Andrew Vize (Beaver) Andrew’s humble ultra running beginnings started when his wife bet him that he couldn’t complete a marathon from no training, and thus his spirit and determination were born. The following week, Andrew marked out a 42.195km course and ran the lot from scratch – from then on he’s been hooked. Andrew is probably regarded as one of Australia’s strongest long-distance ultra runners over trail, but with the results to back up the claims. He’s the Australian record holder for the Western States 100 mile trail race held in California USA. He’s also won the Great North Walk 100 mile race in both 2009 and 2010, along with a second place in the iconic 246km Coast to Kosi, and more recently, first place in the inaugural Mount Solitary Ultra (45kms). He’s also the course record-holder, along with Darrel for the Wild Endurance 100km team event, held in the Blue Mountains just West of Sydney. Known for his detailed preparation before each race and for leaving no stone unturned, you can bet your life that Andrew has bigger and better things ahead of him in the future as he has a list of must do races lined up. After this, Andrew hopes to tackle Europe’s premier 100 miler, the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, with Dan, Darrel and Marcus. In order to compete at the highest level Andrew trains at Sydney Altitude Training, NSW’s only dedicated altitude training facility.
Dan Bleakman (The Flying Compass) Having played rugby for over 20 years, Dan’s running career started when he moved to Australia in November 2007 from the UK. He entered the Marathon des Sables in 2009 on a wing and a prayer, and has been hooked since. Starting initially as a road marathon runner, he knocked off a 3:18 at the Gold Coast marathon in 2010. However in the last year, the trail has been where the heart lies, with solid performances over the infamous 6ft track ultra marathon, along with various other 100km events, as well as a first place in the mixed pairs North Face 100km in 2010. Dan recently finished his first 100 miler in New Zealand at the inaugural Northburn Station 100 miler, a race that contained over 16,000m combined ascent and descent. Dan’s focus for 2011 will be at the Great North Walk 100 miler, followed by a fun run in the Coast to Kosi 240km race in December.
Darrel Robins (Pops) Affectionately known as ‘Pops’ by his friends, this ultra legend is far from a slow-moving Grandad. He passes his time on the trails telling others his fine array of jokes (well just one, over and over again), but there is a serious side to his running too. Darrel is probably one of the most consistently high-placed finishers in Australian trail ultra running, with a highly respected 3rd place overall in the Great North Walk 100 mile 2009 race. He has finished second at the Great Ocean Walk 100 mile race in Victoria two years in a row (actual distance 130 miles), along with a second place in Australia’s toughest 100 mile race, The Mind Alpine Sky Run, one of the most remote and challenging races around in Australia. He is also the current record holder for the fastest traverse of the entire Great North Walk with Andrew and Terry, completing the 250km journey in 66 hours.
Terry Coleman (The Smiling Assassin) The Smiling Assassin as he’s known might look gentle on the outside, but there’s a highly competitive man (child!) inside. Terry has had some stellar performances over the last few years, regularly featuring at the pointy end of most trail ultras he enters. He finished the GNW 2009 in a shade over 30 hours, before a cracking run in the 2010 6ft track 45km ultra marathon, saw him bag his place amongst the Wave 1 starters and race elite for 2011. Terry has also completed the Bogong to Hotham Ultra marathon (64kms), as well as finishing first in the mixed pairs North Face 100kms race this year with his sister. He was also part of the team that traversed the 250km GNW track in record time, along with Darrel and Andrew. He also joined them on the traverse of the Hume and Hovell in 2010, knocking off the 440km route in 4 days, 19 hours. A versatile man, if you ever need a brickie that can cook, he’s your man. One final fact about our man Terry is that he’s the tallest in his family.
Marcus Warner (Cam) Coming from a team sport background where Rugby and Cricket were the preferred sports Marcus took up ultra running 5 years ago after buying “Confessions of an all night runner” by Dean Karnazes and promptly entered and completed the inaugural North Face 100. Since finishing his first ultra he has been hooked on finding the most challenging mountain races and can often be found competing across Australia and overseas at any distance from 45kms to 100kms. Marcus was a member of the winning Wild Endurance 100 team with Darrell Robins in 2009 and most recently gained first place in the pairs with Andrew Vize at the North Face 100 breaking the course record along the way. Marcus has a love for experimenting with new gear and has been a big convert to the minimalist running shoe movement. 2011 is a big year for Marcus where he is set to pace Andrew over the last 60kms at the Western States 100miler, represent Australia at the Salomon Trail de Font Remeu in the French Pyrenees with the great Kilian Jornet and to make a 4th return to the 60km Kepler Challenge in New Zealand. In the future he hopes to qualify and enter the 2012 UTMB in Chamonix France meaning he will have to break his 100 mile duck.