The Giant Odyssey courses have a solid reputation… they include some solid hills, some solid single track and return some solid smiles at the end of the day. If you are up for a challenge that delivers a massive reward, the Giant Odyssey is for you.
“The Odyssey is one of my favourite races on the calendar and I keep coming back for the awesome trails and atmosphere of the race,” Scott Chancellor, Giant rider
"The feeling of remoteness, the EPICNESS of the climbs, the tall trees and the rainforests, I love the varied terrain and there is always something to look forward to around the corner," Jessica Douglas, 8-time Odyssey competitor
"Great variety - fire trails, tight single track, swooping berms and jumps, steep climbs all in beautiful eucalypt forest," David Rusden, 8-time Odyssey competitor
“I’ve done every 100km race in Australia and this is right up there! The trails were superb and the single track was spectacular. I had so much fun. It was worth the 9 hour drive," Garry James from Canberra
“To actually FINISH this race is an achievement to be proud of as it is truly an epic journey, the toughest mountain bike marathon event in Australia,” Naomi Hansen, on MarathonMTB, finished 6th in 2014
"The Odyssey has become a legendary event on the MTB calendar in Australia and it attracts the best of the best every year, which, combined with the challenging course, guarantees that you are in a for a tough day if you are chasing the podium. The Forrest singletrack is amongst the best in Australia and everyone should tick it off their bucket list!" Adrian Jackson, 2010 winner
EVENT PROGRAM AVAILABLE
The official Event Program for the 2015 Giant Odyssey containing all the final event information, schedule, course details and more can now be downloaded from here - essential reading for all competitors (29Mb download: right click and select 'Save Link As').
100km Giant Odyssey
This is the ultimate mountain bike marathon - an heroic mountain bike journey through a range of wild landscapes and cranking single track.
The 2015 100km Odyssey will be held along a similar course to the 2014 and 2013 races but include 2 SLIGHT CHANGES both within the first leg. (See leg sumary below for details). The 100km course wil start and finish in Forrest and provide a stunning mountain bike journey through the Otway Ranges on some of the Australia's best single track.
The course starts besid the Yaugher Football Ground and basically does 3 separate loops up some mighty hills and along some superb single track before returning to the football ground at the 38km, at the 64km point and then at the 100km point and the euphoric finish line.
Each loop takes riders on a variety of tracks and trails that will leave your thighs burning and your face creased with a smile as you take in some of the best trails and riding landscapes the country has to offer.
The 100km Giant Odyssey is an incredible journey and an incredible accomplishment for all who complete it – are you up to the challenge?
Click here to download an overview map of the whole course
Course stats (approx.)
Total elevation gain / loss: 2440m
Start / finish: Forrest Football Ground
Legs - including course changes for 2015:
- Adidas Eyewear Leg 1 (Start to Forrest Football Ground): 38km, 1,000m elevation gain / loss. 2015 change include:
- When coming in to Barwon Downs, riders no longer turn into Mahers Rd but continue 600m further and turn right onto Loves Road / Delaney Rd. Ride 3.2km along here and turn right onto GoatTrack which squiggles downhill and rejoins the original course 4km later on Hayden Track. This adds 4.5km distance to the KOM top.
- After riding up Sledgehammer and down the Dirty Dilema single track you pop out onto Kents Road, the 2015 course now turns left so riders continue straight back into the Footy Ground on Kents Road (rather than turning right and riding along Kents Rd to the end and then along the aquaduct...)
- Shotz Leg 2 (Football Ground through Yaugher and back to the Football Ground): 26km (64km total), 487m elevation gain / loss
- Schwalbe Leg 3 (Football Ground up Kaanglang Rd and back to the finish via West Forrest trails): 34km (98km total), 863m elevation gain / loss
- 10% Bitumen
- 12% Unsealed road
- 33% Fire road & double track
- 45% Single track
Note – the 100km and 50km courses have been designed to be quite separate so that faster 100km riders are not held up by slower 50km riders and visa versa. The two courses will share very little over lapping trails and should allow both riders to have their own space on the trails so neither need not worry about hold ups.
50km Giant Shorty - improved course for 2015
Riders commence with a sizable hill that spreads the field whilst leading you through some awe inspiring tall timber forest to the top (and bottom) of the famed Red Carpet single track descent. NEW for 2015 are the inclusion of the incredibly popular west Forrest trails with all 50km riders enjoying trails 4, 5 and 6 including the incredible Follow the Dog berm run.
Riders will pass race HQ at the football ground at the 33km pt and then head into the extensive Yaugher trails for another blast around many of the region’s best trails with a few other changes made to improve the course for everyone. Then it’s back to the footy ground and the celebrate race down the finish chute and the end of another phenominal Giant Shorty 50km.
2015 course changes vs the 2014 course:
- Inclusion of the West Forrest trails nos 4, 5 and 6
- Removal of the Yoyo trail in Yaugher
- Removal of Casper Black in Yaugher
Click here to download a map of the course
Course stats (approx.)
Total elevation gain / loss: 1410m
Start / finish: Forrest Football Ground
Legs - including changes compared to 2014:
- Leg 1 (Start to Forrest Footbball Ground): 33km, 1,000m elevation gain / loss. 2015 changes being:
- After riding over the dam wall and reaching the Apollo Bay road, riders now cross over the main road and enter the popular ‘West Forrest Trails’ to ride trails 4, 5 and 6. Exit the trails, cross back over the main road and resume the ‘old’ course. This adds approx 7km to the first leg.
- Leg 2 (Footy ground through Yaugher and back): 27km, 410m elevation gain / loss
- The 2015 course cuts out the less popular Yo Yo and Casper Black trails and keeps riders on trails #14 Vista and #15 Barre Warre which provide more flow and make for an easier finish
(Start to Forrest Football Ground): 33km, approx 750m elevation gain / loss
- 2% Bitumen
- 15% Unsealed Road
- 29% Fire road & double track
- 54% Single track
NOTE: the 100km and 50km courses have been designed to be quite separate so that riders do not overlap or get in each others way.
15km Giant Pioneer
The 15km Giant Pioneer is designed for kids and new mountain bikers and will provide you with a taste of the thrills and spills of this fantastic sport.
The course completes a single loop starting and finishing in the Forrest footy ground and includes a mix of 4WD tracks, swooping single track, rainforest, roads and country scenery. It’s a loop that gives kids the chance to develop their riding skills and non riders the chance to have a bit of fun. Coem and hane soem fun on your bike!
Handcycles are very welcome
Rapid Ascent welcomes off-road handcyclsts to participate in the Giant Pioneer, allowing cyclists who have suffered some loss of function in their lower limbs due to disability or impairment to be involved in a major MTB race. 8 hand cyclists took part in the 2014 and had an absolute thrill by being included in the event and we are very happy to welcome these happy people back to the event again in 2015.
Handcycles are hand powered bikes where the rider uses their arms and torso to turn the pedals to ride up and down hills in off road terrain.
The handcycles will start with the other 15km riders and complete a shorter, ~6km course on a mixture of dirt roads and double tracks before finishing under the finish arch on the Forrest Football Ground as well.
Check out this little preview of the handcycle course:
THE 100KM VS THE 50KM COURSE
The 100km and 50km courses are quite different and should not see the 50km and 100km riders sharing the same course at the same time for very long at all. The locations where both riders will be on the same course at the same time occur when riders come in and out of the Forrest Football Ground and for two short 1-2km sections in the Yaugher Forest.
For these sections of shared trail we strongly encourage all riders to PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE COLOUR OF THE ARROWS AND COURSE SIGNAGE marking your route so you remain on the course for your ride (and don’t end up riding more than you need to!). Course marking colours are detailed below:
Course markings for the 100km vs 50km vs 15km
- All courses will be fully marked and all riders must follow the marked course without taking any short cuts.
The 100km course will be marked as follows:
- with red and/or orange arrows on a white background. Arrows indicate the correct route.
- with strips of fluoro pink plastic surveyors’ tape tied to trees. These indicate that you are on the correct route.
The 50km course will be marked as follows:
- with large green arrows and smaller green arrows. Arrows indicate the correct route.
- with strips of bright green plastic surveyors’ tape tied to trees. These indicate that you are on the correct route.
The 15km course will be marked as follows:
- with blue arrows. Arrows indicate the correct route.
- with strips of blue plastic surveyors’ tape tied to trees. These indicate that you are on the correct route
For all courses:
- there will be black crosses ‘X’ at some intersections along with red and white barrier tape across some trails which indicate that this is the incorrect route, go back.
- all intersections will be clearly marked and occasional markings with tape and or arrows along tracks to confirm that you are on the right route.
- one or two pieces of the relevant coloured tape will always be placed immediately after a track junction to confirm you are travelling along the correct course.
- ‘Caution’ signs or signs with multiple arrows pointing down indicate that there is a difficult or technical section ahead and that you should definitely slow down and take care ahead.
There will also be a number of marshals at strategic locations to help direct you and provide emergency assistance if required.
There are a number of check points along the course through which all riders must pass to confirm you have completed the full and correct course. Check point marshals will be recording race numbers and we will use this to double check results in the case of a protest.
DESIGNATED SUPPORT AREA
Competitors may only receive external support from support crew within the confines of the Forrest Football Ground at the 38km and 64km points in the 100km race, and at the 33km point on the 50km race (approximate distances). This area is defined as any section along the course that is within the playing surface of the Forrest Football Ground.
Any riders seen to be receiving any external support outside of this designated area will be given a 30 minute penalty - this includes collecting water bottles or other hydration or nutrition from spectators as well as items that have been ‘pre-placed’ on the course for collection during the race. This will be strongly enforced in 2015. (as it was in 2011 when line honours winner Gracie Elvin received a 30 minute penalty – we take this seriously).
WATER ON COURSE
There will be water available at the following points along the courses. The manned water points will have marshals providing Shotz Nutrition electrolyte tablets for your bottles if you need them, although we encourage all riders to be self sufficient and bring their own sports hydration and nutrition products.
Water on the 100km course
- 38km point Shotz Hydration Station at the Forrest Festival. There will be taps located right next to the track with Shotz Electrolyte tablets available from marshals if required
- 64km point and the Shotz Hydration Station at the Forrest Festival again (same drink station as at the 38km point)
- 85km point Shotz Hydration Station at West Barwon Dam Wall picnic area - tap fill up with Shotz Electrolyte tablets available from marshals if required AND water bottle transfer location (see below)
- 100km point Forrest Festival. Tap fill up, more water OR time for a beer and hamburger from the stall holders in the Festival
Water on the 50km course
- 21km point Shotz Hydration Station at West Barwon Dam Wall picnic area - tap fill up with Shotz Electrolyte tablets available from marshals if required AND water bottle transfer location (see below)
- 33km point Hydration Station at the Forrest Festival. There will be taps located right next to the track with Shotz Electrolyte tablets available from marshals if required
- 50km point Forrest Festival at thre finish line.
Water on the 15km course
- 10km point Hydration Station at West Barwon Dam Wall picnic area - tap fill up with Shotz Electrolyte tablets available from marshals if required
EXTRA CASH PRIZES
King and Queen of the Mountain
The King and Queen of the Mountain climb is limited to riders in the 100km Giant Odyssey and is located at the top of HaydensTrack at the intersection with Thompsons Track at the 26km point, elevation 558m above sea level.
The fastest male and female will receive $250 cash. Riders must complete the entire 100km course to be eligible for prize money.
The Timed Descent
The Timed Descent is open to riders in both the 100km and the 50km event and will be held down the renowned ‘Red Carpet Track’ from where the track crosses the Lake Elizabeth Road down to where it emerges from the bush opposite the Barwon River in Forrest (approximately between the 78km – 83km points of the 100km course and between the 12km and 20km points of the 50km course. The descent flows over 4.5km of track that drops approximately 250m from top to bottom.
The fastest male and female will receive $250 cash. The current record is held by Chris Jongewaard (2012) in an incredible 10:28min – see if you can beat that boys! Or take on Peta Mullens’ (2012) 12:46min for the ladies record.Riders must complete the entire 100km (or 50km) course to be eligible for prize money.