro’s and 80’s music is your thing, then this is your type of event.

Doubling in numbers from its inaugural outing in 2014, this years event sold out!

The Black Diamond Afterglow Night Trail run breaks the mould when it comes to trail runs.  Ditching the seriousness of trail running, Afterglow is fun, light hearted and gets you to love the run.

I’m glad I chose this event as my redemption run after my experience with the Surf Coast Trail Marathon last year.

With two distance options this year, I chose the 21km which started at Point Addis. 2015 also saw the introduction of a shorter 12km trail option (which could be extended to 13.5km if the runner chose).

To ensure all runners experienced running in Twilight there were 2 waves, for the 21km event.

Traditionally the slower runners are ‘released’ in the second wave, but race director Chris Ord (from Tour de Trails and also the one in the Afro), decided to let the slow runners go first (6:45pm), and us “Gonzales” runners were released half an hour later.

Afterglow 2015 (3)I among the other hundred of runners channelled their retro, eighties, Christmas lights, glow and in some cases bad taste fashion on the Surf Coast Walk, which just also happened to be our trail for the evening.

Starting at the Point Addis carpark, we had a slight downhill start.  I kept to the back of the Gonzales pack.  I knew that I didn’t want to go too fast and burn myself out.

Heading along the Koorie Nature trail, it climbs to the top of Addiscot Beach cliffs, where you get a glimpse of the coast.

Then it’s a further climb into the Ironbark forest where a saxophonist will lure you like a Siren luring a sailor to the sea.  The run along the ridge-line is flat and is refreshing after the climb.

Afterglow 2015 (2)What goes up must come down. Running towards the iconic Bells Beach, there is a short section of sand and stairs before returning to the track that heads back to Torquay.

The course then heads into heathland before coming back onto the cliffs at Jan Juc (another iconic surfing point).

I was half expecting a male with a ‘boob’ apron at the Boobs checkpoint.

Instead I got music, tailwind, water, lollies, and this crazy lot.

Afterglow Boobs checkpointAfter clearing the check point you pass the Jan Juc beaches to Eagle Rock which then leads you onto the board-walk at Spring Creek, passing the Torquay SLSC and eventually into town.

Me (left) on the Boardwalk

Me (left) on the Board-walk

The next few kilometres are on sealed footpath along Point Danger, taking you past the Torquay War Memorial, and the promenade.

Upon reaching a large playground you can see the finish line.  The catch is you have run pass the finish line on the beach before doubling back (and over a sand dune, that made me thankful for wearing my gaiters) to the finishers arch.

Afterglow Beach

With the course clearly marked, marshal’s, vollies, all dressed up, friendly and cheering us on, this without a doubt has been one of my favourite events, and I will be back to do it again next year.

I crossed the line in a time of 2h09m47s.

Top: Long Sleeve Fluro Pink top
Bottoms: Puma Shorts
Socks: Pro Compression
Gaiters: Trail Gaiters
Shoes: Mizuno Kazan
Fuel: Tailwind