Perth’s Justin Scarvaci bolted onto the home straight to win the Margaret River Ultra Marathon on Saturday, recording a new course record time of 7:46.26 despite howling winds and whipping sand.
“It was a hard course, really brutal. There were strong headwinds. The sand section was horrible but I got through it OK. I just tried to stay focused on making ground on some of the relay runners. I was running in their footsteps in the sand and trying to get through it,” said Scarvaci.
Scarvaci – usually a road runner with a 2:40:59 marathon time (Melbourne Marathon) – was impossibly fresh at race end despite the challenges, “Yeah, I feel alright at the moment. I could probably keep going!” he said.
Queenslander Deb Nicholl doubled up for back to back titles, winning the women’s event and completing the course in a touch less than nine hours—12 minutes slower than her 2018 run.
“I can’t believe it. This year has been so hard mentally and physically. I’ve been carrying a really bad Achilles heel injury since last November,” said Nicholl.
“It’s been a really tough battle. I haven’t been able to train or do anything. I just kept digging deep and tried to put a smile on my face. I just love this race so much.”
More than 850 runners from across Australia participated on the day. Some boarded the bus at Cheeky Monkey brewery for an hour long trip down to Hamelin Bay for race start. Others were dropped by family and friends making a weekend of the festivities. Race entrants were greeted by a bustling crowd and pop tunes for the start of the 80km trail.
The sun shot up over the horizon and competitors headed straight into a tough uphill section of four wheel drive tracks. A scenic and winding journey in awe-inspiring Karri tree forests, cliff top trails and sweeping ocean views ensued.
And the point-to-point course was tackled by individuals and relay teams of up to five runners divided into five legs between 10km and 20km in length. Nearly 220 solo runners tackled the 80km course with the remainder joining their friends in a relay race.
The Margaret River Ultra is designed as an achievable run for all levels, from elites through to trail running newbies. Following the premier event on Saturday was a fun two kilometre Kids Run at Cheeky Monkey brewery on Sunday morning.
Part of the allure of the Margaret River Ultra is combining trail running with a visit to one of Australia’s most spectacular regions—Margaret River in south-west Western Australia. The course is a stone’s throw from world class wineries, cafes and surf beaches.
For more information on the Margaret River Ultra Marathon and full list of results from all of Saturday’s racing head to www.MRUltramarathon.com.au.
Top 3 Male
- Justin SCARVACI 07:46:26.21
- Shane JOHNSTONE 08:00:22.86
- Jon PENDSE 08:25:22.06
Top 3 Female
- Deb NICHOLL 08:52:45.40
- Ariarn HUSTON 08:56:34.88
- Lauren FRENCH 09:14:08.15
Event results are available HERE
When:Saturday 5thMay 2018 and Sunday 6thMay, 2018
Where:Margaret River, South-West Western Australia
What: An 80 kilometre ultra marathon with two options; Solo 80km or relay team of 2-5 runners doing one (or more) legs each. Leg breakdown:
- Leg 1: 10.5km Hamelin Bay to Boranup Campsite
- Leg 2: 18km Boranup Campsite to Contos Campground. Total: 28.5km
- Leg 3: 19.5km Contos Campground to White Elephant Café, Total: 48km
- Leg 4: 20km White Elephant Café to Gracetown. Total: 68km
- Leg 5: 12km Gracetown to Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Cidery. Total: 80km