Monday, 21 April 2014

Surf Coast Trail Runners

I first met Dion and Matt at a Salomon trail running clinic about a year (May 2013) ago.

My first impression of them:
Dion - This guy is freaking tall! What the hell is he doing trail running? He should be playing basketball or something.
Matt -  This guy is like a freaking energizer bunny. Pulling ahead catching the faster group in front and doubling back to the slower group to make sure we don't get loss. It was like he was doing tempo runs throughout the whole run!

Let’s hear what they have to say about this group. Enjoy!

Interview with Surf Coast Trail Runners Founders

Gary: This is Matt, one of the co-founders for Surf Coast Trail Runners. As you can see, he loves his run. Even in his jeans. Give us a smile Matt.

Dion: Blowing a bit hard. We did offer to drive him home to put a pair of shorts on, but...

Gary: Nah

Gary: Well hello Matt. I’m here with the co-founders of Surf Coast Trail Runners, Dion and Matt. How’s it going fellas?

Dion: Not too bad Gary

Matt: Good

Gary: Alright, let’s take a walk along the trail and tell me a little bit about yourselves actually. Dion

Dion: I’m not much of a runner been running just under 2 years. Took it up for a bit of weight loss. Yeh, pretty much got into trails probably not long after that. Matt and I sort of bumped into each other probably late 2012 and sort of been running many Ks together since.

Gary: Oh wow ok Matt?

Matt: I am a kinda a bit of an unusual case I suppose. I hated sports in high school, never wanted to do running, always hated the idea of it, but da picked it up with some friends and did a corporate triathlon and sort of work from there, started off on the short stuff and I am converted to trails and since Dion and I have been running a bit together that’s where it took us. Ever since the Salomon Trail Series at Anglesea which sort of been looking for more and more that we can get out of it. There is some great stuff around here as you can see, but there has been awesome stuff around Victoria that we got into now and some great people that we’ve met.

Dion: Yeh, this is probably our home trail

Gary: Excellent

Dion: Up and down the Bellarine Rail Trail, probably where everything started.

Gary: Alright. So how do you guys know each others?

Dion: We both were doing personal training sessions with a personal trainer friend in separate sessions.

Matt:  Yeh, it’s funny because we sort of have the group going and have quite a few for a bit and then it was very quickly just me and Dion and then just us for the next 6 months.

Dion: Yeh. So it was like let’s do 5km, let’s do 10km, 15, 20 and we just kept going.

Gary: Alright. So now, I know you guys are co-founder, who’s actually behind, the brainchild of this Surf Coast Trail Runners group?

Dion: We couldn’t tell you him or me. I think it has just been a natural evolution between 2 people’s ideas really.

Matt: Yeh, Dion is definitely the figure head though, he’s certainly that the man that represent exactly what we all want to be. And I found that for me as well, it’s been great especially even when I first started running with Dion it has good balance. I started out with sort of fastest stuff on shorter. I mean that sort of mindset it tends to be you know very easily could lead you to it, I’m not saying people are, you can get into this things which is just about the paces you know and how well you did.

Dion: I’m a natural slowing. I slow him down a bit.

Matt: He takes time to go and look at things and gives us a good perspective I think that sort of even trying to inspire to as a Surf Coast Trail Runner is to have that perspective and really enjoy what we doing. Not just get it done the fastest. I mean not to say that we don’t want to get out there and give it a good crack. Dion’s got a good grasp on that. He’s definitely a good leader I would say for what we’re doing in that regard.

Dion: I’m probably at the back 25% of the field. Matt’s probably in the front 25% of the field, so, we try to incorporate those sections and everything in between I suppose.

Gary: That’s alright, I’m at the back 5% of the field almost of the time anyway.

Dion: We have shared a few kms at the back.

Gary: Yeh we have. Now Surf Coast Trail Runners. Just you know let me zoom in a little bit on this logo thing. So how did this come about?

Dion: Pretty much through the Facebook group. Just sort of threw it out there and say “hey we are thinking about getting a logo, what do you guys think”. And someone not even in the group, but a husband of a female runner in the group, Warren Wilson. He sort of threw something together, that wasn’t too dissimilar with the final product. So, basically everything you see except for the “man”, he did himself and I sort of did a little bit of tailoring work on getting the vector and image right in the middle and also added a little bit of impact. Even the colour was pretty much what Warren chose. He’s now a runner. He’s now doing his 5km in the Trailblazer.

Gary: Excellent!

Dion: Colours come about at a barbeque at my house one day. Yourself Gary, was involved.

Gary: Was I? Ok.

Dion: Probably about a dozen people in there and we threw out some colour swabs and stuff like that to basically put together what you see in front of you.

Gary: Cool. Now you guys have just done the tops and all, so what else is in the pipeline in terms of merchandise?

Dion: I’ll say that’s about it from merchandise really. We have got a banner in the pipeline just to take to events and stuff for the early group shot. Also, we put our hand up to do quite a bit of volunteering with some of the local events. The race directors around here are pretty cool and they will have no problem with us putting our banner up in front of an aid station if you know if we got full of Surf Coast Trail Runners there helping out. As far as merchandise, we are not really gonna push in to any of that. So we want to sort of say with the shirt, hey we are at the event, “oh god, there’s another Surf Coast Trail Runner. Oh yeh I remember that person, I remember they gave me some advice” or something like that. So really hard. It’s more of an identity thing rather than a look at us thing.

Matt: Yeh, we still gonna stay fairly organic and rather than trying to get to commercial and have all the stuff showing “here’s the Surf Coast Trail Runners”. It more about the reverse of that. It’s like what Dion said something we can help the people just to you know get involve and recognise others that are in the group. Because you don’t always know their face to the name. Especially when you are looking I mean running gear compare to what they might be on their profile and vice versa. So it’s just enough to get it out there might just be a little bits and pieces we do, but it’s just enough to keep things moving and you know, help the members out more.

Dion: Basically we don’t try to raise money, we don’t try to make any money. The tops and all were pretty much done at cost. Just really as minimal as possible. Basically we like our Facebook, which you can reach us at from Facebook. So search for our group. That’s probably our biggest catalyst as suppose to the merchandising side of things.

Gary: So, do you guys organise events or runs or anything like that?

Dion: Not events as such. We do have like pretty informal group runs, with structure, I supposed. If that make sense. So an informal group run with structure.

Gary: Yup.

Dion: So, we got a couple coming up. And night runs, probably some of the biggest night runs going around, 43 to the one last month. Usually held on a Tuesday night towards the end of the month, 8 o’clock. So 29th of April this time. Got 43 on the acceptance. So it’s gonna be around that 40, 43 mark. You know, some don’t come, some come but don’t accept. So yeh, the night run is 29th and Lady of the Trail as well.

Matt: Yeh, just a head up too for anyone who is taking those up, they’re fairly easy going, so really does, it’s pretty inclusive to everybody and we usually stop at several points and all group up again. It’s not a matter of getting to the end of it and we have a chat when we finish. It’s more focus on getting out there to enjoy the trail as a group. So if you are looking for a really hard training session, it’s probably not your thing. But then again, it’s a great opportunity to meet people who you might be able to do those sessions with. So, it’s more of a meet and greet type arrangement than it is something your weekly training in. It’s a bit of good fun and a way to get everyone out there and meet people to see people in the club that they might not seen before.

Dion: Some of the group runs have 2.5hrs marathoners through to 5hrs marathoners. They all tend to enjoy the same piece of trail and get exactly what they need out of it. With the fast guys might to do a couple of hill repeats while they’re waiting for the slower guys to catch up. Yeh, the Lady of the Trail is a big one for us. It’s something we’re trying to tap into with creating a safe network for the women in our group and for anyone else who wants to join the group. Introducing the women at the Lady of the Trail. There will be a brunch provided for them. Husband will be doing the BYO on the brunch. There won’t just be eggs and bacon rolls. I’ll make sure I get a hold of the other guys and we do a little nicer than just eggs and bacon rolls.

Gary: That’s good. Cheese?

Dion: Yeh. So that one is on 4th May. It’s a Sunday 9am.

Matt: Pancakes on a barbeque.

Dion: Yeh. Pancakes on a barbeque. That will be at the You Yangs, which everyone knows where we predominately use.

Gary: Excellent. Basically we can find Surf Coast Trail Runners on Facebook. And everything else is from there actually.

Matt: That’s it.

Dion: Pretty much.

Gary: Ok. Anything else that you guys want to add on?

Matt: I think the main thing as we keep eluding to is that be really out there to just try and help grow the trail running community. Not just in the surf coast, but a bit beyond that. Because trail running is still relatively new and it’s something that I think you can really get a lot of enjoyment from and it’s fairly inclusive to a lot of different people that have got fairly diverse range of interest. For starting we are trying to keep growing and make sure that we there are plenty of support not only for the events, but  just trying to keep the trails out there and keep all that expanding. It really helps people get into areas that might not have the time or ability to appreciate before. For me, I have never been to the You Yangs prior to getting into trail running. It’s really, I think it helps the community, not just in trail running, but in community overall. Helps people get into things that they might not otherwise done.

Gary: Excellent.

Dion: So come along. Join us up. We’ll show you guys a good time, and we’ll show you some hard times as well. There is pretty serious training outside the group run, help preparation for events. Training on a flame. Training on a flat pancake out here is, one friend like to elude, the guys still get enough hills out here to do pretty well at some of the mountain events. .

Gary: Cool. Alright guys, Thanks very much for your time. Until next time...

Dion: Hang loose.


  1. I'm in the back 2%!

    A running group is not always about serious running but having fun on a run, regardless whether it's a serious one or not. SCTR keeps it balanced, or has that balance. #traillove

    Happy anniversary, SCTR, Dion and Matt! :D

    1. Totally agree. We just want to have fun!
      And Vonsy, 2% or 5%, whose counting, as long as we enjoy each run and hopefully cross the finish. ��

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