21.1 km (Half Marathon)
An exciting half marathon through some of Central Victoria’s finest countryside. From dense woodland to open paddocks following the route of the historic Goldfields Steam Train on well made fire trails and paths.
The course sets off from Maldon station1 and heads out along Hornsby Street2, crossing the Bendigo-Maldon road and making its way down to the edge of the Muckleford Nature Reserve and the start of the Railway Track. Runners turn right and continue on the Tatt Town track3 as the course climbs gently — through dense woodland. A left hand turn into Smiths Reef Track4 precedes a short sharp pinch followed by a welcome 4 km descent, via the Gowar Track5 and finally joining the Railway Track6 all the way to the midway point at Muckleford Station7 (the lowest elevation of the course at 276m with toilets & water available). Now the course runs through delightful open paddocks with expansive views, the railway line, never far out of site, and begins to gently climb again through more open woodland. A switch back takes runners around a deep gully with views of the Sawmill Road rail bridge8, the start of the last section of the course and the last significant climb.
As runners hit the 17 km mark it’s pretty much downhill all the way to Castlemaine. Crossing the Pyrenees highway9 and running on an elevated embankment10 signifies the end of the official rail trail. Campbells Creek is crossed, with the route then dropping runners under the Elizabeth Street bridge11 to continue along the pretty Campbells Creek path which snakes its merry way smartly back to the Camp Reserve12.