It’s a busy old few weeks in the Aussie racing calendar as a number of major ultras feature shortly, namely Blackall, GNW100s, Glasshouse 100s and the Great Ocean Walk 100 too. However this weekend just gone saw some quality racing north and south of the New South Wales border, as well as a valiant world record attempt in Queensland.
Coastal High 50kms
Queensland is where we’ll start and the second running of the Coastal High 50kms. Now a permanent and very popular race on the Queensland calendar, this one has sold out quick in the two years it’s been on, with a rather spectacular course on offer.
In the ladies, Lou Betts managed to dodge our preview to come in under the radar and win the ladies in a time of 5hrs 39mins. There was a fair bit of distance to second place, which was Amanda Kyneur in 5hrs 55mins and Shona Stephenson finishing third in 6hrs 1min.
In the mens, Tom Brimelow took out the win in the time in 4hrs 40mins, followed by Charlie Boyle in 5hrs smack on and Darryl Taylor just three minutes behind in 5hrs 3mins.
Surf Coast Century
Kellie Emmerson continued her winning streak at Surf Coast to make it three consecutive victories, slicing almost 15 minutes off the course record she created last year, this time coming over the line in 9hrs 3mins. “I’ve finally got a coach for the first time ever, and the last two months I’ve really been working on my speed and trying to improve my lactic threshold, (heading into the world championships),” Kelly adds.
Behind Kelly in second was Kylee Woods in 9hrs 35mins and then Christine Hopkins in 10hrs 18mins. The Ultra168 form guide performing well here, but not so well in the mens, where Francesco Ciancio slipped under the spotters desk and grabbed the win in 8hrs 26mins.
2015 runner-up Ross Hopkins was comfortably sitting in second position after race favourite, Ben Duffus experienced difficulties and was forced to walk it in – good on him for sticking it out. But it was Michael Rathjen who caught Hopkins on the sand, to steal second place by three minutes (08:47) over Hopkins (08:50).
In the 50kms, Stephanie Auston, more at home on the tracks and road powered her way over the line to win the 50km race overall in 03:50:29, almost half an hour ahead of the female field and nearly two minutes faster than the first male James Ralph.
“It was really good, that’s my first ever 50km, so I didn’t know how I’d go, but it was good. I wanted to break four hours, so I could’ve run slower really. It was good though, I should run the trails more,” adds Stephanie.
James Ralph finished second overall in3hrs 52min and was just 78 seconds faster than Chilean Daniel Borquez 3hrs 53mins.
World Record 24hr on a Treadmill Attempt
And finally… a big shout out for Matthew Eckford who this weekend attempted the world record for the most distance achieved on a treadmill in 24 hours, which stands at 260.4kms.
Matthew was on track for a good 16-17hrs of the attempt, setting a pretty ferocious pace of 12kms an hour for much of that, putting him on track at 280kms. But as these things can often do, the body finds it hard to sustain that level of intensity and goes all rogue on you.
Matty finished up with 225kms, walking in much of the last third of his attempt. You have to admire Matthew for carrying on and I’m sure that this experience has taught him some huge lessons for any further possible attempts.