Falls Creek is not just about the snow

Two  athletes compete in an adventure race in the high plains near Falls Creek. Picture: SUPPLIED
Two athletes compete in an adventure race in the high plains near Falls Creek. Picture: SUPPLIED

WHILE the rest of the alpine world’s attention is focused on Sochi and snow, those at Falls Creek are looking at a demanding weekend of summer pursuits.

More than 200 athletes will compete in a series of adventure races and trail runs this weekend.

Teams of four in the most extreme of the adventure races will run, bike and paddle their way across the high plains for almost eight hours tomorrow and six hours on Sunday.

Individuals in the 30 teams must stick together throughout each leg.

On Sunday other athletes will race in eight or 14-kilometre trail runs.

It is the first time the alpine resort has hosted the Mountain Raid Adventure Race and Trail Runs.

Organisers have signed a deal to host the event for the next five years, likening its potential to the growth seen in the Three Peaks Challenge held each year.

Falls Creek marketing and communication manager Jo Prothero said 30 teams had entered the short and long-course adventure race and another 100 were already signed up for Sunday’s runs.

“The great advantage we have up here is Rocky Valley Lake,” she said.

“We have developed the mountain bike trails in recent years, always had the running tracks and with the lake can offer the kayaking.

“No other alpine resort in Australia can do that.

“Adventure racing is unlike any other sport where everyone has to stick together, even in the transition stage, and competitors won’t know the course until the night before they race.”

Navigational adventure racer David Leggo is a veteran of such races.

“It’s the mystery of the course, and the ability of a course with optional check points that level out the playing field a bit.”

Lorne adventure race female winner Peri Gray, World Tough Mudder contender Simon Goninon and elite racer Jarad Kolar will also compete.