After the shenanigans of last weekend in NSW and QLS, we move south of the border into Mexico as I know some fondly call it, otherwise known as Victoria for the Surf Coast Century 100km and 50km races. There are team events too, but for the purposes of this preview we’ll be focusing our attentions on the solo events and there’s some good talent lined up once again for this one.
I ran the 50kms last year and had a ball running along the beaches first thing in the morning, before heading inland for the remaining 30kms or so. One day, I do hope to have a crack at a fast 100kms down here too.
Surf Coast Century 100kms
We’ll begin with the 100kms and last year’s winner for the ladies, Kellie Emmerson is back to defend her crown, as well as the title of Aussie 100km trail champ. Kellie has had an outstanding couple of years and is clearly one of our leading ladies on the trails right now, backing up her strong performances at home, with credible results overseas too.
She ran a smoking 9hrs 29mins last year and I’m sure her goal will be to go a little better this year and improve upon that time. This year she’s had a podium at the hotly contested Two Bays 56ks trail run, won Maroondah Dam, as well as finishing inside the top twenty at the IAU World Trail Champs in Annecy. She’s improving as a runner and it would be a strong person to bet against her taking this one out again, possibly even an outright podium if things go her way.
Chasing her tail is Amy Lamprecht from Tasmania who finished second to Kellie last year. Amy led for much of last year’s race, before being overhauled by Kellie in the latter stages, losing by just three minutes. One can’t help thinking that another year on and a little more course knowledge, the battle between these two quite equally matched runners will be fierce. Amy has had an equally strong year, finishing second to Gill Fowler at Cradle Mountain back in January, along with winning the Convict and Wenches 50kms in March. She finished a credible 12th at the Buffalo Stampede too.
In the mens, local Melbourne man Paul Munro is expected to finish on the podium again this year, having finished third last year. Paul is in good nick, having won the recent Run Larapinta Stage Race in Alice Springs as well as a strong showing at Ultra-Trail Australia (UTA) too with a 12:20 performance.
However, I’m picking Mat Dore for the win here after he too had a very good outing at UTA with an 11:02 run in what was a deep field. He also finished eighth at Two Bays, which again has a traditionally strong field. Mat has a good head on him for the long stuff and I think he’ll pip the post for this one. Watch out too for Ross Hopkins. He finished fifth here last year but appears to have stepped it up a notch in 2015. He finished a strong eighth at the Buffalo Stampede, along with third at the Mount Buller Sky Run.
Surf Coast 50kms
Moving onto the 50kms and I think there’s only one name I need to mention – Hanny Allston. No need to talk about female or male winner – Hanny will win outright if she’s come to race. She appears to have hit her groove recently under the guidance of coach James Kuegler.
Good luck to all runners this weekend, around 800 of you I believe.