Two Bays Trail Race Preview – Updated (again!)

OK, so we don’t want to say ‘we told you so’ but we did say Mick was going to take this one didn’t we? This man is destined for big things this year. However, awesome running at the pointy end by lots of runners today. If you’re after the race results, click on this link here:ย and watch out for our race report which will be appearing very soon. Thanks to Sam Gash for her help down in Victoria this weekend too, and also to Katrina one of the organisers for her kind words which she sent to us too:

“Thanks for such awesome coverage of the event yesterday.ย  Lots of people were following it and we were often in positions where we had no mobile reception, so was fantastic to have the pressure taken off!”


Just a quick note for all of you running down at Two Bays this weekend and for those following it. Be sure to say hello to our pint-sized reporter on the ground, Samantha Gash (@samanthagash on twitter). Sam is well know for her exploits and completing the Racing the Planet Desert series in 2010. Some of you may have met her down at Bogong to Hotham this weekend too. Sam will be reporting from the Ultra168 Twitter handle, so be sure to say hello to her and have your game faces on ๐Ÿ™‚ as she’ll be letting us all know information from the pointy end of the field. If you want a shout-out, let us know too. Best of luck everyone for what will be a hotly contested run!


Well, it appears as if Victoria is all the rage right now. No sooner has Bogong to Hotham finished do we move onto the hugely popular and fast-growing Two Bays trail race this weekend. This event has taken off over the last few years, and stands at 750 entrants over both the 28km and 56km options.

For us, we’ll be putting a focus on the 56km option and a quick chat with the RD down in Victoria has led us to outline some of the hot favourites for the longer option – but first a little bit more info about this race for those not in the know.

The Two Bays Trail goes from Dromana, on Port Phillip Bay, to Bushrangers Bay and on to Cape Schanck it is the longest continuous track on the Mornington Peninsula. First proposed by Stefanie Rennick in 1984 as part of the Victorian 150th anniversary celebrations, the 28km Trail traverses a diverse range of landscapes for which the Mornington Peninsula is famous.

The scenery is stunning down on the Penninsula (Image courtesy of fstop5)

The steep rise from sea level up to Arthurs Seat (elevation 1,000ft) provides 310 degrees of breathtaking views across the bay to Melbourne. The trail is well marked by a blue wren bird symbol on all signs. The middle of the track passes through mostly undulating Track through national park and forest. The section on the Bass Strait side reveals Bushrangers Bay, which is arguably (as the website says!) more beautiful than the 12 apostles area of the Great Ocean Road.

But now for the juicy stuff, who’s going to win? This year sees a plethora of talent at the top end, as is becoming the norm for most big races in Australia. But, will it be a New South Welshman that takes the title away from the Victorians this year? Rumour has it that our own Blue Mountains man, Mick Donges is racing and it would be very hard to look beyond him, certainly for a podium.

However, the race director reliably informs me of a certain band of runners called the Midday Miler crew who despite being largely unknown in trail and ultra circles are a force to be reckoned with. Dozer (Richard Does), Al (Anthony Lee) David Venour, Stephen (House) Paine are according to my sources 2:3x marathon runners or better, so should present some real competition for our NSW and Aussie trail rep Mick Donges.But I’m told they could be using this race as a little prep for the upcoming Melbourne Road Trailwalker.

An they're off! (Image courtesy of fstop5)

Then there’s the likes of Magnus Michelsson, who if my memory serves me correctly, won The Tan 100km ultra last year too, beating Dave Eadie in the process. He will be right up there and again according to the RD, leading at the halfway mark. Also on the list is another famous Mexican no stranger to NSW borders in Mal ‘give me those AURA points’ Gamble, although he’s surely going to have the effects of 120-odd kms in the legs from the recent Narrabeen Allnighter. Along with Mal is another name we recognise in Toby Wiadrowski, who has performed extremely well in the GOW100kms in recent years too. Former winner, Kevin Mannix is another one to watch out for.

In the ladies race, Kirstin Bull, last year’s women’s second place, and who finished third in Commonwealth trails championship competition not long back is the standout name here. ย Colleen Middleton has stepped up to the 56km after winning last years 28km women’s race, whereas Kate Seibold last years 56km women’s winner is in the 28km. Maybe these girls has a pact between them to swap races ๐Ÿ™‚

And the final words and tips from the RD?

“Save yourself for the second ascent of Arthurs Seat that you hit at the 50km mark. If you want a priority start remember to bring your boardies, hawaiian shirt or beachwear.

“And because the 56km runners have to head back into themselves and the slower 28km runners… play nice, say G’day, give a bit of room on the single track section and have a happy day.ย  Also, Magnus is the first guy likely to turnaround and head back into everyone, ask him how his famous toe is going.”

Finally, Ultra168 will have our very own roving reporter down at the race, so watch this space for details of who they are ๐Ÿ™‚ And if you want to follow the results as they come in, you can click on this link here.

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I'm a mediocre runner who can bat above his average when I train hard. A man of extremes, I do enjoy everything life offers and consider it an absolute pleasure just to be able to put one foot in front of the other and let my mind wander somewhere different.

17 thoughts on “Two Bays Trail Race Preview – Updated (again!)

  1. I’m definitely looking forward to this run… I am most certainly not a worry for the real contenders just pumped to participate in my first Two Bays, it will be my furthest Ultra to date. Bring on the Trails ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Shame sleep train junior is not lining up. Had heard he was thinking about it but not currently in mts to confirm or deny. Rumour was the talented one in the family had been doing some to remind people that the Artup name should not be forgotten, even when his not as fast older brother is enjoying banana bread ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. midday milers. unknown?.. previous record holders at the biggest ultra in the country. Melbourne Trailwalker.

    A few men to watch in the 28km. Dan Hornery, last years winner record holder did a 2;19 marathon last year. His buddy Jay Phillpotts has a 2;24 marathon PB. Also of interest, from the tri world is Chris Legh. Think Ironman, sports drink ads on TV.

  4. Look out for a new trail runner initials A.P. In the 56km, I’m sure he will be in the mix. Not unlike the famous juilan spence.

  5. Good Call Bza, Adrian Polidano has a handy GOR 45km and Half Marathon this year. If he has improved from those results he could be in the mix.

    Also Nikki Wynd is in the womens field so will be competitive if she has her race face on. Does anyone know what Kerrie Bremner’s fitness is like at the moment? Also in the womens is Veronique Chamberland from New Caledonia, has some good trail running experience and a competitive marathon time could be another surprise packet for the ladies race. Femi Coppi upgraded from the 28km to the 56km and if the training has been good adds to the list of possibles.

    For the men if any of the quick front runners take a wrong turn or have an off day, Brad Fuller ran 2h46m at Melbourne this year and knows the 2Bays course. Clement Scott is another in this category with IM Tri history. Throw in Andrew Selby Smith, Eric Louw, Stuart Elliot, Michael Silvester, Phil Klein, Garth Calder, Martin Edwards, Greg Rankin, Paul Roberts, Martin Sime, Simon Trotter, Toby Waidrowski. This group have all run under 3hrs for the marathon and most have good trail running experience. I’m tipping this is where some of the real racing will happen, with many position changes in the last few km as this group chases down a completion time of just over 5hrs.
    If any of them have been training the house down in prep for this event, they could turn out a blinder to shake up the front runners if they have any form of set-back on the day.

    Hopefully the live tracking via tomato timing will be working (no promises) so all interested parties can watch to see if any of the ‘stab in the dark’ predictions come through!!

    1. Thanks for the valuable contribution Clarkey, much appreciated. Ultra168 will have our very own reporter on the ground down at Two Bays, so we’ll forward this on so that we can keep track of the leaders during the race. Sounds like a real battle upfront.

  6. Magnus will try and lead and should be first to the trail, Mick Donges will be first over Arthurs but I suspect Magnus will take back the lead and be the first to 28km.That said he has a issue with his toe…. After that Mick has a real chance as trails are not Mags best surface..Lots of great athletes will be just behind. You will need to run 4.30 or quciker to win this..

    1. Awesome result for Mick and No Roads. Mick is going to be a tough cookie to beat this year, that’s some serious runners he beat out there today. Seems that marathon PBs are kind of out the window when you get on the trails…

  7. I think it mystifies trail running too much. Obviously the more specific your training the better and you have to take into account how long back marathon PBs were run eg. Magnus some time back and he’s currently training for Ironman melbourne.
    Look at the 28km version of Two Bays to see that guys with good recent marathon PBs translated them into good trail results. Dan Hornery first. Marathon PB 2;19. Jay Phillpotts second. Mara PB 2;24.

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