Afterglow Night Trail Run lights up the Surf Coast
THE Surf Coast was alight on Saturday night as the region’s popular Black Diamond Afterglow Night Trail Run was held for an eighth year.
The event saw more than 500 participants run a choice of 21km, 13km or 5km courses, the longest outing tracing along the Surf Coast Walk from Point Addis all the way through Torquay Village to Fisherman’s Beach.
A DJ and fire twirlers welcomed runners across the finish line, as did two ‘unicorns’ handing out finisher medals in what was described by organisers as “a quirky night”.
The trail run was coincidentally one of the first active events to take place since COVID-19 restrictions substantially eased last week.
The bright, fun-filled, rainbow-fuelled thematic event could not have been more appropriately timed as guests revelled in what race director and director of Tour de Trails, Chris Ord, said was “a great social occasion and excuse to dress up in the gaudiest, fluorescent, bad-taste eighties clothing with a bit of running on the side.”
“There’s probably more effort gone into the runners’ outfits than into their training program, if we are to be honest,” Mr Ord said.
“Yes, we all love running on the Surf Coast trails, but we love a bright yellow tutu even more. That aside, there were some great running performances in amongst the frivolity.”
Winning the 21km distance was Shane Mallia from Airport West, in a time of 1:26:18, with the women’s title taken out by professional trail runner Simone Brick in 1:31:22.
The 13km race was super tight in the men’s event with Belmont-based Aaron Collins and Mt Duneed’s Tim Dwyer crossing under the rainbow arch together – although timing had Aaron in first place by less than 0.2 of a second.
In the women’s Clair Breed (1:07:19), also of Mt Duneed, nudged out Amie Herring (1:08:32) by just over one minute.
The 5km was won by Footscray’s Melinda Tyson (22:17) in the women’s and Torquay local Finlay Miller in the men’s (19:02).
Also getting in on the action was the Surf Coast Shires deputy mayor, Cr Liz Pattison, who participated in the 21km distance event. She finished in 2:38:24.
“Special mention goes to all those who also ran or walked in the 5km Body Positive Stomp,” Mr Ord said.
“It is an event we are super proud of hosting in partnership with Escape Your Comfort Zone, an organisation that encourages body positivity.
“It welcomes everybody of all shapes and sizes and levels of experience, but it especially encourages and facilitates women and non-binary people to enjoy adventures in the body they are in with no focus on weight-loss or fitness.”
The Black Diamond Afterglow Night Trail Run is supported by the Surf Coast Shire via its Major Events Program. The event takes place annually in November and more information about the event can be found at afterglowtrailrun.com.