The Perks of the Centenary Trail in Your Backyard

Today we welcome a little guest post from Tom Brazier, well known on the Aussie trail circuit and quite a handy runner too! Tom’s been helping the guys at the CBR100, one of Australia’s newest 100km events that also caters very much for teams and those new to ultra running too. In its first year, the event scored nearly 1,000 people and is set to become even bigger and better this year with a focus on ultra runners looking for a fast 100km time – the winning time last year was from Tom’s mate, Paul Cuthbert who scored a rather rapid 8hrs 17 mins I believe.

Both Tom and Paul will be off on a slightly larger adventure soon in the form of an FKT attempt on the infamous Alpine Walking Track, all 640-odd kms of it – unsupported I might add too! But for now, listen to what Tom has to say about the CBR 100. Also, if you’re an Ultra168 Supporter, you can grab 20% off race entry to this event too – so make sure you grab it while you can.

Canberra may be famous for roundabouts and being the bush capital, but something local runners would add to the list is just how great our city nature reserves and Centenary Trail are for training. Whether you’re preparing for a mountain, ultra or trail event, Canberra is one of the best cities to train in because of the options available.


At lunch you can smash out 200m +/- hill reps on Black Mountain or Mount Ainslie; on the weekend you can travel half an hour south/west and hit up Mt Tennent (northern end of the Australian Alps Walking Track), or the Brindabellas if you are after some longer climbs and steeper terrain.

The beauty of the CBR100 is it showcases our inner city trails and 200m climbs while also taking you past some of our iconic human built landmarks such as Parliament House and the War Memorial.

Who should do the CBR100?

  • First timers looking for a well-supported 25km/50km/100km run as their longest one yet. You will rarely be more than a few minutes from a building or road and will have phone reception throughout the entire race. Aid stations and water drops are spread out evenly and you could even pop into one of the local cafes for a coffee or beer to recharge!
  • Interstate competitors keen for a glimpse of Canberra’s many city-based nature reserves. The CBR100 race loops around and connects some of the best trails, allowing you to glimpse some of our famous cultural and national institutions.
  • Experienced runners looking for a fast trail course. It’s unlikely that you’d manage a distance personal best (PB) on a rugged/hilly/technical course like UTA100 or Alpine Challenge. The CBR100 course has some single track and sharp climbs to keep you entertained, but on the whole it’s a much faster course than many of the more remote ultras, and presents a solid chance to smash your 25km/50km/100km trail PB.

CBR100_2 (1)

What can I expect?

I completed the CBR100 in 2015 in a team of three with uni mates Mel Kitchin and Bronti Ness. It was a different style to most of my races. We stopped at aid stations for little picnics, took photos and indulged in some banter with the support crew.

A few of my work friends completed their first ever 25km or 50km treks, gaining confidence through their training and executing a well-planned pacing strategy on race day.

However, I know the winners of the 50km (George Bunt) and 100km (Paul Cuthbert) events were not so casual, smashing the course in blistering times averaging less than 6min/km.

I love that the CBR100 event provides the opportunity to relax and take in the sights, or to smash yourself and go for a PB – an ideal setting for you to complete or compete!

Key details:

  • March 5–6 2016.
  • Distances of 25km, 50km or 100km. The 50km is a point-to-point course on the second half of the 100km. The 25km and 100km are big loops.
  • Option to compete as an individual or as a team of three: it’s not a relay – you stick together and complete the whole distance as a pack.
  • The course is a mix of fire roads, footpath, single track and occasional grass/road running.
  • It is fully marked course with arrows/tape, regular aid and drink stations.
  • The mandatory kit will fit in a 5–12L backpack.
  • The course is being run in the reverse direction to last year – see the GPS data for 2015 winner Paul Cuthbert.

Where do I sign up?

Go to the CBR100 website to register. Don’t forget to enter your Ultra 168 supporters’ discount if applicable.

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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.

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