Ultra Trail Australia – a Hawkeye view

Our last post took a look at an example of the heart and soul of events like Ultra Trail Australia – ordinary people achieving extraordinary things – but of course up the pointy end, there is always some good racing going on to satisfy the bookies and pundits. One of them, writes Dan Lewis, is Scotty Hawker, who registered second place behind international interloper Dylan Bowman in 2015. Will he take a step up this year for the ultimate accolade? Dan also takes a top end quick list-look at who’s going to be on whose heels come race day…

Scott Hawker finishing second in the 2015 The North Face 100, Blue Mountains, Australia.

Scott Hawker finishing second in the 2015 The North Face 100, Blue Mountains, Australia.

When fertility specialists told Scotty Hawker that being an elite ultra-distance trail runner was affecting his chances of becoming a father, he decided to step back from the sport he loves.

The 29-year-old Kiwi, who is now a resident of Katoomba in Australia’s Blue Mountains, gave up the gruelling training runs and the 100km races. And it has all paid off.

Hawker is looking forward to fatherhood and going one better than his effort last year in Australia’s most prestigious trail running event, Ultra-Trail Australia.

He believes that the long break he needed to take from trail running so his wife, Liz, could fall pregnant (their daughter is expected in late July) has also left him with the freshness to take out the marquee 100km race through the Blue Mountains bush on Saturday, May 14.

“It’s really been a blessing in disguise,” Hawker says of the career pause since coming second in last year’s UTA.

It was the proud Kiwi’s best ever result, but he only raced once afterwards, in Italy in June, before specialists told him that if he wanted to become a father he needed to restrict himself to “normal exercise … just doing a bit of walking and a 30-minute jog here or there”.

It was tough for a man who has always loved the buzz of extreme exercise, but Hawker followed their advice and by late last year Liz was pregnant.

Beth Cardelli (AUS) - Winner

Beth Cardelli (AUS)  – a strong contender in the women’s race.

Hawker then got back into training, but his body wasn’t happy. “I was walking up hills I would normally run up without blinking an eyelid,” he said. “I had all these niggles that let me know I had had a lot of time off.”

But Hawker persevered and now he feels like a stronger runner than ever before.

His training times have been “absolutely awesome” and in his one competitive run since coming back, the 45km Mount Solitary Ultra in the Blue Mountains on April 17, he finished a close second behind his good mate and training partner Jono O’Loughlin – another favourite for this year’s UTA 100km title – “with a bit of fuel in the tank … I think it’s on the card to have a pretty good run [in UTA on May 14].”

Hawker believes tough challenges will also come from the likes of 2012 UTA winner Ryan Sandes of South Africa and China’s Yun Yan-Qiao, who was third in last year’s UTA.

In the women’s field, favourites include Australia’s Beth Cardelli, who frequently trains in the Blue Mountains, and Li Dong of China, the first female to finish in UTA 2015.

Hawker is Christchurch product who was living in flat, hot Perth before deciding to move to the Blue Mountains last year to guarantee a landscape and climate that could help maximise his trail-running potential.

When Hawker raced UTA last year, he was cheered like a local hero rather than a Kiwi raider. If he were to go one better in 2016, they might just hear the roar at the Scenic World finish line in Katoomba all the way over in New Zealand.

As well as the elite fields gathered for the UTA 100km and 50km races on the Saturday, the running festival boasts a new 22km race this year from Wentworth Falls to Katoomba on Friday. It will also be hotly contested by some well-credentialed runners including Brendan Davies, Aaron Knight and Lucy Bartholomew.


Mt Buller

UTA LEADING RUNNER CONTENDER ROLL CALL 2016                                              

100km  > Women                                                     

Fiona Hayvice , New Zealand      

  • 2016: 1st Tarawera Ultramarathon 100km New Zealand
  • 2015: 3rd Kepler Challenge 60km New Zealand
  • 2015: 1st Tarawera Trail 50k run New Zealand
  • 2015: 4th Tarawera Ultramarathon 100km New Zealand

Beth Cardelli, La Sportiva, Australia

  • 2016: 1st Mt Solitary Ultra 45km
  • 2015: 1st Hillary 80km Ultra New Zealand
  • 2014: 2nd Kepler Challenge 60km New Zealand
  • 2014: 11th Western States Endurance Run 100 miles USA
  • 2013: 1st The North Face 100 Australia

Melissa Robertson, Australia

  • 2016: 2nd Tarawera Ultramarathon 100km – New Zealand
  • 2015: 4th The North Face 100 Australia
  • 2015: 2nd Stromlo 50km
  • 2015: The Great North Walk 100 Miles

Dong Li, Salomon, China

  • 2015: 1st The North Face 100 Australia
  • 2015: 2nd Hong Kong 100
  • 2015: 2nd MSIG Sai Kung 50k 100 – Hong Kong
  • 2015: 3rd TNF Transgrandcanaria

Kellie Emmerson, Salomon/2XU, Australia

  • 2016: 1st Buffalo Stampede Marathon
  • 2015: 1st Surf Coast Century 100km
  • 2014/15: 1st Surf Coast Trail Marathon
  • 2015: 1st Maroondah Dam Trail Run
  • 2015: 19th IAU Trail World Championships Annecy

Ildiko Wermescher, Mammut Pro Team, Hungry

  • 2015: 3rd Madeira Island Ultra Trail 85 km
  • 2014: 6th Ultra Trail Tour du Mont Blanc (UTMB) 168km
  • 2014: 2nd Eiger Ultra Trail 101 km
  • 2014: 4th Transgrancanaria 125 kms

Katherine Macmillan, Australia

  • 2016: 2nd Bogong to Hotham
  • 2015: 1st Yo Yangs 50 miles
  • 2015: 3rd Cradle Mountain Run 85km
  • 2015: 6th The North Face 100 Australia

Gill Fowler, La Sportiva, Australia

  • 2016: 1st Razorback Run 64km
  • 2016: 1st Hillary 80km Ultra New Zealand
  • 2015: 4th Lavaredo Ultra Trail 119km Italy
  • 2015: 1st Cradle Mountain Run 85km

Caroline DuBois, Australia

  • 2015: 1st UltraVasan45, Sweden
  • 2015: 1st Les 100 km de Vendée – Champ. Nationaux, France
  • 2015: 1st Les 100 km de Vendée, France
  • 2013: 2nd 100 km du Périgord Noir, Belves – Champ. Nationaux, France

100km > Men

Scotty Hawker, Hoka/Compressport, New Zealand

  • 2015: 4th Lavaredo Ultra Trail
  • 2015: 2nd The North Face 100 Australia
  • 2015: 1st Ultra Easy 100k Sky Run New Zealand
  • 2014: 7th Lavaredo Ultra Trail Italy

Ryan Sandes, Salomon, South Africa

  • 2016: 3rd Tarawera Ultramarathon 100km New Zealand
  • 2014: 1st Madagascar Race 250km stage race
  • 2014: 2nd Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji Japan
  • 2014: 1st Transgrancanaria 125 kms

Yun YanQiao, The North Face, China

  • 2015: 3rd The North Face 100 Australia
  • 2015: 1st Beijing Mountain 50K
  • 2015: 1st Ultra Trail 100K Mt Gongga
  • 2014: 1st The North Face 100 Hong Kong

Jono O’laughlin, Australia

  • 2016: 1st Mt Solitary Ultra 45km
  • 2015: 4th Six Foot Track Ultra 45km
  • 2015: 1st Mt Solitary Ultra 45km
  • 2015: 4th The North Face 100 Australia

Mario Mendoza, Nike Trail, USA

  • 2016: 3rd Lake Sonoma 50 Mile USA
  • 2016: 2nd Chuckanut 50K USA
  • 2015: Runner up at Ultra Race of Champions 100k
  • 2015: 1st Trail Factor 50K USA

Jordi Gamito Baus, WAA,  Spain

  • 2016: 10th Transgrancanaria 125 km
  • 2016: 6th Hong Kong 100 Ultra Trail Race
  • 2015: 5th Hong Kong 100 Ultra Trail Race
  • 2015: 2nd Ultra Trail De Barcelona 100km

Pau Capell, Compressport,  Spain

  • 2016: 3rd Transgrancanaria 125 km
  • 2016: 4th Hong Kong 100 Ultra Trail Race
  • 2015:6th Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix (CCC)
  • 2015: 1st Ultra Sierra Nevada 103 Kms Spain

Andrew Lee,  The North Face, Australia

  • 2015: 7th Hounslow Classic Ultra SkyMarathon
  • 2014: 2nd Yurrebilla Trail 56km Ultra
  • 2014: 9th The North Face 100 Australia
  • 2009 The North Face 100 Australia Champion

Ewan Horsburgh,  La Sportiva, Australia

  • 2016: 7th Buffalo Stampede Ultra
  • 2015: 14th 24 hour IAU World Championships
  • 2014: 1st Alpine Challenge 60 km
  • 2014: 1st Tahoe 200 Mile Endurance Run

Ben Duffus, Hoka, Australia

  • 2015: 1st Hounslow Classic Ultra SkyMarathon
  • 2014: 3rd 80km du Mont-Blanc France
  • 2014: 5th The North Face 100 Australia
  • 2013: 1st Surf Coast Century 100 km

 

Freddy Thevenin, Prudence Creole, France

  • 2015: 3rd Grand Raid Reunion (167km)
  • 2015: 8th Transgrancanaria (125km)
  • 2014: 4th Lavaredo Ultra-Trail

Screenshot 2016-04-11 21.50.2150KM > Men                                          

Vlad Shatrov, Australia

  • 2016: London Marathon – 2:25:47
  • 2015: Berlin Marathon – 2.18.40
  • 2013: 1st The North Face 50 Australia

Mark Green, Australia

  • 2016: 4th Six Foot Track Marathon
  • 2015: 2nd Mt Solitary Ultra 45km
  • 2015: 3rd Six Foot Track Marathon

Garry Mullins, Australia

  • 2015: 2nd Centennial Park Ultra 50 km
  • 2015: 1st Self-Transcendence 100 km Road Race, Christchurch
  • 2016: 6th Canberra 50km Ultramarathon

Craig Dean, Australia

  • 2016: 5th Buffalo Stampede Marathon
  • 2015: 13th The North Face 50 Australia

Sam Burridge, Australia

  • 2016: 3rd Buffalo Stampede marathon

Wes Gibson, Inov8/Hammer, Australia

  • 2014: 6th Knapsack 6hr Australia Day Lap Race
  • 2013: 9th Sri Chinmoy Canberra Centenary 100 km
  • 2013: 4th The North Face 50 Australia

Tony Fattorini, Australia

  • 2014: 9th Six Foot Track Marathon
  • 2013: 1st Six Foot Track Marathon
  • 2012: 2nd Kepler Mountain Run

50km > Women                                                     

Sophie Brown,  Australia

  • 2016: 3rd Six Foot Track Marathon
  • 2015: 1st Alpine Challenge 60km

Maggie Jones, Australia

  • 2016: 3rd Buffalo Stampede Ultra 75km
  • 2016: 3rd Razorback 64 km Run
  • 2015: 3rd Hounslow Classic Ultra SkyMarathon

Hanny Allston, Shotz Sports Nutrition/Suunto,  Australia

  • 2015: 1st Surf Coast Century 50 km
  • 2015: 1st Buffalo Stampede Marathon 2015
  • 2014: 1st Six Foot Track Marathon

www.ultratrailaustralia.com.au

 

 

 

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