In its fourth year, the M2M Fun Run organisers have decided to take things up a notch and have announced a 21.5km trail run to complement the short and medium distance events that circuit the Dunkeld township. Trail running is a sport that has boomed in popularity in recent years with so many runners seeking adventure and exhilirating views in addition to a distance challenge.
The M2M 2015 will not disappoint.
On top of the new challenge, this year the race will be earlier than usual - Sunday, 2 August. Organisers moved the event forward when it became clear the usual third weekend in October would clash with the Melbourne Marathon Festival.
The trail will offer grass and sandy surfaces, undulating hills and the option to ascend the rocky Mt Sturgeon trail all the way to the top. It's not for the faint hearted, but with experienced long distance trail runner Derek Prentice on board - supported by Serra Terror organisers and local trail running enthusiasts - it is sure to match many of the local and international events.
Derek said the August date would keep things cool for the longer distance runners.
"The M2M was established four years ago as the principal fundraiser for the Kindergarten, but it was frustrating the route couldn't connect the township with the beautiful trails that crisscross the southern Grampians," Derek explained.
"It's taken a lot of negotiation and support from local land owners, but we're very happy to say we've found a way to expand the event this year that will be pretty spectacular for those looking for a new challenge."
And now the event has reached the mountain trails, Derek is keen to learn from and build on this year's event to establish the M2M on the ultramarathon calendar into the future.
"There is so much scope for longer distance running in the Grampians down the track, so to speak, especially with the Grampians Peaks Trail already well underway," Derek said.
The Grampians Peaks Trail will be a world class, long distance trail that showcases the Grampians landscape, stretching 144km from Mount Zero in the north to all the way to Dunkeld.
But for now, the half marathon distance trail run will add an extra dimension to the popular event, together with a family friendly 4.7km run/walk and 10km run both of which circuit Salt Creek and the beautiful Arboretum.
Registrations will open for the M2M very soon - you can follow the Facebook page for updates as planning progresses. For further details, click here.
The Dunkeld Kindergarten is very excited to announce a more challenging M2M Fun Run in 2015. Drawing on the expertise of local ultramarathon runner, Derek Prentice, this year's event will offer a greater range of challenges for serious trail runners and shorter courses around the picturesque township for families to enjoy.