While many here in Australia enjoyed the long weekend break, there were a few races happening across the seas to the East and North of us. Beginning in New Zealand, the Ultra Easy 100km took on a slightly different route this year, with a new starting venue and a flip of the course.
This spectacular run was taken out by Becky Nixon (14:58) in the ladies and Blake Turner (12:35) in the mens. According to reports, it was the hottest day Wanaka and the surrounding areas had ever recorded, which would have made for some extremely tough running down in the valleys.
Mandy Smyth (15:35) and Monica Aarsen (18:02) rounded up the ladies podium, while Ian Evans (13:13) and Aussie, Tom Brazier (13:22) made up the men’s.
Over in Hong Kong and the first race of the UTWT finished with a somewhat sour taste in the mouth as first over the line, Liang Jing was disqualified for grabbing water from passing hikers (amounting to receiving outside assistance), but also throwing the bottles away and littering. There are conflicting reports as to the circumstances of Liang grabbing water, with hikers claiming it was taken without their permission, while Liang maintains that he sought their permission. Regardless, the fella needs to take a look at the rule book prior to starting the race to know that this type of things is wrong, especially the littering aspect too.
Whats more, Liang ran under the course record by three minutes, as did eventual winner, Qin Min, who crossed the line just a few seconds after Liang. Qin was promoted to winner and now holds the record. US runner, Alex Nichols finished third.
In the ladies race, Chinese mainland runner, Miao Yao blitzed all before her to beat Nuria Picas’ previous record by 40 minutes (10:40), which is a pretty hefty battering of the previous record when you consider the calibre of runner that Nuria is. If Miao is running these sorts of times, it would be great to see her running in some of the most competitive races in the world such as WSER100 and UTMB – hopefully she’ll get the opportunity to turn up.
Nepalese runner Mira Rai finished second in a time of 11:30, with Chinese mainland runner, Xiang Fuzhao in third in 11:36.