In just a few days time, 45 carefully selected ultra-marathon nutters will begin their journey from Eden on the South Coast of NSW to what is the highest point in Australia, Mount Kosciuszko. For many of us on the ultra-marathon scene, that picture below tells us everything we need to know about this race. In my mind, its iconic and will forever be the one picture that you associate with this race.
The race is the brainchild of one of Australia’s most successful ultra-marathon runners, Paul Every. Paul is a legend and a true hero for most of us who run these type of events. Indeed, on a personal level I remember being on the start line of just my second marathon at Hunter Valley in 2008, having just started running six months previously. I knew of Paul and was in awe of his achievements, one of his most notable being the fact that he has run across Australia and was an Australia rep at 24 hour track racing.
I didn’t see much of Paul that day, only on the out and backs along the then unsealed roads that dominated the marathon. That day he ran just a shade under three hours and I marvelled at how awesome that was on a course as hilly as that. Move on a few years and it’s been great getting to know Paul better and to see how the vision he had for this race (which started as a FatAss run in 2004), has evolved to one of the most admired in Australia. I hope one day to be able to be lucky enough to take part.
In that first FatAss year, Paul and Jan Hermann took out the honours with a time of 39:26, from a starting list of just four. Now we have some of Australia’s best athletes taking part, along with some of the World’s best long distance runners too as can be seen from this year’s start list.
So without further a do, we give you a bit of a form guide on the contenders for this year’s race, starting with the ladies. We feel it’s only right that we start with the ladies as the well-known fact is that no lady has ever DNF’ed Coast2Kosci. It’s become a bit of a ‘thing’ now as no lady wants to be the first to DNF, so we think this is a tradition that will continue for some years to come. So ladies, if you’re running this year and you’re reading this, bear that in mind. We want to make sure that record stays as it is 🙂
The Female Contenders
Meredith Quinlan – MQ as she’s known has had a barnstorming year to date. 3rd at the commonwealths, course record and winner of the Great North Walk 100’s, previous podium finisher, on a real hot streak. Real contender for the win.
Julia Fatton – International runner from Switzerland. If she is here to race, she will be hard to beat. She’s no mug over the 24hr track distance, knocking off a measly 235km and then 350km in the double ’48 hour’ version.
Pam Muston – Previous winner fresh off a great run at Badwater earlier in the year. Never gives up
Sharon Scholz – Reigning international ultra runner of the year and current female course record holder. She has been battling injuries for a while now, but is well-tapered and no doubt ready for this race.
Kerrie Bremner – Class 100km athlete who has also represented Australia over the long distances. Always polite and ready to help out anyone, she’ll be a serious consideration for line honours and is a previous winner of the race.
The Male Contenders
Trevor Allen – 206km 24 hour runner, string of good results in 2011, could place highly.
Rick Cooke – A Podium chance and an Australian 24 hour representative with 216km+ PB.
David Eadie – One of the race favourites for sure. There is very little David hasn’t achieved in running with a 2:31 marathon and a 29 minute 10km to his impressive PB list. Will go out hard, can he hold on for first place?
Christian Fatton – Christian has run 250km in 24 hours and 380km in 48 hours and 840km in 6 days. What does this mean? It means he could win this race and smash the record if he’s here to race and have a real crack.
Ewan Horsburgh – A crowd favourite. Ewan has been targeting this race for a number of years. Running for team ‘No Roads’ racing he will surely impress. Previous course record holder at the GNW 100km distance and loves to run roads as shown by his impressive 3:32 50km PB.
Rob Mason – Podium contender, solid runner and will turn up ready to run all the way. This guy has all the mental aspects of racing sown up and ready to unleash on this course.
Phil Murphy – Aiming for Sub 30 and will feature heavily, mopping up carnage all day and night. On a real hot streak too with PB’s at the last few ultras he has done.
Andrew Vize – Second in the race last year, ran a PB and won the Great North 100 miles for the third year in a row just last month. Doesn’t like the roads but loves a challenge. Has the heart and desire of a man on a mission to do the double.
That’s our form guide laid out, over to you our readers. Who do you think will win this year in both the male and female races?