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Previous event : Great Ocean Walk 100, 13th October 2012, Appolo Bay, Victoria Read more
Next event: Marysville Marathon Festival, 11th November 2012, Gallipolo Park, Marysville, Victoria
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Welcome to DandyRunner

Two of Australia's most famous distance running sons, Ron Clarke and Rob (Deek) de Castella have immortalised this amazing set of running trails in beautiful temperate rainforest just an hour's drive from Melbourne.

Back in the '70s and '80s you could join packs of up to a hundred runners, all members of Melbourne's club running fraternity and doing their obligatory "long run" for the week. Each pack would have a favoured route through the forest; each would know when to apply the pressure to test the legs, hearts and lungs of even the hardiest of runners.

The meeting place is a car park at the far end of the picturesque little village of Ferny Creek, on towards Sassafrass and just off Main Road. In winter it can be quite daunting to emerge from the car, with the mountain often shrouded in low-lying cloud or misty rain. But that's all part of the adventure. Once you're in the forest and running, who cares about the mud and the rain and the cold! And in summer the forest is a cool, leafy respite from the hot plain below.

The trails (and there are dozens of them) criss-cross through the forest and it is easy to get lost. There are maps located in strategic entry points and the trails are all signed, so make sure you have a rough idea of where you want to go.

Once inside the forest and running, you enter another world. Everything becomes much quieter, even your footsteps are hard to hear as you are running on forest detritus for much of the way. The only sounds are those of your lungs sucking up the air and the occasional lyre bird calling out to a mate.

If you have arrived with the intention of doing your long run, it is easy to cover 25 kilometres minimum and not retrace your steps over the same trails. Some of the features of the run have been tagged with nicknames, such as "Clarke Hill", a famous 3.6 kilometre gradual incline where Ron Clarke used to put the pressure on his mates running with him.

Then there's "Areoplane Hill", a short, sharp almost vertical incline that leaves you gasping for air when you get to the top. But if you run down it instead of up, you could just about become airborne! I guess that's where the tag comes from.

Most of the running though, is along gently undulating trails that wind through the forest, sometimes following mountain creeks and waterfalls. The amazing thing is that you hardly feel you are running uphill at all, except for the occasional climb like "aeroplane".

So if you are visiting Melbourne some time in the future and you would like to experience a truly great trail run, you can't go past "Ferny". You might just run into one of those packs, especially on a Sunday morning. And afterwards you can indulge in a well-earned devonshire tea at one of the local friendly tea house establishments.

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July 2, 20115 years ago

What to bring for marathon race day

Today is the rest day before the Gold Coast marathon. Looking at te waves roll in from our hotel, waiting for the race to get under way, I went once more through my checklist to see if I have everything I needed for tomorrow. I am sure you have your checklist too, so I thought why not get mine out there so I have don’t have to worry about forgetting anything next time around.

So here is my list of things I consider to take with me:

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June 19, 20115 years ago

Running Form

So who said running was easy? It was on my run this evening home from work, that I got in the zone and mentally cycled through all those checks to improve my running form. And then I though, yeee, that is actually quite a list. Remember that day you put on your shoes, and just went for a run..?

Anyway I thought you might be interested in my running check-list. Remember, I am a fanatic Vibram runner, so my list is oriented towards running with minimalist shoes, mid-foot running, and so on.

I also though about the importance of certain ‘checks’ but in the end they are all important (at least to me), so here is the list in no particular order:

[dcs_ol bg="false" type="decimal"] Relax. It is funny that, especially when we want to run fast, we tend to start to strain every muscle we have, specifically the ones around the chest and shoulders. Breath out and relax. You can get real shoulder cramps when running like a puffed up balloon.

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June 12, 20115 years ago

Home made gel for endurance runners

As a runner you should think about your nutrition before, during and after your run. It is what you eat during your run what will help you over the line for runs lasting over 2 hours. For shorter runs you don’t have to worry much about your eating as your body, assuming your fit, has enough energy stored in your muscles to get you through.

It is for the longer runs that nutrition becomes an important aspect. The slower ultra runner has the benefit that his body is under much lesser stress than for instance the marathon runner, allowing him to eat real solid foods during his exercise. A luxury that the marathon runner most likely can’t cope with. Still, many ultra runners can’t stand solid foods after having been on the road for many hours, and just like the marathon runner, prefers to switch to the optimum carbohydrate solution – Gels! Read more
June 5, 20115 years ago

Mt Macedon Trail Runs - 2011 - Report

This night we camped in a little motel in Macedon, at the foot of the hills, and were more than a bit surprised to find the car in the dark early morning with the windscreens frozen over. I can’t remember having seen that for a long time, other than back in Europe. Frozen windscreens? We scratched the ice of the screen, and I started wondering how cold it was going to be on top of Mt Macedon. One thing for sure, it wasn’t going to be any warmer!! Read more
April 30, 20115 years ago

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 DegreesĀ Celsius
Site Razorback Run 2011 – Site
GPX Razorkback Run 38km


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