Winter Trail Marathon Description

Starting at the Wamboin Community Hall, you will run 2.2 km to the very end of Bingley Way and then back before turning left onto a dirt road leading up into the Native Forest.

  • Bingley Way is not a busy road and will not be closed to traffic for the race so please ensure you obey all road rules while running this stretch, including moving off the bitumen if a car approaches.
  • Runners will be required to run on the right-hand side of the road – so that they can easily see any oncoming traffic.

After 0.5 km the dirt road takes a hard left turn, you will instead continue ahead up a single track.

  • The transition from the dirt road to the single track is particularly technical with many large and small rocks on the road’s edge. You will need to exercise caution while leaving the road.

You will now run 0.8 km of single track through pristine native forest before arriving at a horse trail entrance to Kowen Forest. You will find a manned water station at this spot.

  • The single track is moderately technical, the major issue being the effect of dappled light masking rocks and stones on the trail.
  • Caution is advised on the horse trail entry gate as the poles my still be frost-covered and slippery.
  • A volunteer at the manned water stations will be noting down bib numbers.

From the water station you will follow the fence-line for 3.2 km – on forestry trail – until you arrive at the intersection with Seven Mile Rd. Here you will find a manned water station. Along the way, you will climb Poppet Hill with magnificent views over Kowen Forest, Canberra, Queanbeyan and the Brindabellas.

  • This section of the course runs past the back of properties on Poppet Rd and you may encounter the occasional dog walker or local out for a stroll.

Running along Seven Mile Rd for 1.9 km, you descend from the Kowen Range through mature pine plantation down almost to the main Sutton Rd entrance.

  • Seven Mile Rd is predominantly groomed forestry road with two segments of bitumen, including on the steep downhill section.

You now turn left onto a 3.4 km stretch of forestry trail running parallel to Sutton Rd before entering the Kowen Escarpment Nature Reserve and a manned water station.

  • This section has long, straight stretches of trail, enabling you to observe runners for up to a kilometre in front and behind you.
  • This section can also be very cold so if you started the race wearing gloves, you may want to keep them on for this section.
  • A volunteer at the manned water station will be noting down bib numbers.

Having passed the water station, you continue along the trail running parallel to Sutton Rd for a further 1.4 km, following it to the end. Here you turn left towards the Kowen Escarpment Nature Reserve and climb for 1.0 km to the very top of Mt Reedy.

  • As you climb Mt Reedy you are afforded views of Canberra and surrounds, while at the top you can look out over Kowen Forest.

From Mt Reedy you head east into Kowen forest and then north for 1.2 km before re-entering the Nature Reserve on a 1.1 km well-groomed forestry trail that takes you back down to the trail running parallel to Sutton Rd. Retracing your steps, you then run an additional 0.4 km back to the manned water station.

  • The descent from Kowen forest down through the Nature Reserve just begs to be run fast. But keep some energy in reserve for the next section!

From the water station you now commence your assent of Mt Doom (we made up that name) with 1.2 km of almost continual climb.

  • Running along a ridgeline between two moist-Eucalypt gorges, this section takes you from the bottom to the top of the Kowen Escarpment Nature Reserve.
  • Like the Mt Reedy assent, the gradient of this climb is steep with only one flat-ish section of any real length.

Having made the ascent, the course now takes you down a steep 0.5 km slope. After a creek crossing, you begin another ascent and 1.1 km from the creek you reach Kowen Rd and a manned water point.

  • The slope leading down to the creek crossing is steep and highly technical. Caution is advised for all but experienced trail runners.
  • The forest is not closed for this event and there is some possibility of encountering traffic on Kowen Rd. Please exercise caution crossing Kowen Rd.

The next 7.0 km of trail is relatively flat, smooth and very fast. You will run to the end of Macarthur Rd (1.6 km) turning left on Jack’s Break for 0.5 km and then turning right onto Fearnside Way. The remaining 4.9 km of this section is run along Fearnside Way – until you reach Mountain Break and a manned water station.

  • 0.6 km after turning onto Fearnside Way there is a major intersection. You will need to take the left turn here. The intersection will have turn markers but if you have a lapse in concentration at this point you may be tempted to run straight ahead.
  • As you run along Fearnside Way, you’ll notice a signpost for Coppermine Rd. The Mountain Break intersection is 0.4 km beyond this sign.
  • The Mountain Break intersection is another major intersection where you could be tempted to continue running straight ahead if not concentrating. It too will be clearly signposted with a manned water point on the left.
  • A volunteer at the manned water station will be noting down bib numbers.

Mountain Break starts as a picturesque undulating forestry road for half of its 1.4 km length before climbing steeply to the top of the Kowen Range.

  • At the top you will enjoy a sweeping vista of Wamboin, Bungendore and the Wind Turbines beyond Lake George, while on the other side there are panoramic views of Kowen and Carwoola.
  • Keep your eye out for an historic wooden milestone at the base of a tree beside the track at the top of the climb.

The next section takes you on a 6.4 km rollercoaster ride along the slopes of the Kowen Range before plunging for 1.2 km back down to the valley floor and to an unmanned water station.

  • The rollercoaster section commences with a sharp left turn through a grassy area. It will be clearly marked with tape funnelling you around to the start of the trail.
  • For much of this section, you run with mature pine plantation on your right and native forest reserve on your left.
  • There is an unmanned water station about half way along the rollercoaster trail.

You now commence the 0.9 km climb straight up to the top of Mt Amungula.

  • This is the steepest and most challenging climb of the marathon.
  • Coming as it does towards the end of the marathon, it is important that you have planned your race to have some petrol in the tank for this one!
  • Don’t forget to turn around as you climb to see some stunning views.

Having successfully conquered Mt Amungula, you now proceed west along the boundary fence for 2.8 km until you reach the horse trail entrance to the Native Forest and the manned water station.

  • This section of the course is undulating with some steep climbs and descents. But compared to Mt Amungula they are mere bumps in the road. Still, the climbs can be taxing if you expended all your remaining reserves climbing Mt A.
  • Along the trail there are some terrific views of Wamboin and beyond.

You now run the 0.8 km Native Forest single track in the opposite direction before arriving at the dirt road.

  • The final stage of the single track is both highly technical and steep. Caution is advised for people new to trail running. If you don’t have the trail running skills, discretion is definitely the better part of valour for this section.
  • Caution should also be exercised at the section where the single track meets the dirt road – due to the presence of large and small rocks on the road verge.

Running down the 0.5 km section of dirt road, you will be presented with stunning views of Wamboin, all the way to the wind turbines on the other side of Lake George.

Turn left onto Bingley Way and enjoy the long sweeping downhill 1.3 km run to the finish line.

  • Remember that Bingley Way will not be closed to traffic for the race so please ensure you obey all road rules while running this stretch, including moving off the bitumen in the event that a car approaches.
  • Runners will be required to run on the right-hand side of the road – so that they can easily see any oncoming traffic.