Coastal Classic 2017

Once again it was time for the trail runners favourite, the Coastal Classic. It’s one of Sydney’s highest rated trail runs, taking runners along a beautiful stretch of coastline going through the Royal National Park. Being in a national park though the organisers, Maximum Adventure, have to cap the numbers and so it can be hard to get an entry as they sell out so quickly. The Coastal Classic brings to a close the Thermatech Triple Challenge series which also included the Jabulani in Ku-ring-gai Chase and Raffertys Coastal Run at Lake Macquarie.

Although the Coastal Classic may not be the longest of races it certainly presents a good challenge to those who take it on. The trail takes runners up and down the park’s headlands and onto the numerous sandy beaches along the coast of the Royal National Park . Unlike last year at this time, when there was torrential rain forcing the postponement of the race, we had a beautiful spring day, chilly in the morning but warming up nicely as the day progressed. Out on course we had 5 photographers positioned to capture the beautiful coastal scenics and the runners enjoying the trails. There was around 1000 runners on course from all different skill levels, some there to run fast and put in the best time they can while others were taking their time and enjoy the day out.

The Triple Challenge has been a great series to cover. Next up for us in the trail running category will be the Bouddi challenge in October. A new race on the running circuit running through the Bouddi National Park on the Central Coast.

You can find the full gallery of Coastal Classic images on our website here If you want to see the images from the other races of the triple challenge you can find the Jabulani images here and Raffertys Coastal Run images here

See you on the trails.

Jetblack 12hr: Mowbray Farm

The final laps into the night

The final laps into the night

The final mountain bike race for the 2016 Rocky Trail Entertainment XC season was the Jetblack 12 hour. This year it was held at Mowbray farm MTB track near Picton in the southwest of Sydney. It was a couple of years since we previously shot an XC race there. Though the course was basically the same, weather over the last month or so had altered the terrain around it.

The main change in the features around the course was the missing lake. Heavy rainfall of the previous weeks managed to wash away a dam, draining the lake in the middle of the course. The rain had left the track over-saturated. More rain overnight also added to the puddles, making some sections of the track more like water crossings. Although the previous night had been another wet one, the new day dawned windy but otherwise the weather was great.

Terrain along the track varies quite a bit. It heads through open fields with some nice views across to the city, crosses and drifts along a small creek that was once the lake and heads off into a young pine forest, meanders a back along the creek then up to the start again. There is about 123m vertical over the course which mostly seems to be crammed into the hill at the end . The wet weather had closed a couple of sections of the track making the course shorter and a couple of sections rather slippery. However, the shorter course just meant faster laps, bringing the riders back in front of our cameras more often.

At 10am a mass start sent mountain bikers racing off into the fields. The harsh light in the open fields below the start line meant shooting there was tricky. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before a few clouds came rolling in and softened up the light a bit. Gil set off against the flow and I went with the flow of riders were headed stopping when I came across shots that I liked. By mid afternoon we had both made it probably halfway around the track. We realised the best locations to shoot the sunset would be the fields and dams back near the start so headed back in that direction.

Nightfall saw us both in the fields playing experimenting at using our lights in different ways. Gil lit some of the beautiful old trees in shots and I went to the dams to use the reflections in mine. Chill soon set in around the water’s edge and I headed back up to warm up and await the podiums.

Below are our picks for the race. The full gallery of images that Gil and I captured can be found over on the Outerimage website here

Full results from the race can be found over on the Rocky Trail Entertainment website here