Camel Lake Beer Dash

For ages now I have been dreaming of putting together a group run, but not an event and not a run that would scare off the novice runner. A run you can squeeze in after a busy week at work. Every run I tend to let my mind to wonder off and ponder about all kinds of run’s I still would like to complete and the exploring of new trails on my radar. Recently while moving to Perth WA and meeting up with some like-minded runners I realised that everyone has different goals in running be it a race on your bucket list, a fitness goal, a PB you are chasing or the explore of a new route that you have been eyeing for a while. But in the end, they all tend to share the same feeling a great feeling that only a great run can provide. The running stoke! – What is stoke well in Surfing it refers to zeal or excitement a feeling of awesomeness.

I was wondering how I would I get a group together to run and ensure that everyone have the same amount of enjoyment from the run although the group might differ in fitness levels or goals. I think I might have found the solution. While running through Bold Park one evening after work I was wrapping up my final km’s before crossing over into Perry Lakes when I noticed a little section that from start to end only measures 734 m with 14 m of elevation. A smooth gravel jeep track. One way you tend to work a little bit in the climb but nothing serious and then coming back along the same section you tend to fly down the trail as it makes these wide S bends through the trees. A beautiful little section marked up as the Camel Lake Heritage trail. I am aware the trail is much longer, but this section is a sweet little section for dashing and blasting those stress cobwebs away.

Charging down Camel Lake Heritage Trail

This section had me thinking how about organising a dash on this particular section. Get some runners together and go blast out some sprints. But how would you make it appealing to all. My idea was to first do a slow group run showing all involved the short course. Then give out random numbers which would be your starting position in the group. The runner would then go and blast out this section of the trail as fast as he can with your time recorded at the end. Overall distance is just over 1,4 km’s nothing serious and most runners of all fitness levels can muster that. To spice it up we would do two dashes for each person. You rest while the other person is on the trail. Then only your best attempt would be recorded. If you decide to run only one dash, you will then receive a 5 sec penalty. To top it all off you would be rewarded after everyone’s completed with an ice cold beer in the car park and some friendly banter afterwards. Sound like fun! This was the plan or idea behind the 1st ever Came Lake Beer Dash.

Sunset over Camel Lake Heritage Trail

Me not being a Perth local and not knowing anyone was heavily reliant on Kev’s friends and running connections. I told Kev about my plan he was very excited about the free beer at the end…lol. Back to the admin side of things he asked how many people did I have in mind. I said if we can get between 7 to 10 guys it will make for a great dash. Well, the WhatsApp group was created followed by the invites on the Tuesday and on the Friday low and behold we managed to scrape 7 guys together for our first Camel Lake Beer dash.

The First Group of Camel Lake Beer Dashers

Rules and route were explained, numbers were handed out and so we started chasing down the trail starting at Camel Lake end heading up first then turn around at just above Tuart Car park followed by the dash down back to Camel Lake our starting point. It was amazing to see how each person was pushing himself with the group cheering the runner in before he crosses the finish line. Instantly a great sense of camaraderie was created. After the first round of dashing, we found that we would run out of sunlight if we kept the same format, so we opted for group batch starts and got the second lap wrapped up even quicker.

All and all this were wrapped up within an hour. At the end we all enjoyed an Ice cold Mountain goat lager and Ginger beer for the non-Beer drinkers in the car park. Why Mountain Goat lager I think it was quiet fitting for our little trail dash. We handed out some Single-Track stickers to each participant and we crowned the dash winner for the evening with a winning time of 5:35 and handed over his Thomas the Train Sippy Cup Trophy. Well done, Kev!

Kev the course Winner with his Trophy

I am already planning the next Beer dash and hope to get the same bunch of runners back and maybe even a couple more. The same route, same format but with added twists to keep the running stoke high but making sure everyone is having a blast. It was extremely special to have my boy on the first dash. He held his own and made me extremely proud to see how he pushed himself to ensure he stayed up there with a solid time on the log.

This event was hosted by Single-Track linking to their outdoor ethos #GetOutThere it’s not about how far we went but rather about sharing a moment outdoors with likeminded people. “Seek a bond with nature to inspire change” – W.Richards