No sooner has GNW finished, but we have yet another huge race on in just over a week’s time, Coast2Kosci. However today sees the opening of entries for what is the largest trail ultra-marathon in Australia, the North Face 100.
Despite what you think about the price of entry, the amount of kit you have to carry or the lack entry requirements, there’s no doubt that this race is the biggest ultra in Australia that attracts everyone from the very beginners entering our lovely sport, through to some of the World’s highest class athletes.
Last year saw God himself (Kilian) make his way over here with team Salomon and their entourage to take out a huge victory and the course record by some distance. It also set Kilian off on a journey of five wins in five continents across 2011. Next year we hear rumours that some of those high-class athletes will be back to run again in our premier ultra-marathon event, and no doubt, Salomon will bring another level of professionalism to proceedings too.
On a personal level it was great to meet the team when they came over and see how they’d developed their products, but above all, just how serious they were taking the Aussie market. Some of the other companies involved in trail and ultra running could learn a thing or two from them.
But this isn’t meant to be a wax lyrical post about Salomon, this is to celebrate what will be the start of 2012 training and a whole new year of fun.
Last year, Marcus and Andrew managed to take-out the pairs competition with a big win and a new course record to boot too. Myself and Keith Mearns took out a credible 6th place in the pairs also, while Poppy Darrel defied the laws of ageing with a massive sub 13 hour effort.
Ultra168 will again be heavily involved in the race in terms of entering and participating, but we’ll also seek to deepen our coverage of the race in a similar vein to our efforts with the big trail ultras that occurred in the back half of this year.
The North Face 100 is the one race where we as ultra runners get a chance to really test ourselves against some of the best talent on show not only in Australia but on an International level too. From the local contingent, we’ll have to take a look at the entry list, but we’re sure that the following well-known names such as Andy Lee, Brendan Davies, Mick Donges, Clarke McClymont and our own Andrew Vize will be leading the charge.
From the ladies, Julie Quinn ran a stormer last year to take out the women’s overall and a new record. Beth Cardelli is likely to want to get her record back for sure. Watch out for Jess Baker who came second in the ladies GNW 100 mile race. If she enters and trains well, she’s another one that’s likely to push for a podium.
Over and above those mentioned, there’s likely to be many more that we haven’t mentioned, but until we see the list of entrants, this is all speculation. For now, we all hope that if you’ve entered, you’ve managed to gain a place and you’re thinking about your training plans ahead of what will be a wonderful journey for most. For now, enjoy a video we pulled together from last year’s event below.