It was a record breaking day at the 2015 Surf Coast Century ultra trail run in Anglesea on Saturday 19 September with the men’s, women’s and relay team course records all broken.
First over the finish line in the 100km event was team Love the Run, taking line honours for the third year in a row and setting a new course record of just 7hrs,15.41. That set the tone for the day.
Paul Munro from Melbourne paced himself brilliantly for the first 75km to creep to the lead in the final leg and finish strongly, winning the 100km in 8hrs,17.08. He broke the previous individual course record by over 8 minutes, which had been set by Rowan Walker in the first year of the event in 2012.
“I was seeded number one today which added a bit of pressure but I ran the whole way and was feeling pretty good. I made sure my stops were quick and just kept moving through.
It wasn’t until a couple of k’s to go that I realised I was in the running for the course record so I tried to push a bit harder to see if I could break it and I’m really happy with how it all went today.
It’s great to have such a large field here and thanks to everyone for all the encouragement along the course, especially my partner Anna and other support crew members. It’s such a great atmosphere here at the finish,” said Paul Munro.
Behind Munro was Ross Hopkins from Mansfield in 8hrs,44.40 – who improved on his fifth placing in 2014 – and then third male (fourth overall individual runner) was Michael Rathjen, a newcomer to the event, who finished in 9hrs,21.25.
Kellie Emmerson, last year’s female winner and current women’s course record holder, stole the show. She was untouchable as she powered through the 100km, absolutely blowing the rest of the field away. She set a new women’s course record in a smashing time of 9hrs,18.15, finishing 11 minutes faster than last year and nearly an hour ahead of her nearest rival. Not only that, she also finished third overall individual in the 100km, a fantastic feat.
She was overcome with joy and swamped by friends at the finish line.
“Everyone has been amazing with the support on course, especially my crew, you’re awesome,” said Kellie Emmerson.
Amy Lamprecht from Tasmania finished second to Emmerson in a repeat of last year’s results. Lamprecht finished in 10hrs,10.07 with Marlene Lootz from Western Australia rounding out the top three in a time of 10hrs,40.30.
This year the event also incorporated the Australian 100km Trail Running Championships under the guidance of the Australian Ultra Running Association.
In total, over 800 runners competed in the Surf Coast Century, across the 100km solo, 50km solo and the 100km relay team events.
The race started at sunrise on the Anglesea Main Beach with runners enjoying a stunning course consisting of bush and 4WD trails, flowing single track, sandy beaches, coastal headlands and breathtaking cliff top trails with seemingly endless views across the Great Ocean Road region.
The 50km half century included legs 1 and 2 of the course which took runners on a loop from Anglesea to Torquay along the beach and then back again via the coastal hinterland trails and Surf Coast Walk. New Caledonian runner Cocherau Oswald took the field by surprise and won the event in just 3hrs,33.03. In second was Tim Oborne from Queensland and then Fergus Koochew.
In the women’s event nobody stood a chance against former World Orienteering Champion Hanny Allston from Tasmania who had a clear win in 3hs,43.56. Behind Allston was Karen Sharman and in third was another visiting New Caledonian, Plaire Angelique.
The second half of the 100km course featured more single track and bush trails as runners took a second loop from Anglesea to Moggs Creek, and returning to Anglesea via the coastal trails and surf coast beaches.
The course received rave reviews from competitors.
“It’s the first 100km I’ve ever run and I’m really stuffed. I loved it. The course was awesome, just a mix of everything. The beach at the start at sunrise… it doesn’t get any better than that. It was a perfect morning. Then you go off into this awesome single trail for the next 50km which is just unbeatable as you snake in and out. Then the run home past Aireys Lighthouse is picture perfect, it’s the Great Ocean Road on a plate really,” said Michael Rathjen.
Many runners finished in the dark with just a head torch to light their way through the coastal trails. After the many hours on their feet they were treated with fairy lights to guide them back down Anglesea Beach and through the finish arch to the crowd of loving family and friends waiting to cheer them home.
Brendan Soetekouw, a member of the local Surf Coast Trail Runners, finished after sunset in a time of 13hrs,48.24.
“It was awesome. I had a tough day, particularly on Leg 2 and I really had to refocus and start afresh for Leg 3. It’s such a mental effort but the body held up alright so I couldn’t be happier.
Male 100km solo
1. Paul Munro 08:17:08
2. Ross Hopkins 08:44:40
3. Michael Rathjen 09:31:25
Female 100km solo
1. Kellie Emmerson 09:18:15
2. Amy Lamprecht 10:10:07
3. Marlene Lootz 10:40:30
Male 50km solo
1. Cochereau Oswald 03:33:03
2. Tim Oborne 04:08:50
3. Fergus Koochew 04:14:00
Female 50km solo
1. Hanny Allston 03:43:56
2. Karen Sharman 04:32:59
3. Plaire Angelique 04:34:51
Top male team of 2:
Burning Sensation (Grant Hicks and Chris Armstrong) 09:50:48
Top female team of 2:
The Merri-Jigs (Christine Hopkins and Katherine McKean) 09:42:12
Top male team of 4:
Love the Run 07:15:41
(Campbell Maffett, Agustin Scafidi, Tim Bryant and Aidan Rich)
Top female team of 4:
Licorice Legs 09:14:18
(Michelle Keogh, Bernadette Dornom, Sharon Hanna and Eiblin Fletcher)
Top mixed team of 4:
Surf Coast Mammas 13:21:36
(Sally Connor, Denise Satti, Annella Chambers and Anita Nichols)
This is the fourth year of the Surf Coast Century and it has really developed a strong reputation amongst the Australian and international trail running community. Approximately 130 runners came from interstate or overseas for this year’s event and this number is expected to increase again in 2016 as again, it will host the Australian Titles.
For the full event results visit www.SurfCoastCentury.com.au