I don’t know about you, but I’m excited…
August in the trail running calendar means that the big Aussie ultras are just around the corner and the serious training has begun. While the GNW100 miler is the big focus for Ultra168, there’s a small matter of Australia’s longest running 100 miler to talk about – The Glasshouse 100’s
Yours truly has signed up for the 100km ‘sprint’ version, and will see a return to the place where I completed my first ever ultra, finishing the 100km event in 2008. I remember sitting at the finish line stocking up on food, totally smashed, but ecstatic that I’d just ‘run’ 100kms. Sitting next to me was Dave Waugh, who unbeknown to me at the time, had just finished the 100 miler – plus he’d travelled an extra 62kms. I was pretty dumbstruck that he could have done this, but very much in awe at the achievement.
My reasons for signing up the 100km race are pure and simple. It’s because I enjoy it, but also to test myself in some early summer heat too ahead of GNW. I want to see how my body copes with the heat and humidity that Queensland throws at you so I can make sure I’m well prepared for GNW.
But enough about me, let’s focus on the smokey’s whom we think will figure in the top five or so for each race.
The Glasshouse 100 miler
It’s going to be close up at the top we feel, but the aforementioned Dave Waugh has to start out as race favourite, and with it a new course record we feel.
Dave Waugh (2-1 FAV) Not only is he the course record holder, but Dave has won this race four times to boot as well. Who knows what his form is like currently, but he’s entered in this and the GNW 100 miler. I think he means business this year, so I’m tipping him for a win here.
Dave Eadie (3-1) It could well be the battle of the Dave’s up front. David is a quality runner, proven over the 100 mile distance and if I stand correct, a former winner here too. He has the road speed too having won the Australian national 100km road championships too. A real contender.
Mike Le Roux (4-1) Current Ultraman World Champion suggests that Mike has huge potential to take out this race if the two Dave’s decide to blow each other up. An 11:36 North Face 100kms last year and a 2:45 marathon to his name should see him feature well near the top.
Zac Braxton-Smith (5-1) This is a major step up for the young lad, who at 19yrs old, is making massive leaps into the realms of an ‘older’ man’s sport. Finished a superb second to the classy Mick Donges at the recent Flinders Tour event, held mostly on the same course. Expect him to ‘toeing’ it with the lead guys, but will he last the distance?
Dave Coombs (6-1) Another one of the Dave’s who’ll be sure to figure out front. Finished well up at the recent Flinders Tour in July, and was last year’s winner too. A class act, but not sure if he has the engine to take 2.5 hours off last year’s time to beat the other two Dave’s. A good podium chance.
Caine Warburton (7-1) Another ‘younger gun’ with a sub 3 hour marathon to his name. Ran very well at the Flinders Tour too, and again a step up in distance. Good each way bet.
Philip Murphy (7-1) An ‘old stalwart’ of the 100 mile scene and Glasshouse 100 miler veteran. Phil knows this course well and runs very consistently every year he turns up. If others in front of him faulter, expect the Irishman to mop up all carnage before him – a real podium threat.
Gordi Kirkbank-Ellis (The Running Mad Kiwi – 10-1) A man with a massive heart and the ability to cause an upset or two on the day. He goes hard, but can he keep his bowels under control to last the distance?
Naturally, I may have missed a person or two, so forgive my oversight if I have. In the ladies race, again I must admit to not knowing a huge amount about some of those involved. Natalie Jennings is probably one of the standouts, having competed here last year with a debut time of 25 hours. Surely, she’ll be looking to break under the 24 hour barrier this year and hopefully take out the race.
The Glasshouse 100kms
My guess is as good as anyone’s, because the reality is that there are very few names I recognise on the list. So in the spirit of remaining impartial and fair, I predict that I’ll take this one out 🙂
More importantly though, who do you think will win this year’s 100 mile race? It’s going to be a cracker.