Ultra-runners expressed an eagerness to continue doing what they love when online entries opened at midday on March 17 for the 2020 Surf Coast Century presented by MINI Countryman.
Century hosts, Rapid Ascent, were blown away by the response given the present uncertainty surrounding Coronavirus and the flow-on effect to the local economy.
“It was reassuring to see so many entries coming in despite the threat of Coronavirus and expected economic downturn for the first quarter of 2020. I think it was a direct vote from the ultra-runner community who are an incredibly tough and resilient group of people,” said Race Director from Rapid Ascent, Sam Maffett.
The event was launched with hope the Coronavirus situation will be better understood and under control by the time the event takes place on 19 September. Race directors from Rapid Ascent will put in place added measures to help protect runner’s safety, disperse crowds and be responsive to the virus situation when the event takes place in September.
“Launching the event amidst the current turmoil surrounding the virus gives people something to look forward to, providing an outlet for their energy and a good excuse for some long training runs given the social distancing this involves,” commented Maffett.
The 9th edition of the Surf Coast Century will be presented by new sponsorship partner MINI Countryman and will again start and finish in Anglesea. Runners will tackle a challenging and scenic 100km course either as a solo runner or in a team of between two and four runners. There’s a shorter 50km option for solo runners as well.
“The Century takes competitors on a journey along towering sea cliffs, remote beaches, and captivating wildflower hinterland. All this in a hare’s breath of the Great Ocean Road. We’ve got some exciting changes coming in 2020 as well including a new focus on post-event celebrations and recovery the day after racing,” said Co-Race Director from Rapid Ascent, John Jacoby.
The 2019 event attracted 1,400 runners and almost 3,000 spectators from all over Australia and contributed $4 million dollars to the Surf Coast economy.
The much-adored ultra-run has built a reputation as one of Australia’s ‘bucket-list’ trail running events due to it being one of the more unique 100km ultra courses in the world. Adding to spectacular scenery and remote wilderness, die-hard runners stride past lighthouses, waterfalls, tall tree ferns, and sacred surf beaches like Bells Beach.
First-time ultra-marathoners take comfort in the knowledge they’ll receive professional on-course support. Plus, they’ll be running accessible trails and a relatively flat, non-technical terrain. And the 50km solo and team options make the step into ultra-distance race more accessible for those not committing to the 100km solo event.
“The variety in the terrain and scenery is so unique and we encourage anyone who hasn’t done it before to come and enjoy it. Those who have done the course before can look forward to creating many more unforgettable experiences in 2020. It’s the perfect goal to work towards during a sometimes long and cold winter,” said Maffett.
The Surf Coast Century has a new friend in adventure in 2020 as well. The MINI Countryman has come on board as an official sponsor. “We can’t wait to go and explore off the beaten track together with the MINI Australia adventure Countryman,” said Maffett.
Runners can register or find out more about the Surf Coast Century at www.SurfCoastCentury.com.au.