Friday, August 16, 2013

Salomon Trail Run Series 2013: Recceing The Silvan Route

Note: For non-participants and non-runners, you may scroll down and enjoy the beautiful scenery encountered along the way. :)

That's what the amateurs (and elites) do, if it's possible. They'd familiarise themselves with the route as much as possible, until it is engraved in your head. Knowing your race route helps to strategise your race as well as your nutrition on the go.

Next Sunday, 25th August 2013, one of the ongoing races in Melbourne is Race 3 of the Salomon Trail Running series which will be held at Silvan, Mount Evelyn, Dandenongs. The earlier races were held at Studley Park in Kew (Race 1) and Plenty Gorge in Plenty (Race 2).

Nope, this won't be the starting point!

Prior to our recce, we did some research on the Internet and was unable to find enough information on the route. (I didn't look hard enough!) Todd Keating, the Bitumen is Boring Ambassador 2013 for Race 3 eventually put up a short video of his run for the 1st 10KM. The 21KM category is actually new this year (for Race 3) as previously only the 7.3KM and 14.3KM categories were available. :)

* On further research, I came across Jason Montfort's race report on last year's Silvan 14.3KM. The route for 14.3KM remains unchanged this year. I think! 

This post is to give you some inkling of the route via  pictures as well as tips to assist first-time participants for their race next week. It may be more relevant to those running the long course (21KM)  and part of the medium course (14.3KM).

Our summary/conclusion of tackling the route is basically this:

1. Bring a pole ... 
Or find a nice branch along the trails to use as a walking stick for the crazy inclines and declines. It will reduce the stress to your calves and quads when going up, and the impact to your knees when running down.

2. Bring a bottle of electrolytes ...
To sip on while you're panting up the crazy inclines. You will need them to deter/avoid your legs from cramping. Never wait until it's too late or otherwise, it will be a miserable run towards the finish.

* Water/aid stations are available at every 7KM and the electrolyte drinks provided may not be sufficiently concentrated. If you don't want to carry a bottle, maybe you'd want to drink up at the water stations instead.

We start at the parking area and head out towards Mount Evelyn first.
Long course (21KM) in red.
Medium course (14.3KM) in green.
Short course (7.3KM) in blue.

This is the elevation profile for the long course which looks ridiculously daunting (for a scaredy-cat runner like me) and has a cut off time of 3 hours.

The medium course will run along the same route up to KM12.5 thereabouts.

Once you've completed the 1st loop and return to the water tanks, you will continue onto a brief track into the forest before reaching a singletrack which joins a 2WD road. (Olinda Creek Road and Road 10) 

This flat run is an estimated 2.6KM to the 1st water station at KM7±. Drink up and have a piece or 2 of chocolate before you tackle the upcoming incline. 

The incline on Wols Track is about 2KM long and up to an elevation of 337m before you have at least 1KM of respite before a 200m dip and a steep 400m climb up on Richardson Track.

The hubby was far ahead while I plodded along on Richardson Track.

Me and my trusty Fizan pole.
It was a birthday gift years ago. :)

I was so thankful I had my pole with me this time round!
Instead of climbing with my face almost between my knees, the pole helped me to maintain a proper posture, somewhat. :D

Instead of bread crumbs like in Hansel and Gretel ...
I follow the bottle of electrolytes left by the hubby!

Once you reach the peak of Richardson Track, it should be an estimated 11.5KM by then. That was what they called the 'Killer Climb'! Just 3KM to go for the medium course and another 10KM to go for the long course.

From this point, it is about 1.5KM running downhill on Track 13 and out onto Olinda Creek Road where the 2nd water station should be. Drink and fuel up.

From this juncture of Olinda Creek Road and Georges Road, it will take you an approximately 1.7KM before you reach the FINAL crazy climb in this route. It is a narrow track with overgrown bushes and ferns so keep to the left (if possible) to let others overtake you on your right, if you can.

Just keep going and you will soon find yourself turning up along K.C. Track for about 1.5KM for so. Bear with the gradual incline (though at this point I was grumbling to myself) as the best has yet to come.

Just when I needed it!
Just chug down your electrolytes and munch on your muesli bar, if you may. Because once you reach the top, you know what? It will be downhill all the way, and about 4KM to the finish line!

Oh, and it is also the most scenic part of the route. Our absolute favourite - Yallambee Way. :)

Couple/Tourist picture taken on 4th August 2013.
Taken on 11th August 2013 - it was a beautiful day out in the forest.

The Chinese Gum trees are so pretty!

Running through the Yunnan Poplar trees. :)

I hope there will be photographers stationed here on that day.
It's so pretty!

Keep going!
It feels so good to be running downhill and on flat land!

You will soon reach the parking area for Eagle Nest picnic grounds.

Keep on running until you reach the end of Eagle Nest Road - this should be about 19KM, with about 2KM to go!

Cross over the road and onto Road 16. Just go, go, GO!

You'll soon find yourself on Board Track, just outside the perimeters of Silvan Reservoir.

A gentle incline. Soldier on, partner!

Almost there, don't stop now!

And then downhill!

The pole will help you as you speed down the track and prevent any possible tumbles! (Ooh, my poor knees ...)

No more climbs, phew!)

And sooner than you know it, you'll be out on Silvan Road and racing towards the finish!


If you're really lucky, it would be a lovely sunny day for an awesome race!

There you go. I hope you'll find this post a bit useful if not scenic. :D

GOOD LUCK to the participants!


  1. Seriously, you should stop posting pictures of the trails over there or I'm going to have to try and convince the wife that we need to migrate soon ... hahaha!

    1. aiya, you can always plan a holiday to coincide with a running event! then both sides will win! :)

  2. Oh I was drooling over the scenic picture of all the wonderful forest, uphills and declines too... So beautiful as it was almost Spring season in OZ, if I'm not mistaken... I could almost hear the trails are calling my name already... Gosh! Keep on making us green in envy, Yvonne!

    Awesome! Best of luck for your 21km trail run... 3 hours cutoff time is doable at your level ;) I'll be tackling my 4th FM in Borneo this Sunday too.... Hopefully the weather will be kind to us.... ;D

    1. it IS so pretty, it just make you smile as you run through the forest! :)

      thanks for your well wishes, but we won't be joining the race. may just go and kepoh!

  3. Hi Yvonne, love the photos and course description it's a great area for the event. Weather should be good on the day, have a great run and see you there.