It’s been a big old couple of weeks for Aussie and Kiwis on the trails (and roads) around the world, and I have to say, but I think the Kiwis may have edged us slightly 😉
We travel from the mountains and roads of the US, all the way over to Europe where a number of leading Aussies and Kiwis have plied their running trade of late.
Last weekend was the infamous Hardrock 100 over in the US. With just a casual 11,000m of elevation, mostly done at altitude too, Anna Frost claimed her second consecutive win at this event and if I’m not mistaken, is still unbeaten when it comes to racing 100 milers. In the same race, another Kiwi and a man of many logos, Grant Guise claimed a highly credible tenth.
Two other local guys, Phil Murphy and Andy Hewat also deserve a big mention as it’s pretty much a given that actually getting a start in this race is probably harder than finishing the damn thing! Andy particularly for scoring his fourth finish at Hardrock.
Billed as the ‘toughest footrace on earth’, but I’d say, a more accurate description would be that it could be regarded as ‘the hottest’, it was a particularly fast year with both mens and ladies records broken in Death Valley this year.
Six Aussies of awesome calibre took part and all performing brilliantly too. Mick Thwaites and Nikki Wynd continued their amazing run in this race, both scoring third places and a second consecutive year on the podium.
Grant Maughan and Sandy Suckling both finished sixth in their respective races, with Dave Graham taking 13th and Sam Weir 20th.
The Aussies are starting to get a good name for themselves at Badwater with some very strong performances in the last few years, long may it continue.
The Skyrunning World Championships – Buff Epic Trail
While not quite peaking to the performances of two years ago, there were some extremely strong runs again from the Aussie and Kiwi contingent over in Spain for the rather cooly named, Buff Epic trail.
The highlight was Kiwi young gun, Sam McCutcheon, still very early in his ultra running career, but landing himself a top ten placing in a highly competitive field of runners.
Majell Backhausen bagged himself 26th place with Tom Brazier just behind him in 28th. Ben Duffus was showing strong early in inside the top ten, but withdrew just 36kms into the race with a huge bout of altitude sickness we hear.
Beth Cardelli put in a strong showing in the ladies for 17th place in the 105km. In the marathon at the same event, Lucy Bartholomew continued her strong form this year with a placing inside the top 20 and 18th position.
Well done all who took part in the races overseas. We’ve come a long way in the last five years or so, with both Aussies and Kiwis batting above their average so to speak in these big global races. Long may it continue!