Find Your Feet Experiences - Tasmanian Trail Running Academy by Mel Kemp

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‘Come with me to Derby for 3 days of trail running!’ To be honest that’s all the info I needed when Kym (a good friend and epic adventurer) suggested joining the first FYF Trail Academy with her. 

We checked the dates, signed up and then I looked at the details of what i’d agreed to!

3 days, 2 nights in a stunning location surrounded by like minded adventurers of all levels and the FYF brains trust of all things trail. Whilst Kym is at home on the trails with epic adventure racing and solo missions I’m on the other end of the scale, a long distance triathlete who loves to escape the world and everyday road based training for the serenity only the trails can provide. 

The adventure began with a car pool trip to Derby with Kym and 2 ladies I hadn’t met before. We all instantly gelled and conversation flowed like we’d known each other for years, I knew it was going to be a fulfilling weekend before we even arrived. 

Dales of Derby

 

Day 1- Drove to Derby, checked into our accomodation (a perfect setup for group travel) and headed out for a run in the drizzly rain. It was good to shake the legs out and see some of the stunning trails on offer, the cleansing rain kept us company as the sun went down. A perfect start to the weekend. 

A woman wearing trail running attire and a bright blue vest pack is picked leaping over a creek, surrounded up ferns in the Tasmanian rain forest

 

Day 2 - Morning run on Atlas - this run was interspersed with tips on running hills, in particular running up hill. 

The group as with the night before naturally split into the faster and not so fast runners coming together at regular points for useful tips and tricks. Absolutely no pressure on anyone to run quickly, the run was about getting out there,  learning from each other and soaking up the surroundings. 

In the afternoon we headed to the lake, some took a stroll around it while a few of us braved a refreshing dip! 

A relaxing evening followed with a group meal cooked for us and an evening hearing from Hanny and Graham about their adventure running the Pyrenees, a Q&A session and guest speakers Amy and John, and Ben. A night full of great information from stretching to shoe choice, nutrition and just getting out there. 

a large group of trail runners stand on top a mountain peak smiling at the camera which is at a lower angle than the runners.

Day 3 - We were all packed and up early Sunday for a bus trip to the top of Blue Tier. I was carrying a pretty raw blister on the arch of my foot from the previous day so it was going to be an adventure and a half running 20km mostly down hill! 

We split into a couple of groups based on the previous couple of runs, each with a lead and a tail. No one left behind and no one felt like they were holding anyone up.

I was at the tail of the first group and we added a little extra at the bottom (Little Chook) as we waited for the others to finish. What a stunning place- the trails and views are amazing, a wonderland for mountain bikers and trail runners alike.

This was the biggest run they’d ever done for a few in the group, and whilst it was a challenge the down hill flow made it a lot easier on the body and everyone loved it. We hit the Welborough pub at the end of the run - a welcome sight for many before hitting the bus back to pick up our cars and head home. 

 

Wrap up:

We started early both Saturday and Sunday and on dark Friday night, we didn’t come across any mountain bikers, if really felt like we had the place to ourselves.

Whilst we covered a lot of kms over the weekend there wasn’t any pressure to keep up, the group ranged from absolute newbies through to experienced adventurers. There was something to learn and share from everyone and I’m so glad I went along. 

The welcoming and supportive environment fuelled the fire for getting out and playing wilder.  I’ve now signed up for another tour with my adventure buddy Kym, which both excites and scares me, and it’s exactly why I love it! 

 

I’d encourage anyone and everyone from those with a love of the trails to those who are taking their first steps on the trail to join the FYF Trail Running Academy Tour.

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Interested in joining a Find Your Feet Experiences Trail Running Academy?
There are still places available in our Mountain Running Academy happening in October! Find out more here.

Mt Rowland towering over a summer dry paddocks with a shed

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