PHOTO: MATT CREHAN AT THE BRISBANE TRAIL ULTRA / Supplied.
THE AUSTRALIAN ULTRA RUNNERS’ ASSOCIATION LAST WEEK (Feb 21, 2022) announced the winners of its annual AURA Awards for 2022, recognising the efforts and achievements of runners across the country through select performances in 2021. Whilst some winners were awarded the accolade for track race results, others were noted for their wins at trail events.
Tia Jones from Queensland was awarded title of Australian Female Ultra Runner of the Year for breaking no fewer than 5 Australian W55 Age Group Records, with records achieved at 2 races in 2021 (the Sri Chinmoy 12hr Track Ultra in March and the Southern Sydney 6hr Track Ultra in June). Records achieved included the 50km (4:15:46), 6hr (69.774km), 50 mile (7:18:22), 100km (9:17:02) and the 12hr (124.211km).
The Australian Male Ultra Runner of the Year was awarded to Matt Crehan from Victoria, who won 6 out of the 7 events he competed in for 2021 including the 45km Buller Sky Run, 64km Razorback Run in Victoria, the 80km Margaret River Ultra in WA, and the 80km Cradle Ultra in Tasmania. He also ran two 100mi races at both the Brisbane Trail Ultra and Alpine Challenge.
Other winners included WA’s Phil Gore who was awarded the Bryan Smith Award for his outstanding performance at the 2021 Birdy’s Backyard, which also saw him achieve the best BYU performance for an Australian; Margie Hadley from WA who was given the Helen Stanger Award for her performance at the 2021 Birdy’s Backyard Ultra; Sarah Ludowici from NSW who received the Young Female Ultra Runner of the Year Award for her 3rd Place podium finish at Ultra Trail Australia last year; and Dominic Bullock from NSW who was awarded Young Male Ultra Runner of the Year for his South Sydney 12hr Track Ultra win.
Three more awards were a standout for 2021 including Colin Brooks who took out the Cliff Young Award for his achievement in M65 Age Category wins in five events; Jane Trumper who won the Shirley Young Award for her Coast to Kosci 240km Ultra race; and Cheryl Symons, who took out the Ultra Performance of the Year Award for her Sri Chinmoy 48hr performance.