Black Snake Trail Race, Cairns/Tablelands (Sunday 21 April 2013)
Race Director: Lorraine Lawson
Practice Run: 07 April 2013 – Bring all your own gear for the day – water, snacks, compression bandage
For an interactive map, go to EveryTrail.
Training Run on 15 April.
The second of four races in the FNQ Trail Running series, this race is named after what is probably the most common snake seen in the rainforest. The Red-bellied Black Snake is often just called the Black Snake by Far North Queenslanders, who spot it frequently laying on trails basking in the sun. It’s not aggressive, and while its bite is considered dangerous, it is unlikely to result in death!
From picturesque Copperlode Dam this 34km trail run starts with a 400m sprint down a hill and across the dam wall. The cool of the rainforest helps with the steep 3.5km climb which leads up onto the Atherton Tablelands. The route follows along Clohesy River Road for 13km amongst lush rainforest, past a large cathedral fig tree. (The half marathon turn around). After 2km the rainforest gives way to eucalypts and the course takes a left turn onto Shoteel Road. After crossing over Clohesy, a rough 4WD track rises steeply for 2km from an elevation of 414m to 635m, before descending down into Bridle Creek Valley. The calls of the male cicadas in this area during summer are deafening. There are also some good views over the Tablelands. A small creek is a welcoming site after the harsh, hot, open eucalyptus-forested section. At approximately 22km the track turns left into Bridle Creek Road with rainforest and cool, clear creeks prominent along this section. Ascending steeply from Bridle Creek Valley the road climbs to the highest point of the course (744m at the 28km mark). After yet another steep descent and ascent, with numerous side roads leading to power line towers, the road reaches a gate that leads back onto Clohesy River Road.
A right turn leads into a steep incline of 400m to some great panoramic views of the rainforest around Lamb’s Head and the canyons of the upper Freshwater Creek Valley. After another 300m the Water Board gate allows access back down to the dam. A quick run back down the hill, across the dam wall and up the other side leads to the finish at the Lake Morris Kiosk.