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2015 Hounslow Classic Ultra and Sky Race

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 The introduction of the Skyrunning Associations Australia and New Zealand series has brought quite a bit of excitement to the eyes of trail runners here on the bottom of the globe. And although many people thought there were not enough hills in Australia to be able to justify a "Skyrun", they looked hard and found some courses worthy of the title. For those new to the term, Skyrunning is all about meters climbed over distance traveled. The more climbing and descending you can do over a given distance the better. Luckily for Australia, what we lack in height, we make up for in ruggedness. The Blue Mountain's Gross Valley might not rival the European Alps in the length of climbs, but it makes up for it by the sheer steepness of its passes. Climb in and out of the Gross Valley four or so times and you've done much more climbing than on a summit day of Mont Blanc.

 On October 10th and 11th of this year the SkyRunning Assiciations 'Hounslow Classic' will be giving us some of the toughest and most beautiful trail running the Blue Mountains has seen. There are two courses running over the weekend - the 21km Skyrun and the 75km Ultra SkyMarathon. Most of the terrain in the courses has never been used for a trail running event and takes in some of the Bluey's iconic areas like the Grand Canyon, Blue Gum Forrest, Pulpit Rock, Junction Rock and Lockley Pylon. It is sure to be a great weekend and with the two courses there is something for beginners and seasoned long distance runners alike.

Below is a detailed description of both courses provided by the organisers of the Hounslow Classic. For more information please visit the Hounslow Classic website here

The Course – SkyRun


Sunday 11th October 2015
The Hounslow Classic SkyRun course takes runners on a tough 21km challenge taking in the award winning trails and scenery of the Grose Valley near Blackheath, NSW. Starting in the picturesque township of Blackheath, one of the highest villages in the Blue Mountains – the  Hounslow Classic SkyRun takes runners of a tour of the Grose Valley past environmental icons such as the Grand Canyon, Junction Rock and Rodriguez Pass. This race is held on virgin territory when it comes to events and is awe inspiring in its scenery as it brings you into some pockets of the world which both amateur and professional photographers travel across the continent to capture.  
    • HOUNSLOW MAP1 21KM
    • GPX File – HERE
    • Course Profile (click to enlarge)
Hounslow Short profile1   SkyRun- 21km
Leg 1: Memorial Park to Junction Rock
Description: Starting in the beautiful Memorial Park in Blackheath, runners take Will St at the start of the event and plug into Popes Glen Trail. Popes Glen Trail feels like a secret track, winding through the township of Blackheath and down to the edge of the glorious Grose Valley. You will feel like a 4 year old without a worry in the world on this trail. Runners emerge at Govett’s Leap and get their first glimpse of what is ahead of them for the day. From Govett’s Leap runners head along the Clifftop Track to Evans Lookout, taking a diversion to Neats Glen Track and through the Grand Canyon. As runners proceed they find themselves in some of the oldest rainforest setting in the Blue Mountains.on the continent. Runners descend into the Grose Valley – past Beauchamp Falls and on to Junction Rock. Distance: 0 – 14.5km (14.5km) Ascent: 549m   Descent:885m
Leg 2: Junction Rock to Memorial Park Description: From Junction Rock, runners begin the ascent of Rodriguez Pass. At first they keep to the left of Govetts Leap Brook, but as they climb higher, they cross back and forth across the water until reaching the base of Govetts Leap waterfall, where the spray from the falls keeps the track permanently wet (and often people on the track, too!). A steep ascent up bush track and steps under hanging mosses, ferns and frowning cliffs brings runners back out to Govetts Leap, from where they retrace steps back up Popes Glen to the finish at Memorial Park. Distance: 14.5km – 21km (6.5km) Ascent: 885m   Descent:549m  

Ultra Course

 
Saturday 10th October 2015
The Hounslow Classic Ultra SkyMarathon course takes runners on a tough 75.6km challenge taking in the award winning trails and scenery of the Grose Valley near Blackheath, NSW. Starting in the picturesque township of Blackheath, one of the highest villages in the Blue Mountains – the  Hounslow Classic Ultra takes runners of a tour of the Grose Valley past environmental icons such as Blue Gum Forest, Pulpit Rock, Junction Rock and Lockley Pylon. Not to mention the amazing Grand Canyon. This race is held on virgin territory when it comes to events and is awe inspiring in its scenery as it brings you into some pockets of the world which both amateur and professional photographers travel across the continent to capture.   PROFILE 1   Ultra SkyMarathon – 75.6km
Leg 1: Memorial Park to Junction Rock
Description: Starting in the beautiful Memorial Park in Blackheath, runners take Will St at the start of the event and plug into Popes Glen Trail. Popes Glen Trail feels like a secret track, winding through the township of Blackheath and down to the edge of the glorious Grose Valley. You will feel like a 4 year old without a worry in the world on this trail. Runners emerge at Govett’s Leap and get their first glimpse of what is ahead of them for the day. From Govett’s Leap runners head along the Clifftop Track to Evans Lookout, taking a diversion to Neats Glen Track and through the Grand Canyon. As runners proceed they find themselves in some of the oldest rainforest setting in the Blue Mountains.on the continent. Runners descend into the Grose Valley – past Beauchamp Falls and on to Junction Rock. Distance: 0 – 14.5km (14.5km) Ascent: 549m     Descent:885m
Leg 2: Junction Rock to Perrys Lookdown
Description: At Junction Rock runners turn left and take Rodriguez Pass up to Govett’s Leap and turn right, taking the Clifftop track in a clockwise direction around the rim of the valley reaching Pulpit Rock and then emerging onto Hat Hill Road and making their way to Perry’s Lookdown. Distance: 14.5km – 24km (9.5km) Elevation:  Ascent: 802m     Descent:214m
Leg 3: Perry’s Lookdown to Pinnacle Turnaround
Description: The Grose Valley awaits and runners plunge once again into its depths on the steepest descent on the course down Perry’s Track and into the mystical and sacred Blue Gum Forest. The climb out is via Lockley Track and is as challenging and rough underfoot when runners are finally rewarded with amazing views from Lockley Pylon. Runners take the Pinnacles Trail to a fully stocked aid station at Pinnacle Turnaround. Distance: 24km – 37.8km (13.5km) Elevation:  Ascent: 799m  Descent: 857m
Leg 4: Pinnacle Turnaround to Perry’s Lookdown
Description: Running Leg 3 in reverse and experiencing the ever present Blue Gum Forest, runners make their way along Pinnacles Trail – Locklley Track – Perry’s Track to Perry’s Lookdown. Distance: 37.8km – 51.3km (13.5km) Elevation:  Ascent: 857m  Descent: 799m
Leg 5: Perry’s Lookdown to Junction Rock
Description:  Along Hat Hill Road, on to the Clifftop Track, and down Rodriguez Pass to Junction Rock. Distance: 51.3km – 60.8km (9.5km) Elevation: Ascent: 214m Descent: 802m
Leg 6: Junction Rock to Memorial Park
Description: Beauchamp Falls, Neates Glen Track, Grand Canyon, Clifftop Track, Popes Glen Track to the finish in Memorial Park. Distance: 60.8km – 75.6km (14.5km) Elevation:m Ascent: 885m Descent: 549m

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