Two very different races, in two different countries but one big thing in common, both run around in circles. Just the small matter of around 10,000m worth of elevation change in one over the other.
Starting at home in our nation’s capital, Canberra we saw the second running of the CBR48hr race, which also incorporated a number of other races too. In the main event, the field was small but perfectly formed with a number of top guns aiming to stake a claim for glory.
The big gun in the field was Mick Thwaites, who ran 413kms at this very event last year and judging by his opening 100kms, which he completed in 8hrs 45 mins, it was clear he was after Sensai Fryer’s run of 433kms recorded at Surges in France a few years ago.
All was traveling well for Mick, who moved to 225kms in 24hours and well on course for a 430km+ distance. However the hard yards were only just beginning as things took a bit of a u-turn and Mick’s paced slowed considerably, leaving him with a still outstanding total of 404kms in 48hrs and clearing the 400km mark for the second time.
In the ladies event, Susan Keith, normally known for her mountain goat prowess was taking her chances on the flatter tracks. Starting extremely steadily, Susan moved through the field to finish on a total of 316kms and third overall.
In the 24hr event, Kevin Muller produced another solid and consistent performance to finish on 227kms, while Sharon Sholtz recorded 206kms to win the ladies. In the 12hr race, Queenslander Matthew Eckford won with 134kms while Tia Jones was second overall and first female with a cracking 128kms.
Over the ditch to New Zealand for a very different kind of race, but still consisting of loops, just three very very big ones with lots of climbing and descending involved.
In somewhat rare, perfect conditions, Martin Kern took out the line honours as predicted in a time of 21:52. The times were quick all round with Sydney’s Ben Blackshaw recording a fantastic time of 22:45 and Dunedin’s Chris Bisley finishing third in 23:15, this after leading for a while and taking a massive wrong turn we hear.
In the ladies, Jean Beaumont continued her dominance of this event to make it four wins from four starts, recording a time of 25:09. In the 100km event, Jess Carroll was the winner outright win a time of 13:23, with Steve Pemberton in second and overall male winner in a time of 14:08. In the 50km, Weston Hill won in a smoking time of 4:57, which if you’ve ever run the first loop at Northburn will know that a sub 5hr 50km time is seriously moving. Penelope Spencer was third overall and ladies winner in 6:06.