Check Out the 2024 Trail Run Event Guide


Welcome to the Trail Run Event Guide 2024!

Get ready to dive into the ultimate trail running experience of the year! Whether you’re a seasoned trail warrior or a newbie keen to explore the Aussie wilderness, our guide can help you for your ticket to adventure, challenge, and some fair dinkum natural beauty. The trails are calling – are you ready to answer?

 

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Ragnar Relay comes to Australia

In the ‘States, it’s already huge: Ragnar Relay.

Take a bunch of mates – eight of you for kicks and trail giggles or get serious if you are ultra junkies, and you only need four – pack the tent, your trail runners, a sense of mateship plus enough trash talk to gee up your still-running team-mate as he/she swings through the tent-strewn event HQ at midnight while you’re warming your butt on the campfire.

Ragnar Relay Australia is a bit of a new format on the trail running scene in Australia, one that replicates in some ways the old and hugely popular (in their day) 24-hour MTB races or the current flavour of obstacle course events like the just-happened True Grit (congrats to TRM Assoc Editor Tegyn Angel on finishing second in what was the World Champs!) where participants go on through the night. It also mirrors to some degree the four-up team challenge of some events like the Surf Coast Century, albeit with camping added into the mix and double the overall distance.

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Anyway, Ragnar Relay overseas is a bit of a relay trunning phenomenon, and has spread its wings to Australia, with the first Ragnar Trail happening in Glenworth Valley, NSW, on October 27-28, 2018.

Ragnar Trail see teams of 8 (or teams of 4 for Ultra teams) conquer a 200-ish km course over two days and one night. Each participant in a team of 8 will complete three loops with each loop starting and finishing at the central Ragnar village. The respective loops are 6km, 8km and 11km in distance which will see each (regular) team member run a total of 25km over the weekend Ragnar trail, or 50km each if a team of four.

The event HQ is located at the Glenworth Valley Outdoor Adventure facility, a one hour drive north of Sydney CBD. There, ‘Ragnarians’ as event organisers dub participants, will find a 3000+ acre wilderness property featuring wooded trails perfect for running and plush grass great for camping as teams experience the magic of Ragnar Village. Teams run relay-style on “green”, “yellow”, and “red” loops as they meander through the forest past rivers, streams and ponds.

The central Ragnar village is the epicenter of the Ragnar social experience where participants have the chance to grab some food, buy Ragnar gear, be entertained by on-stage performers, watch a movie, hang out around the fire, catch a quick nap, cheer for other runners, grab a drink, take part in contests and enjoy the whole Ragnar Trail experience. Sounds like a trail party to use where the social is more important than who’s winning. Well, to a degree… everyone likes to win. But you get the gist that the beauty of Ragnar is that half the action is off trail, while your buddy is enjoying the mud and stuff on trail. And the logistics are easy…

Teams can register for Ragnar Trail Glenworth Valley here >> https://runragnar.com/au/event-detail/trail/glenworth

Ragnar Relay
Glenworth Valley, NSW
October 27-28, 2018

 

Surf Coast looks to trail run century

Over two thousand runners are making the journey to Anglesea on the Great Ocean Road this weekend (3-4 September) for a true trail running festival weekend.

The Surf Coast Century is one of Australia’s iconic ultra marathons featuring 100km solo, 50km solo and 100km relay team events, as well as incorporating the Australian 100km Trail Running Championships. Surf Coast Century - By Matt Hull-30

The action begins on Friday night with the fun 2km Kids Run, continues with the Surf Coast Century on Saturday, starting and finishing at Anglesea, Victoria, and culminates on Sunday with the fourth race of the HOKA ONE ONE Trail Running Series.

This is the fifth year of the Surf Coast Century which has built a reputation as one of Australia’s must-do trail running events.

Defending champion and two time winner of the Surf Coast Century Kellie Emmerson from Melbourne who claimed the prestigious National Title last year in a record-breaking performance of 9hrs, 18min said she was very much looking forward to getting down to the Surf Coast for the event.

“Running the Surf Coast Century over the past two years I’ve learned a lot about myself and my training. After conquering 100km, my perspective changed forever.  I can’t wait to bring some more knowledge back this year,” Emmerson said.Surf Coast Century - By Matt Hull - high resolution-198

“I spent my childhood holidays on the Surf Coast so I kind of feel like it is my home turf. I’m so excited to be coming back to defend my title! This is one of my favourite races, bringing together my love of the beach and the bush.

“I love the beauty of the trails and the challenge of the distance, and even more importantly, the community.”

Runners are travelling from around Australia and increasingly overseas to experience the spectacular landscape the region has to offer and for the ultimate satisfaction of completing such an event.

Leading the field in the men’s event will be 2013 champion Ben Duffus from Brisbane, 2015 runner-up Ross Hopkins (Mansfield), and New Caledonia’s Oswald Cochereau. Daniel Borquez Bastias of Chile who is currently travelling in Australia will also pose a challenge at the pointy end of the field.

“I’ve never been to the Surf Coast but I’ve heard it’s a beautiful place, so I am excited to get to know it,” Bastias said.

“I’ve heard a lot about the Surf Coast Century, it’s a classic here in Australia. Mt Buller

“I try to position myself within the top ten, then amid the race I start passing competitors, since being in the top three is a tremendous pressure, I always leave this for the final stage.

“I am feeling good, relaxed, I’ve been working on physical strength and I have been training a lot in the Blue Mountains.”

Bastias is hoping to compete in as many races as possible in the world, including the Surf Coast Century, Ultra Trail, Mt Buffalo and races in Nepal and Tarawera.

“There are many top end competitions in Australia and I want to be in all of them. I’ve been traveling solo for many years and I like it; going to different races is a good way to meet people with the same interests and passion as me.”Surf Coast Century - By Matt Hull - high resolution-135

The Surf Coast Century is considered to be an ideal event for those tackling their first ultra marathon. The course is challenging yet achievable, event logistics are easy and the event vibe is very supportive.

The course design is a figure eight with Anglesea being the start, half way point, finish and the event hub. This enables great spectator access the whole way around which lends itself to a really supportive event atmosphere.

There is no other 100km course like it in the world; located on Victoria’s beautiful Surf Coast and Great Ocean Road region, the scenery is second-to-none. From towering sea cliffs to amazing tree ferns, competitors will run past lighthouses, waterfalls, scenic lookouts, famous surf beaches, remote wilderness and almost everything in between.Ellie_Emmerson

Those who compete in the HOKA ONE ONE Trail Running Series also get a taste of what the coast has to offer as they run across 7km, 15km and 23km of trails in Race 4.

Each of the five events in The Series include short, medium and long course races offering plenty of carefree, smile-inducing running through some magnificent natural landscapes all within an hour drive of Melbourne.

To find out more about the events visit SurfCoastCentury.com.au and HokaOneOneTrailSeries.com.au.

EVENT OVERVIEW:

  • When: – Friday 2nd September 2016 (Kids Run)
    – Saturday 3rd September (Surf Coast Century 50km and 100km)
    – Sunday 4th September (HOKA ONE ONE Trail Running Series Race 4)
  • Where: Start/Finish in Anglesea, Victoria – Great Ocean Road. Event Expo: Anglesea Riverbank Park
  • What: 8km, 15km & 23km trail runs, 100km and 50km ultra trail runs
  • How: Do the 100km or 50km solo; or the 100km in a Relay Team of 2 or 4 people.
  • Who: Elite runners from Australia and overseas, through to those tackling their first ultra marathon, groups of friends and corporate groups – all welcome.
  • Entries: Online at HokaOneOneTrailSeries.com.au until 8am Wednesday 31st August. Online entries have closed for the Surf Coast Century (on-the-day entries available for all events).

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Ultra dash for Gash across India

Australian ultramarathon runner Samantha Gash has started her gruelling 3,800 km record run across India, in a bid to raise money for World Vision projects tackling barriers to quality education in India.

Starting yesterday (Monday 22 August 2016) at one of the driest deserts on earth, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, she will pass through the foot of the Himalayas and end in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya.

© Lyndon Marceau / marceauphotography

© Lyndon Marceau / marceauphotography

Running, on average, the equivalent of just over a marathon a day, Samantha will take 77 days to run West to East across India, being the first person to run the route. During her run, she will also be visiting the World Vision projects that she is fundraising for. She has already raised over $76,000 and is calling on Australians to join her by taking part in the Run India 12 Week Challenge, whilst following her virtually as she runs across the seventh largest country in the world.

“This is the biggest challenge I’ve ever undertaken, but when you consider the challenges many children face on a daily basis, this is not comparable,” Gash said.

“Through Run India, we are aiming to raise funds to support six World Vision Area Development Projects that focus on education. These are in Jaipur, Barmer, Kanpur, North-West Delhi, Hardoi and Pauri.

“This project will showcase the human stories and practical realities that are faced in these communities and demonstrate World Vision’s approach to sustainable development, which is about providing a hand up, rather than a hand out.”

World Vision CEO Tim Costello said Samantha is an inspiration.

© Lyndon Marceau / marceauphotography

© Lyndon Marceau / marceauphotography

“Samantha’s passion for shining a light on some of the world’s most vulnerable children by undertaking this huge challenge is formidable and impressive,” Costello said.

“Samantha’s goal to run 3,800km across India may seem too big, too ambitious, but similar to our goal of ending child poverty, no target is too difficult to achieve when we have determination, passion and work together.”

The World Vision projects that Samantha is supporting tackle issues such as malnutrition, access to appropriate water and sanitation, underage marriage and gender bias, which all present major obstacles to quality education for young women and men in India.

© Lyndon Marceau / marceauphotography

© Lyndon Marceau / marceauphotography

In India today, 4 per cent of children never start school, 58 per cent don’t complete primary school, and 90 per cent fail to finish high school. Combined with the fact that 67.7 million India youths are living on less than one dollar a day, the barriers to accessing education are highly complex.

World Vision’s 12 Week Challenge invites runners and walkers from all ages to form teams of up to 10 people to track their distances against Samantha’s run and fundraise.

To donate directly to Run India or join the 12 Week Challenge visit www.runindia.org.au.

Follow Samantha’s journey and join the conversation via #RunIndia, Twitter @WorldVisionAus and Facebook www.facebook.com/WorldVisionAustralia.


Mt Buller

Trail runners light up Surf Coast

 

The Surf Coast in Victoria is set to glow, glitter and glam it up with an announcement that the Black Diamond Afterglow Night Trail Run will return on Saturday 26th November, 2016, attracting up to 700 runners attired in their disco ball best.

Sporting everything from bad-taste tight-and-bright leotards (that’s just the blokes) to glow-in-the-dark costumes, runners will shine their night lights on the Surf Coast Walk, choosing to run either a 21km or a 12km route, both finishing in Torquay.

151129 Afterglow Samuel Costin 0280

Last year the event proved such a hit with serious and fun runners alike, that it doubled competitor numbers from its inaugural outing, breaking down the perceptions of trail running as a hardcore, mountain-staged pursuit, and re-casting it as a fluorescent family outing.

“The trail running is some of the best, most accessible to be found in the state,” says co-race director and Torquay resident, Peri Gray. “But what we love the most is the vibe created when hundreds of runners compete more vigorously to see who can dress the brightest – or most inappropriately – than they compete to win the run!”

“Watching a wave of florescent diving into the bushy singletrack at the start line at Point Addis is a sight to behold,” says Gray, who expects this year’s crowd to pump up the volume of their run attire to new volumes.

151129 Afterglow Samuel Costin 1155

Runners will again be greeted on course with plenty of entertainment to help the kilometres pass, including saxophonists, a didgeridoo player playing in the sand dunes and eighties DJs appropriately spinning retro funk tunes.

“We purposely theme our event way over the top to provide a different running and very social experience,” says Gray. “It’s one welcoming of runners new to the trail, or indeed to running!“

While most enter the Afterglow Night Trail Runs for fun and frivolity, those at the pointy end still prove handy on the hop, with Olympian Craig Mottram still holding the half marathon Afterglow course record, sitting just over 1 hour 18 minutes.

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Australia’s only night-time half marathon distance trail outing will take place on 26th November. Details and entry at: www.afterglowtrail.com.au/

Afterglow is supported by the Surf Coast Shire via its Major Events Grant Program, along with Black Diamond, Tailwind Nutrition, Surf Coast Trail Runners, Bomboras Kiosk, The Happy Runner, Torquay Sports Medicine Centre, The Geelong Running Company, Kongo Industries, Adventure Types, Tour de Trails and Trail Run Mag. www.afterglowtrail.com.au


Mt Buller

Trail shoe review: Merrell All Out Crush

Crush’n It: It’s been a while since the Merrell brand has in any serious way popped its head up in trail-land in Australia. With a fairly successful outing in the minimalist category years back (with its broadly well-received Trail Glove range), they seemed to disappear on our radars, content to concentrate on the urban wanna-be adventurer category (comfortable shoes for pavement to pub that give the illusion the wearer is about to head into the wilderness).

[the following review first appeared in Edition #21 of Trail Run Mag. Download now at www.trailrunmag.com/magazines]

Capture2

There was a brief aborted attempt to re-emerge last year with a shoe that was more fast packer than runner (Capra). Now, Merrel has realigned with the release of its All Out Crush, a shoe originally designed with the mob behind – specifically for – Tough Mudder. It is however, one that defies my middling expectations on trail as a solid sweet spot performer.

Traditionally styled, this lightweight dirt-muncher was, according to the blurb, targeted squarely at the obstacle course market. I can’t attest how they go tackling the fire and pseudo brimstone of a muddy paddock packed with pyrotechnics, but I can say that taken out on singletrack, these are a great all round performer that firmly places Merrell back on the consideration radar, especially for the recreational (as opposed to pointy end competitive or extreme) trail runner.

A fairly firm forefoot ride means these are on the touchy-feely side, great for trail feedback (proprioception), and excellent when on soft trails that provide their own mulch cushion. The 5mm lugs – reminiscent but not quite as aggressive as Salomon Fellcross models – back up on that kind of terrain, too, giving excellent grip when they have something to bite into.Mt Buller

Where the midsole’s firmness starts to bite back is on hard-packed surfaces or pebbly, sharp rock terrain that continues for long stretches. On such surfaces your feet feel the pinches and prongs after a while and tenderfeet types will certainly notice the incursions. It’s fine for sub-30 kays on flatter, firmer surfaces – indeed I found these a measured balance of trail feel, grip and comfort on fast paced runs in this range – but anything longer requires a more forgiving undercarriage, in my opinion. The Crush’s pre-disposition for mushier ground makes sense given these were aimed at folks running around obstacles in mucky paddocks at distances at most stretching to 20km.

The Crush are also for runners who have a broader, squarer forefoot as there is more room in the toe box than many other narrower Euro-brand shoes which traditionally have narrower lasts. In general, the Merrell would be considered a more traditional, conservative shoe, but it’s no lesser option for it and may actually service a wider array of runners because of it’s no frills approach.

Where these are not as conservative is in the heel-toe drop – a lower range 6mm (traditional being more in the 12mm range) means that you need to at least be striving toward better mid-foot strike and good general form.160314

Those with small slabs up front may find these swim a little in the toe box with the ability to tighten the hug across the middle of the foot barely there, as the first rung of laces and general upper design doesn’t allow much adjustment.

The obstacle course considerations prove a benefit to trail runners via drainage ports wicking away water quickly once plunged in puddles. The mesh upper layered with a perforated pliable rubber lining allows the shoe to release heat just as quickly. Overall, the shoe remains comfortable on the foot at all times in anything except the coldest of weather.

If any concern, it would be that of longevity. Being lightweight, the upper and the sole are supple and if one were to guess, may not be the longest wearing of shoes. Hard to tell after only 150-odd kilometres.

Overall a great shoe for those tackling the many short course (5-25km) trail series taking place across Australia and New Zealand where event terrain tends to be softer, the trails less extreme without hard rocky sections, but where a need for grip, comfort and all weather wear is primary.

Great for: grip, softer trails, door to trail, training all-rounder, wet runs, obstacle courses
Not-so-great for: sharp, hardcore rocky or mountain terrain, thin feet, ultras
Test Conditions: singletrack, mildly technical, some hardpacked, some fire roads, approx. 155km
Tester: Chris Ord, Trail Run Mag editor
Tester Mechanics: mid foot striker, tends to more technical style running
RRP: $179.95
Website: www.merrellaustralia.com.au


 

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Launched – Trail Run Mag Ed21 free download

Winter’s here and so is another edition of your fave trail mag, Trail Run Mag AU/NZ, with the latest Edition #21 (happy coming of age to us!) covering all the glorious singletrack dirt Down Under.

cover 400xcopyGet your FREE download direct from www.trailrunmag.com/magazines

In this packed edition:

  • GHOST TRAIL TALES – Mal Law takes on the inaugural Old Ghost Ultra, South Island, NZ.
  • PYRENEES ODYSSEY – vegan adventurer Jan Saunders looks to power her way through 800km+ mega-mission in the French Alps fuelled solely on plant power
  • RUN LIKE A (TASSIE) TIGER – TRM Kiwi editor Amanda Broughton takes on her first ultra multiday at the inaugural Tassie Trail Fest 
  • BUFFALO GAL – Melissa Robertson goes for the Grand Slam at Buffalo Stampede
  • A YUKON QUEST – running on thin ice
  • LATE STARTER – man of many facets and multiday fancies, Kiwi Paul Hewitson
  • EQUALITY ON TRAIL – Sputnik’s Spray
  • PLUS REVIEWS, GUIDES, GEAR & PORN

DOWNLOAD AT www.trailrunmag.com/magazines

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Mt Buller


Screenshot 2016-04-11 21.50.21

13 Lessons: UTA mid-pack perspective

Everyone loves hearing the inspirational feats of the elite runners. Our jaws drop as we hear the winner’s time (9.20…how is that even possible?). But what went down in the middle of the pack? Is there anything to learn from those runners for whom a silver buckle is a distant dream?For anyone who is more likely to crawl up the Furber Steps than sprint, and who maybe had a little meltdown on Nellies stairs, this is for you. Here are some lessons from middle of pack runner Nicki Letts from www.runoldgirlrun.com:Taking in the View at the top of Tarros Ladders

  1. Plan nothing else for the day

Stop seeing the run as race, and instead think of it as something you are doing for the day. As explorer Lawrence Oates famously said, “I am just going outside and may be some time”. Okay, he never returned, but the point is 100km is a bloody long way. Accept that this is something that will take all day and night. Once you can get your head around this, the rest of these lessons are a breeze.

  1. Choose accommodation close to the start/finish line

The last thing you want to worry about is how to get to and from the start/finish line. Especially if you don’t have a support crew. We stayed at Katoomba Falls Caravan Park, less than 1km from Scenic World (book early!). Walking to the KCC and Scenic World is far easier than dealing with shuttles, taxis and car parking. And when your brain isn’t functioning pre- or post-race, easy is exactly what you need.

  1. Get tech tips from the second oldest runner in the field

At T minus 24 hours, we were eating our brekkie in the campsite kitchen when Alf walked in, munching on a bowl of cereal. He quickly pegged us as runners and humbly introduced himself as the second oldest runner in the field, at 73 years old. If this wasn’t inspirational enough, he then taught us how to use the UTA app. Alf told us the app is especially comforting for him, as he could pinpoint his exact coordinates if he wandered off course. Who can argue with that? We downloaded the app.

  1. Invest in the right compression bandage

It’s no secret that UTA guys are strict on the mandatory gear list. We enjoyed a very thorough safety briefing explaining why. But there’s nothing quite like a real-life encounter to drum home the message. On a pre-race morning walk along the trail to Echo Point – the very same track we would be running along – we came across a rather real, big anguish. That’s Latin for snake. And very close to the word ‘anxious’, closer still to the word ‘anguish’. Needless to say, we packed a snake bandaged and passed mandatory gear inspection.Gear Check

  1. Devise a bulletproof nutrition strategy

Ultra runs are really all about the food and drink (and not just the celebratory drinks at the finish line). They can actually be won and lost by fuel choices – or lack thereof. We went into this run knowing what we would be eating and why.

We train with Clif Bars, so that was a no-brainer, and a choice of four flavours meant we wouldn’t get bored. Kooee beef jerky for protein goodness. Mars bars for the later checkpoints when everything starts to taste the same. Electrolytes and salt tablets would keep the cramps at bay. And 2 minute noodles would provide the perfect mix of salt, sugar and warmth at the final checkpoints. Admittedly, we don’t train with 2 minute noodles, but everything else passed the high-energy no-reflux challenge with flying colours.

  1. Drink to your uni days

There’s not a lot of nutrition advice I’d take from my 19-year-old self. Which is why it’s probably surprising that there are two things we consume during the run that once only passed my lips as a hangover cure. The first is flat coke – it gives you all the sugar and caffeine you need for a final push, without any unwelcome bloating. The second is Red Bull. We never drink this stuff, so downing a can at the final water stop gave us wings for the last 5km.

  1. Soak in the views

“The colours are magnificent”, said David King in the Welcome to Country. He hit the nail on the head. I’m not saying you should stop and pull out your selfie stick at every viewpoint, but you are in one of the most breathtakingly beautiful spots in Australia – if you don’t bask in the views, you might as well be running around your local footy ground.Beating the Sun

  1. 8. Train on stairs 

Confession: when running this two years ago, I had a meltdown in the middle of what’s best described as the waterfall section (Leg 5). I simply wasn’t prepared for that many stairs at that stage of the race. It didn’t help that we were running in the dark and could only hear what we presumed were very beautiful waterfalls (this wasn’t good for bladder control either!). This time, not only did we train for stairs, we made it our goal to get to this section in daylight. Meltdown averted.

  1. Don’t count the Furber Steps

There are 951 uneven stairs climbing up, up and across the finish line of UTA100. But do yourself a favour: do not count them. Sometimes it’s just better not to know.Mt Buller

  1. When all else fails, dance up the hill 

As trail runners, we don’t run with music. We talk or enjoy the silence and the sound of waterfalls (sigh). But there’s nothing like your favourite tunes for a pick-me-up. I carried it the whole way and only used it to pull me out of my darkest moments (specifically between 85-95km).

That said, I am incredibly grateful to my co-midpack-runner, Mat, who told me halfway up the Furber Steps to turn off my music. I did, and my reward was the sound of cowbells and realisation that the end was really, really close.On top of the world CP1-CP2

  1. Hide a treat at the finish line

After 15+ hours of drinking and eating, more food and drink is usually the last thing you crave. But crossing the 100km finish line puts you into a whole new mentality. You want to celebrate before you collapse into a post-run coma. But being a mid-pack runner, there’s no guarantee the bar will still be open when you rock up. That’s why this year we popped a mini bottle of wine and beer into our finish line bag. And man, did it taste good!

  1. Don’t anticipate a good post-run sleep

The night’s sleep after 100km must be the best of your life, right? Wrong. Your brain is asleep but your legs are still out there on the trail. Get ready for a night of twitching, dancing and kicking. They will even start running at one point. You’ll dream about falling over twigs on the trail and wake up in frenzy. Do yourself a favour, enjoy the finish line for a few hours – stretch, relax and cheer other runners across the line. There’s certainly no sleep waiting for you back at the hotel! Oh and if you usually share a bed, warn your co-habitant that they won’t be getting any sleep either.Into the Wild

  1. Forget what you said at the finish line

 Remember when you swore you would never do this ever again? You lied. You’ll stew for a couple of hours/days/weeks. Then the pain will fade. And only the good bits are left. Like when you were running through Leura Falls and the sky turned purple. Or when the volunteer at the final water stop told you to “get out of here, we don’t want you to hang around!” Or when, halfway up the Furber Steps, you were fighting back the tears and the runner behind gave you a pep talk. Or when you grabbed your partner’s hand and sprinted across the finish line to cheers and bells. Oh yes, you’ll be back. And next time, while it will still hurt, you’ll know just how incredible it feels to reach the end.

Read more of Nicki Letts’ musings on a trail running lifestyle at www.runoldgirlrun.com 

RESULTS from UT: http://uta.livetrail.net/classement.php


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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

 

 

 

Surf’s up for Saucony Trail Marathon

Sporting a new headline partner, the Saucony Surf Coast Trail Marathon is returning on 25 June with hundreds of runners set to roller coaster along the spectacular cliff tops ranging between the surfing mecca of Torquay and Fairhaven, in Victoria’s south-west.

Surf Coast Trail Marathon 2015

Now in its third year, the event is expected to attract more than 600 competitors tackling a choice of 43km or 21km distances.

Last year’s competitive field saw a record-breaking and back-to-back win by Australian trail running marathon champion, Kellie Emmerson, in the women’s, and a record-breaking win by Mathieu Dore in the half distance. This year, Dore is stepping up a rung to attempt a swipe at the marathon crown while the absence of Emmerson due to travel commitments leaves the women’s title wide open.

In the men’s marathon, racers will be chasing the unbroken record time of 2 hours 58 minutes, set by Brett Colemen in the inaugural event in 2014. The women will chase Emmerson’s 3 hours 38 minutes mark from 2015.

Both are impressively quick times given the course is judged by most as a tougher than it looks on paper, with two beach sections and the undulating nature of the trail testing legs and lungs.

“Of course there’s plenty of coastal beauty to pull you alongthe course in between,” says organiser (and Trail Run Mag editor), Chris Ord.

“In particular the section from Urquhart’s Beach up to and underneath the towering Split Point Lighthouse I think is a great running section with awesome views,” says Chris nominating his favourite stretch when marking the course. Surf Coast Trail Marathon 2015

This year’s event will bring a small but for many, welcome, change with organisers testing a new finish line.

“Traditionally we finish atop the stairs at the Fairhaven Surf Lifesaving Club,” says Chris. “And while for many that is a favourite, quirky if tough finish, we have decided to make this year a little ‘easier’ finishing on the sands of Fairhaven Beach – great for sprint finishers and for the finish line photo, given the lighthouse looms on the horizon.”

Created to put a spotlight on the Surf Coast Walk while also raising funds for the local Anglesea Primary School – last year raising $2000 –  the Saucony Surfcoast Trail Marathon appeals to both trail and road runners, with a high percentage of first time marathoners and half marathoners signing up. The event also injects solid funds into the local economy, with patronage resulting in an estimated economic stimulus spend of more than $135,000 by visitors in a traditionally quiet period for tourism on the Surf Coast.

This year there will be the addition of an after-party sponsored by the Aireys Inlet Pub and local Rogue Wave Brewing Company, with live music featured.

Organisers are encouraging runners to sign up immediately with a cap on race entries and more than two thirds sold.

logoEnter at www.surfcoasttrailmarathon.com.au and stay up to date on event news by subscribing to the Facebook feed at www.facebook.com/surfcoasttrailmarathon.

The Saucony Surf Coast Trail Marathon is supported by Saucony, the Surf Coast ShireIO MerinoBomboras KioskSurf Coast Trail RunnersTrail Run MagThe Happy RunnerThe Running Company GeelongTailwind Nutrition, and Kongo Industries. The event is produced by Tour de Trails.