Following on from our previews over the last week, we’d thought we’d pen a little overview for the race in just over 24 hours. To date we haven’t covered the ladies race as part of this yet, so without further ado, we’ll give you a run down there and a final prediction for the male podium.
The ladies race looks as strong as ever with a number of genuine contenders vying for the top 3, and we think it’s going to be extremely tight. But what is a shame however is that we don’t see all the top ladies in Australia racing in the National Trail Championships – wherever that race might be held. Why do we find ourselves in a situation whereby the ladies field for 6ft track is stronger than the actual title race that was held at Maroondah Dam a few weeks ago?
This is no fault of Maroondah Dam, which I understand is an excellent race and one I’d love to participate in one day, or indeed the athletes. What’s more than likely is that it’s the fault of some stupid politics that we’re not privy too – when common sense says, choose the race that attracts the strongest field so that the best athletes can race each other. If you’re not going to do that, then choose a race that can be built to attract people. Kind of makes the whole system lack all sense of credibility.
Anyway, we digress. So who from the ladies can we expect to feature? Well there are some very familiar names making an appearance:
Angela Bateup, Lucy Blaber, Sara Burgess, Colleen Middleton, Michelle McAdam and Julie Quinn. There are however some big names missing from the original starters list, namely Vanessa Haverd, Beth Cardelli and Hanny Allston – the match-up between Vanessa and Hanny in particular would have been a real battle.
However back to the contenders, all six of the above named starters have the potential to take out the win. Colleen won the race back in 2010, with a cracking time of 4:03, followed closely by Angela in just a shade under 4:06. Third back in 2010, was Michelle McAdam in 4:12.
In 2011, Lucy was the lead runner from the above named stars, coming home in 4:10, followed by Angela in 4:21 and Colleen in 4:28. So as you can see a real mixed bag of results and a pretty tough one to call. But there’s one name we haven’t mentioned yet in the ladies race and that’s Kirstin Bull, an Australian trail rep who finished third in the Commonwealth Champs back in 2011.
Kirstin recently won the Two Bays Ultra down in Victoria, in a time of 4:57 and beating Angela in the process. And because of that, we’re going to give the nod to Kirstin, closely followed by Angela and with Michelle McAdam in third. But we could be very wrong 🙂 As we’ve said, it’s going to be very tight and we think that anyone of those ladies could easily feature on the podium.
So now that we’ve covered the ladies, what about our preview of the men’s? Well having profiled some of the leading guys, we’ll just recap who’s got the form. First up we featured Chris Truscott, from the HuRTS Running Squad. These bunch of guys all meet in the Sydney CBD somewhere on a Tuesday and Thursday and run each other into the ground apparently.
Chris is a man with great road pedigree and his last attempt at this race was back in 2005, where he finished with 3:35. We think he’s going to travel far better in this race, and as with many of the predictions made by the guys, we think he’ll run sub 3:20.Two other stalwarts of this race are Alex Matthews and Andy Lee, both former winners and both with sub 3:20 potential we think as well. So it’s for this reasons that we think these three guys will make our men’s podium:
- Chris Truscott
- Alex Matthews
- Andy Lee
Those are our picks for Saturday, we may be wrong, we may be right – these races can be very hard to judge depending upon form and weather.
There is also a teams event up for grabs, and from speaking to guys on the floor, we understand that the HuRTS team will be pretty hard to beat this year. Sydney Striders will likely have a strong showing, but we understand the Blue Mountains Marathon Clinic team is slightly weakened this year. This does depend however is Brendan Davies and Mick Donges decide to race, or indeed race hard as both have Tarawera commitments the following week. However word on the grapevine is that a team of hacks called the New South Wales Institute of Beer have entered a team and that it contains some ‘gun runners’ – a potential podium team for sure.
But, who do you guys think will win? Over to you…