If you’re a runner and you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen and heard nothing but great reports from across the ditch regarding this event. No worries that Anton Krupicka was racing, we have a new kid in town and his name is Mick Donges. Last year we predicted this boy would come of age in 2012 and before its even Easter, he’s showing the big guns that he means business for the North Face 100, where he’ll be up against the likes of global running superstars, Ryan Sandes and Jez Bragg.
When Kilian came over last year, I wrote off the local talent and to be frank, although there were some great performances, the honest truth was that no-one was going to get near him. Move on nine months and the likes of Mick, Brendan Davies, Chris Wight, Julian Spence, Matt Cooper and quite a few others will be seriously toeing the line with these guys as they trek up Nellie’s Glen for a mouth-watering last 40kms over some of the best terrain in the Blue Mountains.
However I digress. This week it’s all about Mick ‘I’m best mates with Anton’ Donges. Running 8hrs 51mins is class. Our man on the ground was Matt Bixley, Ultra168’s newest editorial board member and also part of Team Salomon. Things didn’t quite go to plan for Matt, and an injury forced him to draw his hand early, wisely saving himself for later on in the year. Here are his thoughts of what seems like a great weekend. I know I personally can’t wait to get my sorry English arse out there next year – over to Matt who has very kindly let us take some exerts from his blog:
Vajin Armstrong (mostly Vajin) and Mick Donges ran at the front of a large group for the 1st 90 minutes. Hiroki Ishikawa (Japan), Daniel Scarberry (US running the 85k) plus Australians David Eadie, Darren McClennan and Matt Meckenstock were involved. So to were Kiwi’s Kristian Day, Dennis de Monchy, Andrew Howse and myself. Martin Lukes made a very brief appearance but succumbed to a mysterious full legged cramp within the 1st 4k. At this point he more or less withdrew and lost ~35 minutes on the lead group.
The group stayed together until the 1st relay change over at Okareka, where it splintered with some changing of shoes, others not and a smooth road section allowing different tactics. The lead women at this point were not so tightly bunched with a 13 minute spread between Nicola Gildersleeve, Amy Campbell, Vicky Plaistowe, Billie Marshall and Anna Longdill. Eventually only Bille and Anna would swap positions.