Location: Longford, Northern Tas
Distances: 2 or 8km
The Liz Ellis Memorial Longford Trail Run is an annual event held in memory of the extremely well respected personal trainer and Longford Sports Centre Coordinator Liz Ellis. Liz was well-known for her commitment to community health, fitness and well-being. Originally run on the streets of Longford, 2014 was the first year the races were held at the historic Brickendon Farm. The relocation was due to police logistical concerns. However, this was a fine decision by event organisers. Participants are rewarded with a scenic, flat and enjoyable course all on trails.
The event caters for all ages and abilities and, as all good community-based races do, fosters community spirit, participant camaraderie and a great running experience. There is a 2km race for the children or adults who would rather the shorter event. Alternatively there is the main 8km race. There is also a dog walking/running classification and participants are encouraged to bring along their furry friends for a run! This did confuse me momentarily on the entry sheet – the usual questions were asked then the left-of centre “Name of dog?” I thought dog-ownership may hve been some compulsory Boston-Marathon-like qualifier! So feel free to come and run with your best four-legged friend in the dog race as well!
The course is out and back twice. In other words, you run to a 2km turnaround point, back to the start and then complete another out and back. This makes for great running. You are constantly passing fellow participants the entire length of the course. Plenty of high fives between runners are had! The terrain is on relatively hard-packed dirt trails that are flat with only one or two slight inclines. The trails can at times be uneven so look after your ankles and keep focusing on the trail ahead. It is also beneficial to look up as the trail is quite narrow – there was one participant with headphones who only looked up at the last second just managing to dodge me! There is plenty of room to pass just be respectful and keep to your left to allow traffic going both ways. Or, alternatively, you could attempt to block anyone from passing you by running dead-centre. No do not do that!
I enjoyed the out-and-back aspect of the course. The 8kms really do fly and the course is not tedious despite covering the same ground. There is nice country-type farm scenery to keep you entertained if that is your thing. The course is fairly fast despite being cross-country and I was extremely happy with my time. Normal race footwear is recommended. Also, if hay fever prone expect to have a few itches and possible runny eyes as it is run through a freshly cut paddock!
Highly enjoyable and well-organised event with a great small-community vibe.
Event profile by David Bailey