Finally, we head back to Ultra168 home land and the GNW100s as part of our race preview for this week. The GNW100s holds a special place in Ultra168 hearts as the trail is where this website was born, when a few mates decided to get together and write a blog about their runs.
After a few months, we decided that was boring and that people would want to read about other stuff, and hence Ultra168 was born. I could even tell you the exact point on the course that the decision was made that day back in June 2011. It was between Checkpoints two (Congewai Public School) and three (the basin) just before your crossed Cross Pig and Sow Ridge Road around 78kms into the race. Have fun as you run through there on Saturday.
Back to the job in hand though and the scores on the doors for this Saturday. Who’s in it to win it for the 100 miler and 100km events?
As always, we’ll kick off with the ladies in the 100 miler and there are a few names that will make for a competitive race. The first on that list is Meredith Quinlan, a runner of great pedigree and who was smashing the ultra scene a few years back. Injuries have played an unfortunate role in her sporting career in the last few years, but it’s great to see her back again in this race. She’ll be the first to downplay her chances, writing herself off as not having trained much. Mot training much for her is only 160kms a week 🙂 Expect her to be right up there.
Hoping to give Meredith a run for her money will be the Sabina Hamety who has a string of ultras to her name, including a 32.5hr Coast2Kosci. Certainly a runner that for whom the longer the race goes on the better. Then there’s Sonia McDermott who scored a 12:22 time at TNF100, proving she’s got the pace and the climbing legs – but GNW100 miler will be a whole new kettle of fish!
Watch out also for Lise Lafferty, winner of the recent Centennial Park Ultra 100kms in 9.5hrs.
In the mens race and there are a few battles upfront that should provide tasty viewing!
First up is Ben Blackshaw. In short, this guy is a bit of a weapon, having finishing just outside the top ten at TNF this year in a very handy time of 10hrs 51mins, as well as winning the Glasshouse 100 last year in a shade over 18hrs. He’s a guy on the rise and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his name on the winner’s trophy come Sunday morning.
Battling against him however will be Jo Blake, Aussie 24hr rep and general all-round Aussie running legend. This guy’s done it all and is a former C2K winner. He knows how to go the distance and while he specialises more in the road/track ultras, he’ll be right up there for this one too.
A bit of a wildcard here is Levi Martin – he hasn’t run GNW for three years now, but when he did, he smashed a sub 24hr out of the park. If he’s in form, he’s going to rock the GNW world come Saturday.
And finally, we turn our heads to Clark McClymont who seems to be peaking just at the right time too. He’s recently returned from Europe and running in one of the world’s toughest races, KIMA, where he scored a very credible top 20 placing against the likes of Kilian Jornet. Clarke is the current GNW100km record holder, lives in the area and this is effectively his backyard. He’ll be right up there too.
In the 100kms event, one of the leading contender on paper appears to be Matty Abel who should dip around sub 11hrs for this course if he’s in the right form. Clarke’s better half, Tiffany is also running in the 100kms, don’t discount her from an overall podium placing, she’s got gas to burn. Wayne Calvert looks like another strong contender having cracked out 119kms at the Adelaide 12hr recently.
Watch out for Mark Lee, top ten finisher at Buffalo Stampede as well as sixth at 6ft track this year too – if he’s in form, he’ll be targeting Clarke’s course record of 9:58 – because when it’s local, it matters!
As always, we might not have covered everyone, but we sure as hell try our best to get the main contenders on the list. Best of luck everyone running this weekend and if you’re running the 100 miler, just think about the beach and that special yellow pole at the end of the race.