Located 20 minutes from Albany town centre, the Albany Trail Run takes in the spectacular granite and white sand coastline along King George Sound with a mix of firm white beach sand running at low tide, single track over granite headlands and 4WD trails through coastal wildflowers. Whilst there are not any significant hills, the long course in particular is physically challenging with the undulating terrain and variety of surfaces. Both the medium and long courses will give runners the opportunity to cut across the wet but firm low tide sand flats in Princess Royal Harbour, and all courses finish with an exhilarating descent from the high point of the course with just 3km to go and the finish at Discovery Bay in full view.
Discovery Bay Little Whalers Run, 1.3 and 2.6km
This run will be one lap for 3 to 7 year olds and two laps for 8 to 12 year olds, and is entirely within the boundaries of Discovery Bay's botanic gardens and Albany's Historic Whaling Station. Children will start and finish at the main event's finish banner and run a loop through the botanic gardens before descending on a gravel vehicle track into the Historic Whaling Station, sliding through the whale's mouth, clambering down onto the beach and running past the Cheynes IV whaling vessel before a short steep climb to the finish, the same as all the other courses.
Younger children may have a parent accompany them, but we encourage as many parents as possible to let their children experience the run solo - and develop the confidence and self-esteem from conquering the course themselves.
23km, 12km, 6km Albany Trail Run
All courses will start on the firm, brilliantly white sand of Discovery Bay, close to low tide. The first part of the run is along the beach towards Frenchmans Bay, and will allow the runners to spread out nicely before the short climb up the wooden stairs from the beach. Over the headland and back onto the white sands of Frenchman Bay, runners on all courses will pass Vancouver Spring, where in 1791 Captain George Vancouver stopped for fresh water, followed by French explorer Louis de Freycinet in 1803. At the end of this beach there is another longer flight of stairs and then the 12km and 23km runners will stay to their right on the edge of the road for a short distance before a single track down to Goode Beach. 6km runners will continue climbing up to the Goode Beach Volunteer Fire Brigade's shed and rejoining the route of the other courses from their to the finish.
After a short section on the sand of Goode Beach runners head inland a short distance and follow an undulating 4WD track through the coastal vegetation and wildflower display. 12km runners will turn left onto a large firebreak and head through to Princess Royal Harbour where they rejoin the course of the longer run. Long course runners continue with another beach section before climbing to Whalers' Cove and then completing much of the Possession Point Heritage Trail out along the tombolo. This track is single trail, granite, beach - and simply stunning coastal views of King George Sound, Mount Clarence, Mt Adelaide, Attaturk Channel and Albany town itself.
Runners climb past historic buildings from the old quarantine station making their way over the summit of Quarantine Hill before a steep descent to the end of Quaranup Road at the gate to the Department of Sport and Recreation's Camp Quaranup. There will be an aid station here, water available to refill your containers. The course then continues on 4WD track with one nasty soft climb along the power lines before descending equally sharply to the shores of Shoal Bay in Princess Royal Harbour. With the tide at its lowest point this is a unique opportunity to 'straight-line it' if you dare, or hug the shoreline staying out of the unique sedge grasses. Whilst not underwater, the sand will be damp and puddled, but it is firm sand running throughout.
From here to the end of the run is 4WD tracks of good quality through trees, heathland, and a section of Torndirrup National Park. After the Goode Beach Fire Shed all courses climb to the high point of the whole course where runners can choose to pause to drink in the surrounds and look at was has been achieved thus far. Then, set their sights on the finish only 3km away and belt down the 1km gradual descent.
Courses will be well-marked with plenty of survey tapes and direction arrows where necessary. Junctions will be well marked and will have tapes immediately after junctions for confirmation, but longer sections of trail with no decision points will have fewer tapes. The 4 road crossings on the long course will be marshalled and runners will be stopped in the unlikely event there is vehicle traffic passing. It is up to the runners to heed the race briefing and familiarise themselves with the route maps beforehand. Whilst we endeavour to clearly mark the courses, runners do need to pay attention to their surroundings - difficult when the views are so distracting!
If you are already waiting for the 2018 event, like the Albany Trail Run facebook page or join our email list.
Drive to Albany. The start and finish are both at Discovery Bay, take Frenchman's Bay Road until you are descending to the coast at Frenchman's Bay, turn right into Whaling Station Road. Parking is at Discovery Bay, more details later.
Check back here in a few months for 2018 information!
1. Hydration - your choice of bottle, bladder pack, squeeze bottles. 500ml minimum at the start line.
2. Race number - on the front, clearly visible at all times.
Penalty - disqualification.
Headphones & Music
We strongly encourage runners not to wear headphones. Primarily this is for courtesy to other runners when they wish to call out to pass you and so you can hear marshals' instructions. However, much of the ethos of trail running is experiencing the natural sights and sounds on the course - the squeaking white sand, the crunch of the millions of tiny shells, the swishing of the gentle waves surging across the sand, the bird calls of the honeyeaters foraging in the heathland and karri. Please immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the run, and listen to the rhythm of your breathing, heart rate and fellow runners' banter!