This time a year ago I never would have thought that I’d be remotely interested in trail running, let alone participating in a trail race! But here I am, having just completed my first ever trail event!!

My running buddy, and all round awesome friend, Sophie Sky and I decided to give trail running a crack after following all the amazing RMA stories coming out of UTA earlier this year. We’ve been road running for a while now so it was time to mix things up a bit!

I’m not going to lie, we were nervous and anxious the day before and the morning of the Griffith University Toohey Trail run. We had entered the 10km not knowing exactly what to expect. Thankfully we found plenty of RMAs before the race to help calm the nerves. Before long we were off and running…immediately up a hill!, some bitumen then finally into the trails. This is the perfect event for beginners. Well formed trails, not too many hills (except for one beast at the end), plenty of marshals and water stations, and good signage. It’s a really well organised event.

The course is essentially a loop. Lovely views at times (when I remembered to look up!). Towards the end, a lovely lady watering her garden generously watered us runners too! It was rather warm so the shower was appreciated, and soon after came the cracker of a hill. The trail up was bitumen. I tried my best to run as far up as I could, but got to the point that I was almost running backwards, so walking it was. Round a corner and back onto the road, then into the race precinct. I have to be honest that when I crossed the finish line I reckon I could have kept going for the second loop!

Sophie and I had so much fun. You couldn’t wipe the smiles off our faces. Next year, I’ll be entering the half marathon at Toohey. And more importantly, we’ve caught the trail bug now, so Sophie and I will be doing Pace22 at Ultra Trail Australia next May! We are so excited!

Neither of us would be so passionate about running, nor so excited about trails, if it weren’t for the amazing support on the RMA page. This group means everything to us, so thank you for inspiring us and motivating us everyday!

Catherine Stirling