Adventurethon Anglesea Course Preview
As you approach Anglesea beachfront you will see great limestone cliffs either side of the river and a great little bay that avoids a lot of the prevailing weather/ swells. The Cliffs are a great frame for the area and there is a reef system just near the mouth of the river which also shelters swell from another angle.
One of the great things about Adventurethon Anglesea is the ability to keep the paddle leg, no matter the conditions. There are plan B and C options depending on what the weather is up to. This is a great thing, especially if you are someone who loves the paddle leg (much better than losing the paddle leg altogether).
First leg of the Adventurethon course (except for Duathlon competitors) is the paddle. Paddling allows you to see more of the surroundings take in the full course, a lot of the same muscles are being used as swimming and so a good swimmer can quickly get the feel of paddling as the skills are much the same.
Generally in the paddle we aim to have a bit of downwind (if there is any wind about), so we will tweak the exact buoy location slightly to suit the best wind.
Point Roadknight offers a great protected launch zone if the conditions get up, also a lot of the thought about the location of the race was that if there is that one in 10 year weather event we can still hold a paddle in the river.
Ultra- The swell looks big in surf area, but be confident and remember speed gives stability – go harder when you are scared.
As you are heading towards the Aireys light house direction remember that the lead boat will offer you the best line on the way out. Feel free to track in a zig zag to ensure you don’t feel unstable.
In the event that the prevailing wind changes we can actually head along the cliff lines to the other side.
SALSA HIPS – Allowing the chop and swell to roll under you is a bit of a skill. Like a salsa dancer, let your hips move under you should there be any side chop across your boat or chop from other craft.
Surfing the waves – when coming back into the beach judge the conditions and time your entry back to shore to get the best ride without getting dumped. This may mean missing a wave or accelerating ahead after the wave has gone foamy.
If you find yourself paddling into a breaking wave go hard but if it’s going to hit you and you can’t get over the top of it make sure the paddle either goes above the wave or spears through it so it doesn’t smash into you.
Whatever you do in the surf- you have to commit 100% just do it, don’t be tentative!
Reefs – there are a few reefs around the river mouth – see the diagram of paddle below which shows reef and rock locations to be aware of.
Grumpy hippy, Flying Scotsman, drop bear and Red rocks the names locals have given to a few of the great trails in the Anglesea trails network. The great thing about the trails at Anglesea is that they feel like a natural flow amongst the trees and bushes that they seem to meander alongside the contours of the landscape and flow from corner to corner.
There are a wide variety of features in the area but nothing feels like it’s over done
Small Log roll overs offer some technical challenges where the idea is to bring the front wheel over the small log then bring the rear wheel over whilst not hitting it and slowing the momentum of the bike.
Corners on these mountain bike trails can be taken with speed when you know how, trail builders bring a series of tight turns down the face of a hill to prevent a water course from eroding the trail what’s left is a fun roller coaster ride for riders and the trails stay in better condition allowing the trails to drain without as much erosion. (This also results in less steep riding even if you do plenty of actual climbing metres it doesn’t feel as hard)
When riding up or downhill on the switchbacks there are a few things you can do to be more comfortable riding them as they are a skill to master. Typically if making a sharp turn on flat ground you want to have your weight on the outside pedal to “stick the tyre to the ground with your body weight” but sometimes there are exemptions to this with steep downhills or a well built up berm.
Jumps- a section called the Flying Scotsman has a series of jumps that feature on the course, these can be attacked as jumps for show if you want, or can easily be simply rolled over to eliminate any airtime (most racers don’t shoot for airtime in a race as it’s a risk that could derail you on race day but some do it for the photographers and of course the fun of riding the great course especially if you are used to getting some air in training)
Large Log feature– there is a very large log feature built up into ramp in which you can roll over, the ramp is quite steep and needs a bit of speed when going into it so you can stop pedalling as you approach and are on it (you will want your feet level) once your front wheel is over the ramp you can focus on bringing your rear wheel up a little but it’s not entirely necessary.
Drop offs– there are a couple of very small drops on the Anglesea Bike course
One of them is only about 8 inches high and the other maybe a foot but they feature on areas that flow quite well. Come race day these will be marked , the smallest drops can be rolled over with your weight back and momentum is the key to this one, the key with a small drop of around a foot is to not load up the weight on the front wheel too much and if possible keep as much momentum and speed as possible whilst keeping the wheels ready to land level on the ground at the same time (whatever you do don’t land on just your front wheel and definitely don’t put lots of weight on your front wheel)
The mtb is by far a stand out with it being one of the best multisport bike legs in the country. (behind Townsville #1 )
The mtb course also features an area call the maze, a mish-mash of tracks on flat lands which we spend about a week marking so people get through is trouble free on race day. It allows us to link in a series of great tracks and just ads to the vibe having athletes heading off in multiple directions, these crossover points are all well marked and staffed during the event and last year bunted off so no way of getting it wrong (the test being no one got it wrong in its first year).
In general, Anglesea is not a major mountainous area, so there really aren’t too many really tough sections where you wish you had never signed up…a few small hills to climb but every climb is rewarded with a fun descent with good flow. The trails have in general been built to meander up and down the hills allowing a smooth and flowy ride which will actually just be really fun…sorry this one isn’t an absolute painfest like you may expect…..if you want that you will have to push yourself harder and faster.
The run leg features a great little scenic loop plus the edge of the river
With a relatively flat start to the run, there is a section of climbing where there is a somewhat steep section. This is short lived where you then get onto a pretty flat single-track loop.
Features a lot of single-track on one of the hills overlooking the 0cean. If the breeze come up it’s a great place to recharge.
Something really cool about running single-track and weaving around trees and ducking branches makes it feel like you are at one with the land…it’s almost as fun as mountain biking and certainly a lot more interesting than hitting the pavement for a run.
After the single-track loop there is a great descent to the edge of the river, with gravity on your side you can simply let the momentum take you down the hill where a mix of single and double track awaits you. Upon descending the apex of the course you are back to the river’s edge to sample some of the great scenery. Once you can see the river again it’s time to lift your pace as it won’t be long till you finish at the mouth of the river at the HQ area.
The winner of the Men & Women’s Adventurethon Anglesea Ultra events will get free entry to the Kathmandu Coast to Coast World Championships in New Zealand in February. More info about the Coast to Coast partnering HERE.
More info or to register for Adventurethon Anglesea HERE.
The kids and beginners race is a cool little race
It features a protected paddle on the river for 1km
A 10 km ride which covers a part of the adults course (the easier bits)
And then a 4.5 km run around the river)
More information on the beginners (Peak Adventure Taste of Adventurethon and Junior Adventurethon) HERE
The Victorian Schools Adventurethon Challenge is happening the Sunday of the event with teams of 2 or more able to paddle a double kayak, ride side by side and run side by side for the course.
Schools get points for attendance as well as placing on the podium. Get more info HERE
Adventurethon welcomes the addition of the Sprint Adventurethon. This high paced event will see first place male and female walk away with $100 and anticipated finish time of 50 minutes or under.
More information on the Sprint Adventurethon HERE.