Moonlighter FAQs

What is the Kowen Moonlighter?

Starting at 6:00 pm on Saturday 7 September, at the Wamboin Community Hall, the Kowen Moonlighter is night race with six different events.

The main event is the ultra-marathon where you can run in the Kowen moonlight as much or as little as you want over the 12 hours until 6:00 am on Sunday 8 September – either as a solo runner or as part of a relay team.

If this sounds too much for one night, we have four shorter distances available to give you a taste of the Kowen Moonlighter. They are the single loop (7.55 km), the double loop (15.10 km), the triple loop (22.65 km) or the solo 6 hour ultra.

Bring your family and friends along to join in the fun at the hall – there will be hot food and even hotter fires to keep all the spectators and relay teams warm.

For more information and to register, visit our website at kowen-trail-run.com or find us on Facebook.

How does the Kowen Moonlighter work?

Starting at the Wamboin Community Hall, the Kowen Moonlighter is run on a 7.55 km loop course.

There are five options for people wishing to compete in the Kowen Moonlighter. You can run a:

  • single loop of 7.55 km;
  • double loop totaling 15.10 km;
  • triple loop totaling 22.65 km;
  • 6 hour solo ultra-marathon – where you run the loop for as many times as you can before 12:00 am on Sunday morning; 
  • solo ultra-marathon – where you run the loop for as many times as you can before
    6:00 am on Sunday morning; or
  • you can run the relay ultra-marathon event as a team of two to four runners in relay.

Presentations for the 

  • single, double and triple loop runs will be held at 8:30 pm on Saturday;
  • 6 hour solo ultra-marathon will be held at 12:30 am on Sunday; 
  • solo ultra-marathon and relay ultra-marathon will be held at 7:00 am on Sunday.

Event Program

4:00 pm  Registration opens
5:40 pm Pre-race briefing – ultra marathons and triple loop
6:00 pm Ultra-marathons and triple loop race start
6:10 pm Pre-race briefing – single loop and double loop
6:30 pm Single loop and double loop race start
8:30 pm Presentation single, double and triple loops 
12:00 am 6 hour solo Ultra marathon finish
12:30 am 6 hour solo Ultra marathon presentation
6:00 am Ultra-marathon finish
7:00 am Ultra-marathon presentation

What are the prize-winning categories?

A total of 39 prizes will be awarded with prizes:

  • Single loop (7.55 km) – first three male and female place getters
  • Double loop (15.10 km) – first three male and female place getters
  • Triple loop (22.65 km) – first three male and female place getters
  • 6 hour solo ultra-marathon – first three male and female place getters
  • Relay ultra-marathon – all female team – first three place getters
  • Relay ultra-marathon – all male team – first three place getters
  • Relay ultra-marathon – mixed team – first three place getters
  • Solo Ultra-marathon – first three male and female place getters

The winners (male and female) in solo ultra-marathon will receive a free entry to the 2020 Kowen Moonlighter.

What is the running surface and elevation?

Starting and finishing at the Wamboin Community Hall, the 7.55 km loop has 230 metres of elevation gain and consists of 2.64 km of bitumen (including Hall), 1.25 km of dirt road and 3.66 km of single track in native forest.

The trails will be familiar to those who ran the January 12 km course. They are a mix of winding and straight single track trails in native forest. Runners should exercise caution on the trails as there are fallen trees, rocks, sticks and other hazards to negotiate. 

More information on the course is available at the Kowen Trail Run website.

What mandatory gear is required for this event?

For safety reasons, all participants must carry the following mandatory gear:

  • a water container (no cups will be provided at the aid station)
  • mobile phone
  • space blanket
  • head lamp or torch (to be worn at all times)
  • high visibility/hi vis safety vest (to be worn at all times).

More information on hi vis vests can be found on the Kowen Trail Run website.

In addition, ultra-marathon runners (solo and relay) will need to either carry the following items or have them stored in a drop bag at the Wamboin Community Hall or mid-way point aid station for access if needed: 

  • spare torch/headlamp or spare batteries
  • gloves
  • long sleeve thermal top
  • beanie/buff
  • rain jacket
  • rain pants.

Rules for running on Bingley Way:

The starting and finishing sections of the loop will be on Bingley Way – a bitumen road. Bingley Way will not be closed to traffic for the duration of the race and competitors are required to ensure they obey all road rules while running this stretch, including moving off the bitumen in the event that a car approaches. 

Runners are also required to run on the right-hand side of the road – to ensure you can easily see any oncoming traffic and oncoming cars will more clearly see your light and hi vis vest. 

How does the relay ultra-marathon process work?

The relay ultra-marathon is a relay race with team members running consecutively rather than all at once. The runner will carry a baton with an embedded timing chip. When the runner has completed their desired number of loops they hand the baton to the next team member who then runs their desired number of loops and so on. The baton can only be transferred at the Wamboin Community Hall Relay Transition Area at the completion of a loop. 

The person registering the relay ultra-marathon team (team captain) will be required to enter/pay the whole team via RegisterNow (through the link at the Kowen Trail Run website). The team captain will sign a waiver as part of the registration process. All other team members must first have signed a waiver form (available at the registration desk) before commencing their run. 

There are three categories of relay teams:

  • all male team
  • all female team
  • mixed team.

Relay teams can comprise two, three or four members. 

Can I only run once as a team member?

You can run as many times as you like throughout the night. The only stipulation is that no two or more members of a team run at the same time.

Can I have a pacer run with me?

Pacing is not allowed. Crew and supporters must stay at the hall.

How are the aid stations managed?

There are two aid stations on the course – the Wamboin Community Hall and the
mid-way aid station (at the 3.94 km point).

The mid-way aid station will have minimal services. Water and a small quantity of cold food (lolly snakes etc) will be available at this aid station. There will also be a marquee for shelter and for drop bags; and a small fire.

The Wamboin Community Hall is the main hub for the event and the prime area for support crew and your drop bags. The hall has water, electricity, flushing toilets and a log fire. It is here that race officials can be contacted if needed.

Solo and team ultra marathon runners are encouraged to bring support crew. Support crew must remain in the Wamboin Community Hall. Tables will be available for crew both inside and outside the hall. Floor space is available for crew and runners to rest in the hall.

After 10:00 pm, warm food and an urn for coffee, tea and milo will be provided to ultra-marathon runners (solo and relay) at the Wamboin Community Hall. These services will be maintained until the finish of the race at 6:00 am. 

It is recommended that runners and crew also bring their own food as the food provided at the hall is intended to be supplementary to, not a replacement for, the runners’ own planned nutrition.

A post-race breakfast will also be available for ultra-marathon runners. Costs are covered by your entry. 

The warm food, hot drinks and breakfast will also be available for purchase by crew and supporters.

How does the drop bag system work?

Runners in the ultra-marathon are permitted to have support crew stationed at the hall. A tent and table can be set up in the hall or in the vicinity of the timing mat for use by the runner/team and crew.  

Runners without crew can also set up a table or have a drop bag in the hall containing their food and equipment. 

Additionally, drop bags can be stored at the mid-way point aid station. Drop bags for the mid-way point aid station must be dropped off at the collection point (in the hall) by no later than 5:30 pm on race day to enable transport to the aid station in advance of the race. At the end of the race, drop bags at the mid-way point aid station will be transported back to the hall.

What if I decide to rest for a while at the hall or the mid-way aid station?

Runners can decide to rest at the hall or the mid-way point aid station for as long as they wish. There is no penalty other than the loss of running time while you rest. If a relay runner decides to rest at the hall, they should first pass on the baton to another team member.

Please advise a race official if you are planning to have an extended period off the course.

What happens if I want to pull out of the race? 

If you are a solo runner and decide to pull out of the race, it is important that you advise race officials at the Hall. That way, we will know you’re safe and not lost out in the forest.

If you pull out of the race you do not DNF, instead, the total number of loops completed will be recorded as being achieved over the total 6 hour or 12 hour period. This means that if you ran more than 42 km, you will have legitimately completed an ultra-marathon even if you do retire early.

If you are a relay runner and decide to pull out of the race, then you need only make it to the hall where you can transfer your baton to another team member.

What happens if I get injured or sick and cannot complete a loop?

The Emergency Contact Number for the duration of the race is:  0408 234 126. Add that number into your phone’s contact list – right now. If you get into any difficulties, or if you see someone else in distress, do not hesitate to call. 

If you see someone in distress but you have no mobile reception, stay with the person and advise the next passing competitor to phone the emergency number as soon as they regain mobile coverage.

Remember, if you do get sick or injured, at no point on the course are you more than 3.8 km from the hall or 2 km from an accessible road.

If you are a relay runner and are unable to make it to the hall under your own steam, your team’s race will have ended as you will be unable to transfer the baton to another team member (as the baton may only be passed on to the next team member at the Wamboin Community Hall Relay Transition Area).

What happens at 12:00 am?

The 6 hour solo ultra-marathon race finishes at exactly 12:00 am. There will be two timing points on the course: one at the hall and one at the mid-way point aid station (at the 3.94 km mark). 

Your final distance will be determined by the number of full/half loops you have run. If you have passed the mid-way timing point, then your final distance will include the additional 3.94 km. 

If you have left the hall but not quite made it to the mid-way timing point, your final distance will be determined by the number of loops completed at the Hall. Similarly, if you have passed the mid-way timing point, but have not quite made it to the Hall, then your final distance will be determined by the number of completed loops + the 3.94 km to the mid-way timing point (but no further).

If multiple solo runners or relay teams have recorded the same final distance over the
6 hours, their race placing will be determined by earliest time of completion of that distance.

At 12:00 am, a sweep runner will leave the hall and complete the entire loop to ensure that all runners return safely to the hall.

What happens at 6:00 am?

The 12 hour ultra-marathon finishes at exactly 6:00 am. There will be two timing points on the course: one at the Hall and one at the mid-way point aid station (at the 3.94 km mark). 

Your final distance will be determined by the number of full/half loops you have run. If you have passed the mid-way timing point then your final distance will include the additional 3.94 km. 

If you have left the Hall but not quite made it to the mid-way timing point, your final distance will be determined by the number of loops completed at the Hall. Similarly, if you have passed the mid-way timing point, but have not quite made it to the Hall, then your final distance will be determined by the number of completed loops + the 3.94 km to the mid-way timing point (but no further).

If multiple solo runners or relay teams have recorded the same final distance over the
12 hours, their race placing will be determined by earliest time of completion of that distance.

At 6:00 am, a sweep runner will leave the hall and complete the entire loop to ensure that all runners return safely to the Hall.

What are the race rules?

  • Runners are to stay on the course at all times (except when using the facilities at the Hall).
  • For the two ultra-marathon races, at the 6 hour and 12 hour marks, results will be recorded as the number of complete half laps ran. A countback will be used for runners with equal number of half laps. The countback will be the earliest time of completion of the last half lap.                                                                                                                                               Note: The half lap recording point will be 3.94 km mid-way aid station.
  • Relay team changeover. The change can be at the end of any full lap. The current runner will need to complete the lap they are on by passing the timing mat. That runner is to tag the next team member and hand over the Team Baton in the changeover transition zone. The next runner will then start the next lap.
  • Pacing is not allowed.
  • Runners must stay right on Bingley Way.