For most people, the thought of running one km or two may not be too hard to comprehend but when it is straight up then maybe its time to contemplate if you are really up for the challenge.

Well, that is exactly what Rapid Ascent have created in its inaugural Vertical K event up Mt Donna Buang.

It is  set in the beautiful Warburton region of Victoria this Sunday, the 29th of November 2015 and is an event that is sure to get your heart racing.

This type of event had been very popular in Europe for many years and in some way is a throwback to the mountain and fell running events, where first to the top of the hill was the goal.

So it is great to see this type of race in Australia.


It is a quad crunching, lung busting experience.

And We will be there to sweat it out in this new event in the Australian trail running calendar.

As usual Rapid Ascent added their own unique element to this event.

It is a race between trail runners and cyclists.

Both starting at the same point but splitting off to Road and Trail, with first to the top taking all the glory.

There is a lot at stake here!

Trail vs Road, Parents vs kids, work colleagues vs bosses and partner vs partner.

It is a chance to “one up” your mates and ride high in the bragging rights, for one year at least.

The trail runners have a straight up approach

A 7.8 km route with a 1,098 m Vertical ascent from bottom to top.

It starts you off with an easy road climb, well that is a complete lie.

It starts you off by sending you up Australia’s steepest road!

Martyr Road, with an average gradient of 20% and 31% at its steepest.

This is sure to break some hearts and legs.

Then into the beautiful tree lined trails with a continuing  steep accent up to the finish.

The cyclist hit the road and the redline

By winding there way up a 17.8 km course.

They have to endure a 1,077m-with an average gradient of 6.4% Vertical ascent from clip in to pushing for the line.

And if that’s not enough how about a 10% gradient right at the end just to pop your lungs and potentially facilitate a slow stack when those legs stop turning over.

This is classed as an Hors catégorie climb which is the hardest rating available for these lycra clad warriors.


Run and Cycle Race Course

Watch Their Promo Video

Rapid Ascents Vertical K MT Donna BUANG is Australia’s first sanctioned Vertical K Sky Race.

And It has attracted some big names who are keen to test themselves against this new event.

These include favourite Ben Duffus, who finished 9th at this year’s Skyrunning World Series Vertical K.

Ralph Street, an orienteering specialist from the UK, who has made a real impact since arriving on these shores in September.

Lucy Bartholomew the current Junior Skyrunning World Champion.

and Amy Lamprecht who finished 2nd at the 100km Surf Coast Century in September.

Vertical K MT Donna BUANG

Who will win and ultimately take the inaugural Vertical K crown?

We will just have to wait and see.

As Sam Maffet the General Manager of Rapid Ascent said:

“It’s going to be an extremely tough race as competitors will need to push their pain barrier to reach the summit in good time.”

But that pain will be all worth it when we cross that finish line.

For many, it will be crossing that line that is their success story.

And so it should be!

As once again being part of the ever-growing trail running community here in Australia is something to be proud of and celebrate!

There is still time to sign up, so Find out more at

I’m off to run some hills but I will see you next week for a post quad burning, lung-busting Fullcoursetrails review of the inaugural Vertical K SkyRace.

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Until then Happy Running!


Douglas is the Trail Director at FullCourseTrails, an active Trail writer, Photographer and Ultrarunner competing in many off-road distance events.

Events include: The Surf Coast Century, The Roller Coaster Marathon, Buffalo Stampede Sky Marathon and The Australian North Face 100 Ultra Marathon and the TDS in Europe.