This Saturday sees the second running of the CBR100, but probably the first year that the race has been properly geared towards ultra runners. With over 1,000 runners across solo and team events, it’s proving to be one of Canberra’s premier 100km events to complete some of the other cracking races that take place in our nation’s capital. When you consider that UTA100 started with just 138 runners in it’s first year, the signs are good that trail running is on the up in Canberra.
But if you’re Interstate and never run some of the trails around Canberra then I can highly recommend it as there are some cracking routes and of course. The Alpine Walking Track starts/finishes up there too, depending up the direction that you’re headed in.
The course is highly accessible to spectators and families, weaving in and out of the Canberra bush, as well as passing through some of the capital’s most famous landmarks. If you’re looking for a nice introduction to the 100km world, then you could do very well but entering this one.
Last year, Canberra speedster, Paul Cuthbert won the race in a blistering 9hrs or so, which tells you this is a fast course, similar to the likes of Glasshouse and the Surf Coast Century. Indeed, it’s very much this latter race that I would liken the CBR100 too.
This year there’s some good competition up at the front of the field too, so we’ll give you a quick run down of some people to look out for if you’re following this one. Thanks also to Tom Brazier, who’s closely connected to the event and who helped out with this preview.
Andrew Donaldson is a name ultra runners will recognise and has a good number of wins under the belt, particularly in the longer stuff where he’s won the Hume and Hovell 100kms as well as the You Yangs 100 miler last year. As Tom so aptly puts, ‘He’s a tough guy who paces himself perfectly for a strong finish. He’s also run a 24:30 GNW 100 miler, which as anyone will tell you, around 24hrs is very good going for that race.
Hot on his heels will be Ben Grimshaw, who was second to Andrew at Hume and Hovell last year and also finished 3rd at Alpine Challenge 100km in 2015. As Tom says, ‘he’s known for pretty heavy training volume”, so you know he’ll have put the effort in for a fast one here.
In the ladies, we fancy Pam Muston to take this one out and she’s had a very solid start to the year. This type of course will suit her down to the ground as she generally races road or flatter trails. So far this year, Pam’s won the Narrabeen Allnighter, clocking up 109kms in the 12 hours and last year she came second in the Ned Kelly Chase (another road 100kms) and the Sri Chinmoy 101kms in Canberra too. Pam’s also got a Badwater finish to her name and numerous other 100 mile races including the likes of Glasshouse.
Bronti Ness is a name a few might remember from a few years back where she ran 1st junior female at TNF100 back in 2012 in a very respectable 12:30 to finish fifth that day. She then also ran fifth at the Surf Coast Century that year too, but has since not been around too much. We hear that she’s not fully 100%, but great to see her racing again and when fit would certainly challenge for the line honours here.
All the best to everyone running on Saturday and certainly keep this on in mind if you’re looking for a nice, fast flat 100kms in the future!