Course record broken at Surf Coast Century ultra trail run

TrailRunMag 17.09.2018

Ash Watson and Deb Nicholl have been crowned champions of the Surf Coast Century 100km Ultra Marathon while Roger Lay and Rachel Tucker have taken the titles in the 50km race over the weekend at Anglesea, Victoria.

The seventh edition of the race saw over 1,100 competitors from across Australia and overseas journey 50km and 100km across a spectacular off-road course along the beaches, 4WD tracks and hinterland trails of Anglesea, Torquay and Aireys Inlet.

Ash Watson Mens 100km winner __

Ash Watson Mens 100km winner. IMAGE: Rapid Ascent

Despite conditions that saw multiple squalls of wind gusts and rain sweep across the Surf Coast and a return to winter temperatures, the triumph and elation at the finish line proved it was a race worth running – and the truly epic journey that the Surf Coast Century has become known for.

Ash Watson, 29 of Ballarat smashed the course record by mere seconds, coming in in just eight hours, 16 minutes, 50 seconds. It was only his second ultra marathon, and first 100 kilometre race.

“It was close; I knew the record was 8 hours, 17:08. The weather was challenging, it was a bit slippery on course, and it slowed me down.”

Watson didn’t let a couple of falls or getting lost and losing time affect his end-goal.

“I’m really glad I got under by a couple of seconds, because if I had have missed it by a little bit I wouldn’t have been able to sleep tonight.

Ash Watson Mens 100km winner

Ash Watson Mens 100km winner. Image: Rapid Ascent

“I had a rough patch where I struggled badly up those hills, but I came good. Then that sand at the end was an absolute killer, I didn’t realise how soft it was going to be, I thought I was in a bit of strife, but I was watching the time very closely in the last couple of minutes, until I got there. I’m stoked that I got it.”

James Roberts, 31 of Perth was second in 8:35:22, and third went to Scott Richmond, 36 of Sydney (9:02:25).

Deb Nicholl, 48 of Brisbane and the Mountain Goat Trail Runners won the women’s race convincingly in 10 hours, 35 minutes and three seconds, and with it became the first to clinch the Rapid Ascent Ultra Running Triple Crown; finishing, and at the same time winning all three ultra running events; Run Larapinta, the Margaret River Ultra Marathon and the Surf Coast Century.

Deb Nicholl 100km champion

Deb Nicholl 100km champion. Image: Rapid Ascent.

“The first section wasn’t too bad, I found it really tough the second section on the rock hopping, I got passed by a lot of people through there, and I was thinking this is not good, and then the third and fourth section it all sort of came together.

“But with 16kms to go I got sick, and I thought my day was over, but seemed to pull it together. I’ve got to thank my support crew, Rob, he did a stirling job, without him I wouldn’t have even got close to this. Thanks guys, I’m a bit emotional.”

Second fastest female was Jessica Collins, 28 from Hobart in 10:54:15. Third to cross the line was Christine Hopkins, 38 of Mansfield (11:13:16).

Christine Hopkins womens 100km 3rd place

Christine Hopkins womens 100km 3rd place. IMAGE: Rapid Ascent.

The 50km race is held over the second half of the 100km course which is renowned for being the more difficult of the two. The top three men were Roger Lay  (4:10:52), Apo Kale ( 4:11:17) and Gary Mullins (4:27:32). Fastest females were Rachael Tucker  (4:47:59), Kate Child (5:04:02) and Darthea Clydsdale (5:13:03).

Relay team ‘Duo Lick The Stamp’ comprised of Blake Hose and Madeleine Oldfield posted the fastest 100km time of the day in just 8:15:54.

Blake Hose winning Team of 2

Blake Hose from Team Lick the Stamp’ the winning Team of 2. Image: Rapid Ascent.

While the fastest relay team of four was ‘Team Danger’s trail crew’ (Damien Angus, Lucy Calder, Sam Hume, Andrew Killer) who posted 8:24:10.

Competitors continued crossing the finish line well into the night, the course closing at 4am.

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  1. Ash Watson  8:16:50
  2. James Roberts  8:35:22
  3. Scott Richmond  9:02:25


  1. Deb Nicholl  10:35:03
  2. Jessica Collins  10:54:15
  3. Christine Hopkins  11:13:16


  1. Roger Lay  4:10:52
  2. Apo Kale                 4:11:17
  3. Gary Mullins  4:27:32


  1. Rachael Tucker  4:47:59
  2. Kate Child  5:04:02
  3. Darthea Clydsdale  5:13:03

Top Team of 2 Mixed (and overall)

  1. Duo Lick The Stamp 8:15:54 (Blake Hose and Madeleine Oldfield)

Top Team of 2 Female (& 2nd overall Team of 2)

  1. Duo Sister Act      10:20:27 (Jennie Child and Kylee Woods)

Top Team of 2 Male

  1. Duo Father and son  10:24:51 (Daniel Porceddu and Oliver Porceddu)

Top Team of 3 or 4 Mixed (1st overall Team of 4)

  1. Team Danger’s trail crew  8:24:10 (Damien Angus, Lucy Calder, Sam Hume, Andrew Killer)

Top Team of 3 or 4 Male

  1. Team Willo’s Four Milers 8:31:47 (Matt O’Dwyer, Simon Keane, Tony Hally and Danny Rey-Conde)

Top Team of 3 or 4 Female

  1. Team The Happy Runner   10:20:23 (Alison Muscroft, Sarah Davies, Linda Wylie, Tanja Dunat Timms)

For the full list of results CLICK HERE