Australian Ultra Runners of the Year

Following on from our International Ultra Runners of the Year vote, we now turn our focus to our local home-grown Aussie talent – although it seems some of you couldn’t wait and nominated a few Aussies amongst the International runners – hold your horses people!

To give you a sense for why these people were chosen, our criteria is based around two main things: Consistency of performances i.e. a number of wins in 2013, or any record-breaking performances. Naturally, there might be a one or two people that we’ve missed along the way. If so, we’re sorry, but we have scouted the results far and wide and hopefully have included all those that deserve the recognition for their hard work in 2013. We have also added the ‘other’ column if you wish to nominate someone else, however do bear in mind the criteria we’ve outlined – don’t just nominate anyone 🙂

All you need to do is vote for your top male and female runners and we’ll announce the results, along with our International Ultra Runners of the year in a few days, after we’ve all stuffed our faces with turkey and Christmas pudding. Happy Christmas one and all…

The Leading Ladies…

Beth Cardelli: She keeps going from strength to strength this girl. Queen of TNF100 in record time no less, coupled with some very good performances in Europe too in her debut season abroad, including 4th place at the Lavaredo Trail Ultra. She’s only going to get better and better as she mixes it with Europe’s elite ladies over the coming years.

Beth and Brendan dominated TNF100 in 2013
Beth and Brendan dominated TNF100 in 2013

Jess Baker: Has come on leaps and bounds in 2013 and capped it off with a stunning record-breaking performance at this year’s coast2kosci, breaking the female record and narrowly missing out on a sub 30 in the process. Still, no matter, she’s had a blinding year on the road and trails.

Gill Fowler: For me personally, one of the performances of the year to finish in sixth at UTMB amongst the elite of ladies running in Europe – the highest finish at this race of any Australian athlete. She’s put down a real marker this year and all being well, should carry that form through to 2014.

Cath Todd: Australian Dubai-resident who somewhat under the radar took out the ladies title at Badwater with a cracking sub 30hr run and finished 11th overall in the process. Been around now for a few years and really starting to rack up some great results.

Cath is a Dubai-based Aussie winning Badwater in 2013
Cath is a Dubai-based Aussie winning Badwater in 2013

Shona Stephenson: A mixed year for Shona, but also throwing out some very good results too, including a first place (and third overall) at the Northburn 100 miler, second place at UTMF and a 3rd at TNF100.

Steph Gaskell: The lady from South Australia focuses more so on the ‘shorter’ ultra events, but has shown some great pedigree this year to win the Tarawera 60km, along with the Yurrebilla 56kms, as well as a second place at Maroondah Dam. Solid year and more expected from her in 2014.

Nikki Wynd: Certainly the best female ultra runner over the longer stuff in 2012, and another cracking year for Nikki this year too, with three wins from a very hectic race schedule. Those include wining the Glasshouse 100 miler, Mansfield to Buller and Kuranda to Port Douglas (third overall). She also finished second at the GNW 100 miler as well as the Alice Springs Ultra. Solid, solid year yet again.


The Macho Men…

Brendan Davies: He’s had quite a good year hasn’t he? For many, the highlight will be his breaking of Kilian’s record at TNF100 back in May, a quite remarkable feat. However for me personally, Brendan’s run at UTMF where he finished 5th and within an hour of some really hardcore mountain goats from Europe was the one that stuck out.

Ewan Horsburgh: Not only is he a member of the Aussie 24hr track team, but just recently, Ewan broke the (quite) longstanding Coast2Kosci record by a mere 5 mins. What made this run quite amazing was that it was his hat-trick of wins at what I think is one of the toughest races going. Coupled with this, he took out the win at the inaugural WTF 100 miler in WA too. Fine athlete, great guy.

Ewan scored a hat-trick of wins at C2K this year
Ewan scored a hat-trick of wins at C2K this year

Kevin Muller: Many of you outside of Victoria will be saying ‘Kevin who?’ But a quick look at the 2013 ultra running stats tells you quite a remarkable story for Kevin in 2013.

He is currently ranked number one in the world over the 48hr track distance in 2013, knocking up a mighty 407kms. Not only this, but in 2013 he’s currently the fastest man (and second fastest) in Australia over 100 miles (15:40 & 15:46); he’s also run the furthest in 24hrs in Australia (234kms); is the quickest man over 200kms (19:53) and holds the top two distances for 6hrs at 75.9 and 75.4kms respectively. Quite a year on the track for Kevin.

Ben Duffus: Ben’s capped off a great year with a win recently down at the Surf Coast Century in record-breaking time, beating some quality opposition as well as a few wins over the ‘shorter’ ultra distances. Not only this, but he finished in a very credible 7th in 10:22 at this year’s TNF100. I remember seeing Ben cross the line and thought to myself future TNF100 winner… watch this space.

Marty Dent: Some may say it’s premature to see the likes of Marty featured in our Ultra Runner of the Year comp. Maybe so, but the fact is that Marty smashed the long-standing Kepler Challenge record over in New Zealand recently, beating the likes of Vajin Armstrong by nearly 20 mins. Class. I cannot wait to see him enter 6ft track and Bogong to Hotham. Surely he’s going to have a crack at Andy Kromar’s now 17yr old record, which no-one has got anywhere near. Hint, hint… Marty 🙂

Mal Gamble: Personally I have a lot of time for this guy, and after years of trying his hand at track racing, 2013 really was his coming of age party year. Mal and Kevin pretty much dominated the 12 and 24hr track season and it culminated in Mal being the top Aussie runner at the World Champs over in Holland earlier this year, recording a cracking distance of 231.8kms. Well done mate. Well-deserved.

Blake Hose: I don’t know too much about this guy, but what I do know is that he won the GOW100kms in 9:28 and also the Wilson’s Prom 60kms too. Seems quite a talent – one to watch.

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I'm a mediocre runner who can bat above his average when I train hard. A man of extremes, I do enjoy everything life offers and consider it an absolute pleasure just to be able to put one foot in front of the other and let my mind wander somewhere different.

9 thoughts on “Australian Ultra Runners of the Year

  1. Some good selections in there boys. But yes it would have been hard to narrow to such a small group given the plethora of good results from around the country. A few missing for sure but none the less good work

    1. Yep… It’s a tough gig doing this one Caine 🙂 never going to please everyone, just hope to get a rounded and fair perspective. After all, it’s not like we’re trying to solve world peace here 🙂

  2. Hi Guys
    Just want to leave my vote for the Aussie ultrarunners of the year ? how do I do that without having to engage with fbook or twitter? Ta

    1. Hi Nicola, no need to use FB or Twitter, the voting panel on this post is set up so that you tick the box of the person you wish to vote for then press the big vote button down at the bottom of each panel. Any other issues, just give us a shout 🙂 Dan

  3. Second that Phil Murphy…Matt Cooper and Gill Fowler by a country mile…their performances in the toughest European Ultra’s was just outstanding…

  4. Tough choice to single one out from both lists. Highlights the current strength of aussie ultrarunning. Dan, your lack of information on Blake is understandable but I can reassure you that he does belong here. His win at GOW100s was a calculated effort running down an in form Stu Gibson with a measured maturity belying his youth that saw him finish 1.5hrs ahead of second place! Brendan has raced everything, everywhere and stamped his authority locally and abroad. Kev has excelled and beyond his track performances he has run some handy trail races this year. Mal is a gentleman and a scholar and has travelled far and wide racking up solid performances. I witnessed Ewan’s win at C2K this year, a true class performance. I am looking forward to seeing Ben at Bogong in a stacked field. And how good would it be to get Marty there as well to back-up from Kepler!
    I have no idea where to start with the women. I was privileged to be at the finish line of C2K when Jess triumphed. I saw Nikki soon after her finish at GNW after a gutsy performance. Beth and Gill’s successes in Europe stand out and I can’t wait to see them at B2H along with Steph. I might just close my eyes and point!

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