The 2019 Five Peaks Trail Running Festival
Congratulations on entering the 2019 Five Peaks Trail Running Festival! Five Peaks is organised by Trail Running SA, a community organisation run by volunteers who love trail running and the trail running community as much as you do.
Five Peaks is a diverse course which will have you traversing through most of Adelaide’s major parks including:
- Black Hill Conservation Park;
- Morialta Conservation Park;
- Giles Conservation Park;
- Horsnell Gully Conservation Park;
- Cleland Conservation Park;
- Waite Conservation Reserve;
- Brownhill Creek Recreation Park;
- Belair National Park.
The course will take you up the following peaks:
- Black Hill;
- Rocky Hill;
- Norton Summit;
- Mt Lofty;
- Brown Hill.
Keep your eyes out for kangaroos, koalas, emus, kookaburras and other local wildlife who inhabit the diverse eco systems that you will be running through (if you are lucky you may sight one of the very shy Bandicoots who inhabit Cleland and the surrounds).
The start of the 58km course is Foxfield Oval in Athelstone, about 30 minutes’ drive from Adelaide’s CBD. Information on how to get here is on our website. The course is a point to point event and you need to make sure you have organised transport to the start line. TRSA recommend either the paid bus option or carpooling with fellow trail runners (if you are having trouble finding someone to carpool with you can post a call-out on the Five Peaks Facebook Event page or the Trail Running SA Lounge Facebook page).
The course is supported with basic hydration and nutrition at every 10-15kms, and manned by our enthusiastic volunteers who will offer you as much encouragement as you need. We are offering 3 different start times with generous cut-off times (maximum of 11.5 hours over the 58kms). This allows trail runners of all abilities to enter regardless of whether you are a beginner or seasoned runner, elite trail runner or someone who prefers to run/walk the trails.
This Handbook will provide additional information to help you prepare for Five Peaks. The core information including course maps can be accessed from our Event Page. The Event Page will be updated if and when circumstances or information changes, therefore TRSA recommend that you use this as your first point of call.
Good luck and happy running!
Trail Running SA
Leading up to the Event
In the lead-up to Five Peaks, TRSA has organised a series of social training runs. Social runs are exactly as they sound, social. They are unsupported and either unmarked or minimally marked. TRSA will provide directions via a GPX file which can be downloaded via an app such as Galileo (see our website for details on how to download these apps). Although you will need to navigate yourself, there are usually plenty of other runners out on social runs. Feel free to pair up with others who are around the pace to share the navigation load. You will need to bring water and we also recommend carrying nutrition and first aid supplies (such as Band-Aids, a compression bandage and a space blanket).
The four official training runs will take you along the Five Peaks course to help you familiarise yourself with the course (including distance, elevation, terrain profile). They also provide a perfect opportunity to try out new gear, new nutrition strategies and get an idea of how long sections may take. Further details are available on our website. The dates of the runs are as follows:
- Sun, 06 January 2019 – Five Peaks Official Training Run #1 – Belair Short Courses (12 km or 8 km).
- Sun, 10 February 2019 – Five Peaks Official Training Run #2 – Athelstone to Norton Summit (18 km or 9 km)
- Sun, 24 February 2019 – Five Peaks Official Training Run #3 – Norton Summit to Cleland (16 km or 12km) – cancelled
- Sun, 24 March 2019 – Five Peaks Official Training Run #4 – Cleland to Belair (23 km)
To complement the official training runs, TRSA also offers other social runs on Sunday mornings, Tuesday evenings and Thursday mornings at different locations (these continue throughout the year). Each location is unique and offers different training from hills to beach conditioning and endurance. TRSA’s Facebook page is the best place to keep an eye out for this information with posts about the location, distance and times going up several days before the social run. Additional details for longer Sunday social runs can also be found on the website.
Other Training Opportunities
As well as the social runs there will be other training opportunities and information events for you to take advantage of. These will be open to anyone of any ability and will target specific elements of trail running and ultramarathons. If you are keen to improve your running or curious for information keep your eye out for details of these events on our Facebook page.
Gear, Hydration and Nutrition
To ensure your safety, the safety of our volunteers and the general public the following items are mandatory for the event and must be carried with you at all times:
- A hydration option of a capacity of at least 750mL and capable of being refilled at each drink station;
- As TRSA has a no cups policy, to drink any of the hydration at the drink stations you will need your own vessel (drink bottle, or you can buy a collapsible cup from any good outdoors shop);
- A mobile phone for any emergency calls and with the GPX file for the course downloaded in case you get lost;
- You race bib.
TRSA also recommends carrying:
- Nutrition to eat throughout the event (gels, lollies, chips, etc.);
- First aid items for any unexpected circumstances (band aids, compression bandage, space blanket, pain killers);
- Tissues or toilet paper;
- A light jacket in case of changes in the weather.
Drop bags can be accessed on course at checkpoint DS3 (Coach Road). Details on how and where to drop your bags is contained below.
With any gear, nutrition or hydration you should always test these out on an earlier run to make sure that gear is comfortable and worn in and that you don’t have any adverse effects from new nutrition or hydration.
On the Day
Getting to the Start / Parking at the Finish
Five Peaks is a point to point course which means you’ll need to pre-plan how you will get to the start. There are several options as follows:
- Pre-purchase a ticket on the buses departing Belair National Park (Main Oval) to take you to the start at Foxfield oval (58km) or Cleland (23km). Details are on our website.
- Coordinate with another participant by leaving cars at either end.
- Post a request in the Trail Running SA Lounge or in the Event on Facebook (trail runners are a friendly bunch so no doubt someone will live nearby and be happy to give you a lift).
- Bribe your partner, family member, friend, neighbour to be your driver for the day.
There is plenty of parking at both Foxfield Oval and Belair National Park (and the Belair Country Club Car Park) and limited parking at the Cleland Wildlife Park carpark. Please make sure that you adhere to the street signs around Foxfield Oval. Participants and supporters will be able to access car parking in Belair National Park for free – simply mention that you are participating in or supporting Five Peaks at the main gate to get into the park. Please do not park in the surrounding streets or business car parks otherwise we may upset residents/businesses and not be invited back next year.
At the Start
When you get to the start you’ll need to make sure you do the following:
- Pick up your registration bib and pins from the registration table;
- Drop off any drop bags (see below);
- Use the toilet (the next toilet will be Cleland);
- Make sure that you are starting in the wave that you registered for;
- Have fun and socialise with all of the other excited (and possibly half awake) participants;
- Smile for those last minute photos!
Drop bags for the 58km and 23km events can be left at the start of the event (the location will be signed). Please make sure your drop bags are clearly labelled with the following:
- Full Name
- Destination (CP3 for 58km participants only and finish line for 58km/23km participants)
As there is also a possibility that it may rain, we recommend that any items that need to remain dry be placed in zip lock or dry bags. Additionally, any food contained in the bags should be sealed to prevent insects (i.e. ants) from getting in during the time they are at the checkpoints.
All drop bags will be returned to the finish line once DS3 has closed. If any drop bags remain after the event is packed up they may be thrown away if they contain food that might go rotten. Please ensure that you pick up your drop bag at the end of the event or arrange a friend to do this for you.
Basic first aid kits will be available at the checkpoints. If you need further assistance or assistance during the event, please call the first aid number on the front of your bib. Our first aiders will establish where you are and arrange a place to meet you. Once this has been arranged please do not move from the arranged place.
If your circumstances are life threatening, please call 000.
For peace of mind participants can consider taking out ambulance and emergency cover to assist with any unforeseen costs of extraction (ambulance or air).
Checkpoints (Aid Stations) and Cut-off Times
Five Peaks has been designed to cater for participants of all running abilities. The three start times ensure that runners can self-seed based on their expected completion times.
The below tables outline the expected average pace and times that participants will arrive at each checkpoint and major landmark. Participants should review the average times in the tables below in view of the start time and ensure that they have chosen the correct start time for their estimated speed. Participants have up until midnight 31 March to advise of any changes they wish to make to their start time. Details on how to request changes to your start time can be found here. The below tables are guides only and as Five Peaks contains elevation, parts of the course will be slower than others.
There are five checkpoints along the Five Peaks course. All checkpoints will offer basic hydration (you will need your own vessel as we are cup free), nutrition and first aid. Details of the nutrition options at the checkpoints will be sent out in the race briefing – this will help you plan for the day in advance.
The checkpoints will be manned by friendly volunteers so feel free to have a chat and some fun when you get there.
DS3 will also function as a drop bag pickup point. You will be able to access anything from your drop bags at this point. If you need any further gear along the way you can always ask your friends or family to meet you at a specific location.
For participant and volunteer safety reasons, if a participant reaches a checkpoint prior to the checkpoint open time they cannot continue running until the checkpoint opens. If a participant reaches the checkpoint early they will need to wait at the checkpoint until the volunteers indicate that the checkpoint has opened. Participants need to ensure that they have seeded correctly and if they continue to run they may receive a DNF result.
The Five Peaks course closure times have been designed to ensure that all participants are home before sunset. There will be mandatory cut-offs at DS6 and Sheoak Road. Volunteers at other checkpoints, in conjunction with the Race Director, can at their discretion ask participants to retire from the event if a participant will not reach DS6 prior to the cut-off or the participant will put themselves, the volunteers, other participants or the general public at risk should they continue. The decision will be final once made and the volunteers will help the participant find a way to get to the finish line. Additionally, a sweeper will be moving through the course at the cut-off pace. The bib number of any participants that fall behind the sweeper will be noted and a DNF result recorded against them. Participants who fall behind the sweeper must withdraw from the event at the next checkpoint along the route. They can get a lift back to the finish line with one of the checkpoint volunteers.
Five Peaks, as with other trail runs, encourages friends and family to come along to checkpoints and major landmarks to cheer and support participants. This provides additional atmosphere and gives participants the opportunity to request additional nutrition, hydration or gear should they need it. Supporters should always be mindful of other participants, adhere to road rules when parking and respect those who live in the communities and may not be used to noise at early hours of the morning!
Checkpoint open, close and estimated arrival times (estimated DS distances):
Along the course there will be several live timing points. This serves two purposes, the first to ensure that participants are completing the course as designed and the second is to allow friends and family to see how you are going throughout your ultramarathon. The final locations of these timing points will be confirmed in the final Race Briefing emailed to all participants.
The live timing and results can be accessed here.
For those with Strava Premium, you can also set a beacon and send the link to friends and family so that they can see your whole progress along the course.
If at any time you make the tough decision to withdraw from the event, please notify the Registration Manager on 0411 563 433. Simply text your name and bib number and we will take care of the rest. It is important that you let us know if you withdraw otherwise we will assume that you are still out on the course and we will call the helicopters in to look for you.
We have positioned the finish line to create a scenic and atmospheric finish. Participants will finish on the Main Oval at Belair, with supporters cheering them on.
Head on over to the refreshments table for Maurice’s famous brownies and fruit as well as hydration. There will also be other food and refreshments available for purchase from a couple of coffee and food vans.
Main Oval also has toilet facilities where you can change into something comfortable and warm and that way you can go and enjoy seeing other participants cross the line. Make sure you soak up the feeling of finishing Five Peaks as well as the friendly atmosphere. Feel free to say thanks to the volunteers while you are at it!
TRSA Supporters will also be around on the day to show you what they have to offer. They have also offered up an amazing range of random draw prizes which will be drawn on the day.
Details of the random draws and the presentations for the first three male and female finishers of all events will be in the Race Briefing sent Friday 5 April.
We encourage everyone to have fun during the event:
- Have a chat to those running around you;
- Thank the volunteers who have kindly dedicated their day to ensure that you have an amazing day yourself;
- Give the Event and Race Director a high five at the end;
- Take time out to take photos (or selfies) and spot animals;
- Sample the delicious brownies and other aid at the checkpoints.
The more fun you have along the way, the more you will remember the day.
Additionally, we expect all participants to do the right thing. There are certain behaviours that will lead to immediate disqualification from the event including:
- Deliberately putting yourself, other participants, volunteers and the public in harm’s way;
- Leaving a checkpoint before the opening times;
- Abuse of volunteers;
- Refusing to retire from the race if required by the Race Director;
- Drinking directly from water boxes or other hydration bottles provided by TRSA;
- Deliberately harming the environment in anyway (including littering);
- Not completing the full distance via the marked course;
- Moving or removing markers or deliberately misleading other participants;
- Falling behind the sweeper.
On behalf of the volunteer Event Director, Race Directors, Committee and all our wonderful volunteers – GOOD LUCK!