What a rip-roaring weekend of running we just experienced, along with the most stark contrasts of conditions. A cool and breezy, but chilled night on the lake at Narrabeen, and then wild, wet and horrific weather at Bogong to Hotham. Marcus will be compiling a report of the latter race, along with all his interesting videos and comments from the runners on the race that in the end, never was. But first up is our Narrabeen report.
This race has grown steadily over the years and boasted a fine line-up of quality runners taking their positions on the start-line. Aussie 24hr captain, Jo Blake was the standout and our tip for victory, along with Central Coast runner Darren McClellan coming off the back of a fine run at GNW 100 miler late last year. Also making an appearance for the third time was Mal ‘Maggot’ Gamble, a former winner here and some Interstate representation and favourite with the crowd, Zac Braxton-Smith. However a few of the local boys stood out strong too, and special mention must go to the likes of another ‘Coastie’ Matt O’Shea who ran a superb race for fifth, along with Gary Mullins on his debut ultra running in fourth and clocking up 114kms in the process.
In the male race, the early battle was between Darren McClellan and Jo Blake with barely 30 seconds separating them in the first few hours. Darren split him around the 50km point with the lead growing from 2:30, 5:30 to 10 plus during the early hours of the morning. The battle for the podium was great too as 3rd through 7th changed during the night with some great racing. Garry Mullins on debut ran superbly with Matt O’ Shea, Zac Braxton-Smith all battling for the spots. Finally it was the class performance by Darren, Jo and Malcolm seeing them take the podium.
In the female race Amanda Smith led early, with Margaret Chu overtaking her half way through the night after a brief lead held by eventual second place finisher Ann Owens. It was very close between these two good friends. The third place runner Karen Chan was a revelation. Having sat out almost the entire first two hours with nausea she then started lapping and lapping and climbing up the leaderboard into third place. Who knows what might have happened if she had run the first two hours of the event.
As always a massive congratulations to co-race directors, Ron Schwebel and Glenn ‘Horrie’ Lockwood for putting on what is a quality event and highly regarded 12 hour and 100km track race, attracting some of Australia’s top runners. The podium finished as follows:
1. Darren McClellan 130.051 kms
2. Jo Blake 124.632
3. Mal Gamble 122.355
1. Margaret Chu 103.630 kms
2. Ann Owen 99.157
3. Karen Chan 96.592