Running events are back in Australia in a big way and to kick off what is pretty much the official start of the running season here in South Australia, the Trail Running SA Five Peaks Trail Running Festival really turned it on.
The dust had barely settled on the Adelaide Trail Runners Summer Series of races when Autumn and the cooler weather arrived and now it’s time to get serious about events - in fact, the local calendar of running events is now so full, there’s barely a weekend free for the rest of the year assuming all goes smoothly. Which, with the whole Pandemic thing, is anyone's guess.
But one thing’s for sure, Five Peaks got it right in every way. (Except the slushy guy who left early. Talk about disappointment.)
With three start times and daylight savings still around for one more week, the early 6am runners basically started in pitch black and needed head torches well up to the first of the five peaks at Black Hill. Sunrise wasn’t until 7:24am, so even the second wave of starters at 7am had their work cut out for them early on, making their way through the semi-darkness until the sun peaked over the first of the five peaks they needed to summit. For those who took the time to look up, there was a pretty amazing sunrise though. The elite runners who took off at 8am had one less thing to worry about and enjoyed a nice still, cool morning - basically perfect running conditions. Although the runners who go with io experience perfect conditions pretty much always!
The race itself winds its way through the Mt Lofty Ranges which wrap around the city of Adelaide on the Eastern side, and takes in the five peaks of Black Hill, Rocky Hill, Norton Summit, Mt Lofty and Brown Hill before finishing in Belair National Park - South Australia’s first national park and the second in all of Australia. It actually happens to be the world’s 10th oldest national park, but way before any of that happened of course, it was, and still is, ‘Piradli’ - the traditional lands of the Kaurna Aboriginal people who lived in the area for thousands of generations.
For those fortunate enough to run 8, 12, 26 or 58kms as part of the running festival they got to enjoy some of the most beautiful parts of South Australia on these traditional lands. Those runners included ‘The Flying Brick’, Simone Brick, who came over to run what was her longest ever race, and not only take out the women’s race, but finish a pretty handy 3rd overall.
Cloud cover for most of the day kept the temperature down for a lot of the race, and we spotted plenty of ioMerino out on course with people wanting that extra bit of warmth at the start, without needing to worry about layers they’d need to put on or take off later. They were ready for anything! And with past years delivering everything from warm, sunny weather to the sideways rain of the inaugural event, being prepared for your time out on the trails is always a good idea. Turns out going with io wasn't just the perfect choice for runners, but volunteers as well, with official Outsider Sarah brightening up her road crossing location with this unicorn x mongrel combo much to the amusement of passing motorists and cyclists as well as the runners.
Not only were runners treated to some great natural scenery along the way, (as well as unicorns!) but the Echo Tunnel leading in to Belair and the final few kilometres of the race, was transformed into a party tunnel courtesy of a light display and some classic bangers ranging from Michael Jackson to Avicii. It was good to see runners emerge with a smile on their face when so any of them would have been hurting after a long day on the trails.
We also had a couple of our official Outsiders take on the course with Jess going with the lightweight Celsius T-shirt, and Wendy rocking her ‘Run All The Trails’ Altitude. Wendy went on to finish in the top ten Women and we’re pretty sure it was because she was also wearing our brand new no-show socks. We’re not saying they’re so comfortable they’ll make you run faster, but… ;-)
While the slushy guy may have left the finish area early, the ioMerino team were there from start to finish and as always, we’re proud to support Trail Running SA - including with an official race top that runners will no doubt get plenty of wear out of in the months and years ahead.
Thanks to Sputnik, another one of our Outsiders, who spent 12 hours out on course taking photos - he wore his Ultra T-shirt and managed to cover 14kms across various parts of the course carrying an extra 5kgs of camera gear!
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Made from 45% ultra fine MERINO (Ultra Lightweight 150gsm), 45% natural TENCEL (made from sustainably grown wood fiber), and 10% nylon for extra durability.
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