The Course – Half marathon

Half Marathon Course

Distance: 21.9km
Date:  Saturday 17th June AND Sunday 18th June 2023

The Glow Worm Tunnel Half Marathon course takes runners along the Wolgan Valley rail Trail up to and through the Glow Worm Tunnel – a 600m tunnel filled with Glow Worms. The journey begins at Newnes, right in front of the old Newnes Hotel and runners encounter creek crossings, sections of long single trail, old mine cuttings, ruins and some long forgotten railway easements along the way. In 2022 The course is and out and back that takes you through the Glow Worm Tunnel twice. The finish is fast with the last 10km being a gentle but well deserved downhill run most of the way to the finish line.

The terrain is exciting, and scenic and you may find it hard to keep the smile from your face. The township of Newnes is now just the old Newnes hotel and some holiday cabins at the end of the Wolgan Valley in the serene shadows of Mystery Mountain.

Distance: 21.9km
Ascent: 735m
Profile and Map: Here

CourCourse Description

Leg 1: Newnes – Penrose Gully 4 Ways

Description: Starting in front of the old Newnes hotel, runners make their to the Wolgan River Causeway and cross it just 300m from the start line. Runners then turn right and follow the river as they make their way onto the Wolgan Valley Rail Trail and begin the gentle ascent to Penrose Gully and the 4 ways junction. This is where the first aid station is.

Distance: 0 – 7km

Leg 2: Penrose Gully 4 Ways to Penrose Gully 4 Ways

Description: After leaving Penrose Gully – turn left and head up the Old Coach Road, hugging the cliffs and making their way onto the Pagoda Trail towards the Glow Worm Tunnel. At the end of the Pagoda Trail turn right and pass through the Tunnel. The tunnel is 600m long and runners must walk and only use a red light whilst in the tunnel. Here is the opportunity to turn your light off and check out the glow worms in all their glory. They are truly amazing. After exiting the tunnel, athletes are to head to the turn around point, then head back through the Glow Worm Tunnel, left onto the Pagoda Trail and then left again onto the Old Coach Road. Here the race really heats up as the downhill starts back to Penrose 4-Ways.

Distance: 7km – 14.5km

Leg 3: Penrose Gully 4 ways to Newnes

Description: After hydrating and grabbing some refreshments, runners leave the Penrose Gully 4-ways junction and head back along the Wolgan Valley Rail Trail, cross the Wolgan River and run up to the finish line in Newnes.

Distance: 14.5. – 21.9km

Contingency Courses if Wolgan Road is still closed:

Saturday, V1 – Start at Newnes Plateau near Glow Worm Tunnel Car Park. Follow GWT Walking Track to Pagoda Track. Follow Pagoda Track to Old Coach Road and head down the hill to 4 Ways (Aid Station). Follow the old Newnes Rail Trail to the turn around point. Return to 4 Ways and take the Old Coach Road and Pagoda track back to the GWT Walking Track. You do an out and back through the Glow Worm tunnel and then race to the finish to the GWT Car Park.

Saturday, V2 – Start at the old Coach Road gate on Newnes Plateau. Run the Old Coach Road to 4 Ways (Aid Station). Turn right towards Nenwes and follow the old Newnes Rai Trail to the turnaround point. Return the same way as you went out to 4 Ways. At 4 Ways follow the Old Coach Road to the Pagoda Track. Follow the Pagoda Track to the Glow Worm Tunnel Walking Track. Turn right and do an out/back through the tunnel. Retrace your route up the Pagoda Track, turn right on the Old Coach Road and race to the finish.

SUNDAY – Start/Finish at Glen Davis Campground. From Glen Davis follow the Pipeline Track to Newnes (Aid Station). Turn around and return to Glen Davis.

Check Points and Aid 

Details of checkpoints and aid stations will be provided if a contingency course is to be used for the event due to road closures or other reasons.