Razorback Run 38KM (Not the Prom Run) - 2011 - Report

Event Razorkback Run 38km (Not the Prom Run)
Date 30 April 2011
Distance 38 / 58 / 64 km
Location Harrietville, Victoria, Australia
Weather Sunny, 10 Degrees Celsius
Site Razorback Run 2011 – Site
GPX Razorkback Run 38km

This was the first time for me to do any running in Victoria’s High Country. If you think that living or running in the Dandenong Ranges prepares you for what is waiting at the Razorback, then think again. The hills, or yes we can actually call them mountains, around Harrietville are a touch higher, with the Mount Feathertop peaking at 1922 meters (according to my Garmin).

This run, organized by Paul Ashton, was an alternative to the Prom run, which was unfortunately cancelled due to extensive flooding earlier in the month. Hence the alternative name for todays events was “Not the Prom Run”! On the menu were 3 alternative distances, varying from 38 to 58 to 64 kilometers.
Photographer Justin

The start was at the Harrietville Caravan Park at 6 in the morning. It was still plenty dark by this time, so starting with torches was required. After a short ‘gear check’ of sorts, and a missing start shot, we were send on our way. The small group, just short of 30, made the climb up to Mount Feathertop together. Crossing through Harrietvile, up the Bungalow Spur for continuous climb to the very summit of Mount Feathertop. The Bungalow Spur track is a goat tracks (as are all the other described here) which zig zags through the trees until reaching Feathertop Hut. This track would be great for running if coming down hill. Not too rocky, and plenty of soft ground. As it was, we were going up hill, were the running was left to the die-hards (totalling 13 km).

View from Mount Feathertop

Once reaching the top of Mount Feathertop, the panorama was absolutely magnificent. We were extremely lucky to have a cloudless day and arriving very early in the morning, to still see the last remnants of sunrise. Well worth the additional 1.5 km detour from the main track.

View from Razorback Trail

Coming down from the top, the route continued of the Razorback. A stretch of about 11 kilometers. Excellent views all the way with plenty of opportunity to make photos. Also good running here. Yes the track is a bit rocky, but plenty of clean stretches, and all slightly undulating. Coming towards the end of the Razorback (closing in on Mount Hotham) you see a small very rough trail splitting off upwards and to the right. You think this would not be the trail to follow, but it is the shortest way to the Bon Accord track. In my case I didn’t believe it and found myself backtracking from the opposite site. If it was to me, we could have been running the Razorback all day! It is a great stretch of trail in Victoria.

And then it was time for the home stretch, down the Bon Accord Spur (14 km). What can I say about this track? Didn’t like it very much at all. The first 8 or so kilometers are very hard to run, as it is very steep, very narrow and must importantly extremely rocky. Unless you are a fell runner, you will be putting on the brakes quite a bit, giving the quads a good workout. It is only after crossing the Washington Creek that the trail provides some good running opportunities again.

Arriving back in Harrietville, found a rather abandoned ‘event tent’ at the finish line, with the promised Fredo chocolates!! I did run on Vibram Treks, and although it is very possible, it is hard on the feet. I bashed my toes on at least 4 occasions and one of my toes is looking tomato red. I hope it isn’t broken again, but will find out in a couple of days.

Enjoyed the run a lot, and hope to give the longer distances a try in the future. Thanks to Paul Ashton for organizing this event.
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