Nig Muscroft's take on the Run Forrest

Check Nig's blog hero dirt (refer below) had this to say about last years race


Nigel Muscroft absolutely rips the bag in the long wally right hand waves of the surfcoast...a bloke who would describe himself predominatly as a surfer he has taken to the ocean ski, the mountain bike and the runners as a way to keep fit and sharp in those times where wind, swell, tide and work dont align to get amongst the waves...

After knocking over a couple of 10hour Ironmans Nige is now focusing on smaller events closer to home, here is his race report from the beautiful Run Forrest trail run

I had my eye on this race for a while after Southern Exposure, a great local story and event management organisation, had stuck a flyer on my windscreen at one of their competitors races...good job SE.

I had a solid training block of running and riding in the months of April, May and June, so I figured I was in good shape to have a crack at this one. I dropped my entry in literally a week and a half out from race day. I had look at the course and thought to myself – tough…none the less I was pretty pumped and excited to run at Forrest, having only having ridden it on XC MTB. I might get more of a chance to see the scenery.


The week leading up, I was talking to a few people, and the word was out that it was a fast and undulating course. I’d done the homework and knew that there was going to be about 1000m of vertical climbing.  All this talk was causing me to second-guess myself. I cruised into the Running Company Geelong to get some new trailys (thanks fellas for the Sauconys - they were perfect) and they mentioned it as I was tripping out.

Race morning in Forrest was jumping.  I’d only seen that many people in town for the Odyssey and this was a foot race.


Forrest is a beautiful little town in the Victorian Otways and it has really found its niche with MTB.  The trails are truly world class.  The walk down to the race hub was typical of a Southern Exposure race, the vibe was mellow and unpretentious, the music pumping with log fires burning keeping everyone warm.

I bumped into an old mate of mine, Tim, and soon conversation turned to the course…apparently fast and undulating?? All I could think at this stage was either I’m killing it, or I don’t know what’s going on!!

Race start, a quick glance in the pack to gauge the talent and yup - definitely some talented local Geelong runners in the group.  My strategy was ease into it for the first few k’s and then see what happened after that.  Off we went and within 500m’s were straight into the hills, climbing on fire trail and then onto single track.  After about 3.5km I found myself in the lead, unfamiliar territory.

Then all of sudden, eventual winner and heavily credentialed stair climber, Scott McGraw comes flying through to take the lead. At first I thought go with him, but then realised, no not a good idea knowing that I had to run up the famous Red Carpet, a notoriously long and winding climb for about 5 or 6km’s.  So I just hung back and ran with a small group, which eventually fell apart. I went it alone with another guy Andrew.  At the foot of the Red Carpet climb, Andrew made a break up the hill, I let him go...I was now third...thinking this could go pear shaped.

I got to the top of the climb and then on the technical decent into Lake Elizabeth.  I caught Andrew and, as I learnt from the famous Rob De Castella, straight away made the pass.  Surprisingly Andrew sat on my heels the whole way around the lake, and the technical climb out.  He didn’t let go, hats off - as I threw in a few surges to test him. The support from the field we were crossing paths with was super encouraging so I pushed on hoping I wouldn’t blow….haha.

We arrived together at the top of Red carpet about to make the decent.  This was my chance to put some space between I went for it, and before long I couldn’t hear his feet tapping behind mine...this was good.

I then caught a glimpse of Scott in front.  His theory was clearly ‘out of sight out of mind’ but now I could see him, so I put the foot on the gas, hoping that I would stay on my feet, as it was wet and slippery, and, please don’t blow, as my energy levels were running out.  It was just a tease though, as I could see Scott, but I couldn’t work out how many seconds in front he was.  When you’re on these trails you can’t see much of the trail in front of you…that was what made it interesting.

We arrived at the base of Red Carpet.  Scott looks like he’s about 20 seconds in front with a k or so to go.  I keep pushing.  He keeps pushing, but he’s getting away.  And then…100m from the line, old mate, Andrew, cleverly snuck past me with a sprint finish.  Rookie error by me...but well done and congratulations fellas.  A cracking race and only 38 seconds between us.  I’ll be back next year for sure!!

Southern Exposure did a fine job for a first time, and I would highly recommend this trail run.  The course was an absolute pleasure to run on, and the scenery was amazing. The course was, as I suspected, challenging but that was what made it so special…

You can follow my other journeys on instagram and twitter @nmuscroft