Lorne Pier to Pub
The Lorne Pier to Pub has been one of the biggest sporting events on the coast for over 30 years. Beginning as bit of a challenge by members of the Lorne Surf Lifesaving club today it attracts over 4000 competitors including an elite Australian and international field plus thousands of others with different levels of fitness just out to enjoy the event.
The race become formally organised in 1981 and since then has grown from strength to strength. Over the past few years the event has become so popular that the race is capped at 4000 people with a ballot choosing the competitor’s weeks before the race. The race attracts a who’s who of celebrity there are usually quiet a few elite sports people from Olympic swimming, AFL football and the like. Quite a few media celebrities also usually take part and there is always a politician or two out to win a few votes.
The race is hosted by the Lorne Surf Life Saving Club with the assistance of the Highton Rotary Club and raises funds for the Surf Club and other local charities including the Lorne Hospital.
The race starts just after midday with groups of 300 swimmers of similar grade taking off at the one time and at intervals of 10 minutes, all timed to declare a winner under the watchful eyes of Lorne Surf Lifesaving club volunteers.
The swim is 2.22 kilometres in length with the record being 10 minutes and 30 seconds, the average race time is about 22 minutes, with some people taking nearly 40 minutes to complete. Then its try and get near the Lorne Hotel and enjoy a refreshing beer or two from the beer garden overlooking the beautiful bay.
On the Friday before the event the Lorne Surf Lifesaving Club holds another event called the Mountain to Surf. This family orientated fun run is held in the hills and along the Erskine River behind the township and finishes in Lorne coming into the township from the Great Ocean Road.