Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Glasshouse Trail Runs - Flinders Tour

Photos from the 25km Glasshouse Mountains Trail Run – Flinders Tour 29 July 2012.
Beerburrum is about an hour’s drive north of Brisbane.
It is on the Glasshouse Mountains Road, less than 5km off the Bruce Highway.
The State School welcomes runners, while Mt Beerburrum beckons.
About 270 runners turned up for the 2012 Flinders Tour leg of the Glasshouse Trails Series, which included 10km, 25km and 50km events. 

This run is on moderate trails interspersed with great views of the Glasshouse mountains.

Doing the 25km run (my first time joining the Flinders tour) opened up my eyes to the awesome sights of the surrounding mountains, the forests and trees. The tour also revealed the extent of damage caused to tracks and ground surface.  Apparently this environmental damage is due to 4wd vehicles and trail bikes accessing and using tracks that are off-limits to them. The deep ruts and uneven surface is a safety concern for the recreational walkers, hikers, runners and other users with low impact or non-destructive environmental activities in these park areas. 

One of 'The Twins' Tunbubudla. 
During the run, I was quite amazed to meet two different groups of trail bikers and a 4wd ute on the same trails as the runners. I am not certain if they are supposed to be there, but I'm sure there was sufficient signage placed around the course cautioning about the trail running event. 
Mixing it with trailbikes. I was hoping for them to slow down for runners, but they instead revved up and turned up the dust.
On the west of Old Gympie Road (near the southwest of the race route), the first group of bikers that I met even accelerated up along a lengthy section lined with runners, and their bikes were turning up the dust and deafening us with their motors. To me this seemed to be a deliberate ‘in your face’ act of defiance by the riders against the trail runners. 
The other group of bikers (adult and youngster? near Caves Road reserve) appeared friendly and had stopped as I jogged past them. They gestured back with a wave and rode off on another trail.

Finally the 4wd ute that I encountered was going up a rough and narrow hilly trail. This track had ruts as deep as the ute's wheels, and I was negotiating carefully, coming down the opposite direction. The vehicle kept going although we were on the same line and about to joust, so I sidestepped quickly to let it go past, lest it get dented. It was going uphill and at the time I gave it the benefit of being a support car for the runners. If it was a volunteer’s car, then we were simply meeting at the wrong place and wrong time. But if it was not a support car, I do not know if it should have been there. And seriously if it was not supposed to be there, then again this highlights a safety issue that indeed should be addressed by the authorities. 

Whether these trails are to be shared or used exclusively by certain groups (eg for 4wd, trailbikes, or walking/running) should be clarified and the rules enforced.
I join the clamour for ministerial intervention for the benefit and safety of all park users and to mitigate environmental damage.
 The smaller of 'The Twins' Miketeebumulgrai.

 Mt Beerwah in the distance.

I sidestepped more trailbikes (can't really throw stones, I'm at the glasshouse
 mountains) and skirted around Mt Tibberoowuccum, before striding out to the finish.

Any finish is a good finish.
Yeah right Martin. These guys finished hours ago.
Thanks to TRAQ, the volunteers, support crews, fellow runners and all. Thanks also to the courteous trail bikers off Caves Road. Run and let ride, or ride and let run.
Map of the Glasshouse Trail Runs - 25km Flinders Tour 2012.


  1. Hi There.

    My name is Alun Davies, I'm the race director for the Wildhorse Criterium. A little belated but congratulations on completing your longest run to date (as it was at Easter anyway).

    We have met before: Last year at The Pinnacles Classic, you remarked on my being able to walk past you on the climbs in the later stages and I've also seen you at a few other events (Park Run and the last twice at Doomben). I usually yell out 'Hey Igorot', but I'm not sure you can see where it's coming from!).

    Anyway, back to Glasshouse. I read your comments with interest. My experience of the trail bikers is quite the opposite. I was running the 50km when you were there and didn't experience such behaviour (from probably the same motorcyclists). Also, whether we like it or not, they are permitted on the forest roads (so it's not all illegal). Not a lot we can do about it.

    I've run in the area for the last five years (16 Glasshouse Trails events and countless km's training) and, while I agknowledge that there is some undesireable behaviour out there, there's little that can be done about it while there is no vested interest for the political bodies and law enforcement alike.

    The bottom line is, as a politition, what would be easier? Apply and enforce new and existing regulations at considerable expense or, stop issuing permits for events? (the latter being most likely if pressure is applied in the 'wrong' areas.

    There is a Facebook page recently setup, dedicated to the positive aspects of the events around Glasshouse and the overall good condition of the trails (particularly the 100 mile course in September). Take a look, just seek out 'Glasshouse Trails'.

    I'd appreciate further feedback in realtion to your experiences both at Wildhorse and at Glasshouse, drop me a line if you're inclined at alun@wildhorsecriterium.com or ag.davies@hotmail.com - or both!



  2. Good to hear from Alun. With trails, whether one is a trail runner or trailbiker or any kind of user, let us all just share, but with due respect to rules and restrictions, else we'll end up in chaosland. The trail users community is like society in general, we all should just get along. Enjoy life, have a fun time.

  3. Martin, it's Allan/broom here. We chatted for a bit at the cool running forum. Nice photos and write up. Are you ruuning glasshouse mountain this sept?

  4. Hello to Allan, a little busy so just briefly - thanks for your note, and glasshouse? maybe. i sort of volunteered with the bunyaville trail runners tending a checkpoint but only if i'm in town, and perhaps doing the 10km, or is it 12km?

  5. Hello, I just take a peek and I came across here in your post. I had a great time reading your post and I find a lot of worthy points here. You did a good job.


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