And so the madness begins as today saw the opening of entries into what is Australia’s most popular trail ultra marathon, 6ft track. This is a truly iconic race, run across the old supply route to link the upper mountains with those inland in days gone by.
For ultra168, this is one of our traditional hunting grounds for training and we know it like the backs of our hands. I personally love this race. While I adore the mental challenge of a 100 miler, one of my first loves when it comes to running is the ability to go out hard and smash yourself over 45kms trail goodness.
This race has it all, speedy downhills, mammoth climbs and uphills, along with gradual inclines when your legs feel as though they are dead and buried along the Black Ranges. For me, the race begins on the Black Ranges after you’ve had the joy of smashing yourself on the gentle downhills to Cox’s River and then the slog up Mini Mini and Pluvi. You hit the top, then you have an agonizing 8kms of gentle undulating uphill where the legs are begging you to walk and take a break.
The reality though is this is where you push on and push hard, before being rewarded with a smash downhill to the cheering crowd at Caves House, and some beers with your mates.
Theres also the added bonus of Marcus and I running in the infamous beer bet. It’s fair to say that I’ve torn the field apart in the recent years in this race within a race 🙂 and this year will be not different I’m sure!
Much debate has been had around the entry procedure and how ‘fair’ or ‘unfair’ it is. All I know is that I’ve seen far worse. It’s a shame that this race can’t accommodate double than are currently allowed as it would be sure to fill with 1500 people. However there is only so much of a good thing you can have I guess and it’s also good to have something to aspire to too.
In terms of favorites for the race, we’ll have to wait and see who is entered, however there are a few names that we’ll drop here and now as a starter for ten:
Andy Lee, Brendan Davies and Rob Walter are sure to be back to bang heads against one another as the leading three from last year. Also in the mix will be former winner Alex Matthews, Anthony Scott and rising star, Mick Donges too. Watch out for wild card Julian Spence and 2:18 marathoner Rowan Walker, podium getters for sure.
In the ladies, if Anna Frost is down our way again we cannot see any lady getting anywhere near her to be honest. That’s no disrespect to any of the ladies running, but Frosty is in a class of her own over this sort of distance, being one of the Salomon elite athletes. However we do hope that the likes of Venessa Haverd and Beth Cardelli can get amongst it again and on the podium.
But for now, we do hope that you’ve managed to get a spot for this race if you tried to enter. If you have entered and been successful, it would be great to hear from you. Tell us how many 6fts you’ve done and what you enjoy most about the race.