One of the South West’s premier running events is set to return this weekend, attracting competitors from across the region and beyond for the ultimate forest race. The Pemby Trail Fest will be take place at the Karri Forests in Pemberton from Friday to Sunday, consisting of a series of different categories, including a night run, 10km half-marathon and ultramarathon. The three-day festival was established in 2018 and sees competitors make the trek from around the country. Pemby Trail Fest organiser Melina Mellino said he expected it to be another successful weekend. “They’ll run on Friday night, and run 50km the next morning and 20km the next day, so some people will run over 80km over the weekend,” he said. The festival has 780 people registered to participate in the weekend, with Ms Mellino saying the Trail Fest’s popularity spans all over Australia, with all kinds of people wanting to experience the trails in Pemberton. “We have runners from Denmark, from Geraldton, Margaret River and most of the runners are from Perth,” she said. “We have people coming over from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. It brings people out to the trails out here.” The October dates were chosen to give ultra-marathon runners enough time and daylight to complete the 50km race on Saturday. “We have to start early in the morning for the ultra-marathon, so they can get out while there is still daylight and return while there is daylight, because some runners will take eight hours,” Ms Mellino said. “October is really good because we have the early sunrise to get them started off early.” Ms Mellino said the festival encouraged care for both physical and mental health for all participating. Pemby Trail Fest is also promoting sustainability and environmental awareness, being labelled as a ‘zero waste’ event and relying on reusable materials. Ms Mellino said Pemberton and its hospitality has also been seen as a highlight for the weekend festival by past participants. “Everyone raves about Pemberton as a town,” she said. The event will launch this Friday.