One of the last big races of the year is the Coast to Kosciuszko (C2K), all 240kms of it from that little beach in Eden, right to the top of the highest point in Australia, Mount Kosciuszko. Limited to a select number of guys and gals, this race sees many of the same faces, year in, year out turning up for their annual trek in one of Australia’s most iconic ultras.
So who’s in with a shout in this year’s race?
C2K Les femmes
We’ll begin with the ladies and number one on the race sheet is C2K first timer, Jeri Chua from Singapore. No stranger to the mega-long stuff, Jeri has some serious race credentials under her belt, namely Tour des Gents, the Hardcore One Hundred and the Coast 2 Coast 444. Going the distance won’t be any issue for Jeri, it’s a matter of where she’ll end up on the placings, with two wins from two races already this year.
British Aussie resident, Katy Anderson looks a good shout, with wins already this year at the Carcoar Cup and the Sri Chinmoy Canberra Centenary 104 km Trail Run. She has plenty of big race experience too, having run the Leadville 100 miler and Western States last year too.
A former winner of this race, Sabina Hamety makes a welcome return form that win in 2015. With a big focus on track ultras in 2017, Sabina has been on the podium of all three of her races in 2017 thus far, which includes the Brisbane track ultra, the Canberra 48hr and the Narrabeen Allnighter (12hr).
Finally, two very well-known names at C2K are ACT runner, Kerrie Bremner and Pam Muston. Kerrie’s had a quiet 2017, but in 2016 won the Kaohsiung 24h Track UltraMarathon, the Canberra 6hr Race and was second at the Australia Day Ultra 100 Km.
Pam’s had a solid 2017 with second places at the Sri Chinmoy Canberra Centenary 104 km Trail Run and the You Yangs 100 miler. She also finished third at Gold Coast 100 km Super Marathon and was fourth at Bogong to Hotham, right at the start of this year.
C2K Les hommes
In the men’s race, there are probably two clear favourites from the rest of the pack, those being Mick Thwaites and Kevin Muller.
Mick has already had a bumper of year in 2017, which started with another incredible 400km+ haul at the Canberra 48hr track race. That distance ranks him third in the global rankings for 48hr racing in 2017. Mick then shifted focus to a few shorter trail ultras, namely the Glasshouse 50kms, the Wild Goose Chase and the Berry Long run, each of which he scored either a win or podium. And then just a few months ago, Mick realised a dream of running Spartathlon, which while it didn’t go to plan, saw him finish under incredibly tough circumstances – a result I’m sure he’s very proud of.
Mick will start as a strong favourite here given his pedigree, but the likes of Kevin Muller will be there to push Mick all the way. Another former winner of this race, which he achieved last year after a string of podiums in previous years, Kevin has had another bumper year of ultra performances. This includes, second at the 6h Coburg Harriers Carnival, a win at the Canberra 24hr ultra, a joint win at the Down Under 135 miler, a win at the WA 24hr track ultra, second at the Glasshouse 50km, and further wins at the Brisbane track ultra and Nerang 100 miler.
It’s going to be mighty close between these two fine gentlemen.
Justin Scholtz and John Pearson are two other well-known track runners with great pedigree at this race, the latter a winner in 2015 and coupled with a few podiums this year at the 6hr Caboolture Historical Village Dusk to Dawn and Canberra 12hr track ultra too.
Justin’s focused a fair bit of his training on race walking this year, cracking I believe 200km+ in one event, so expect him to feature very strongly in the latter stages of this race too, when the quick paced walking will be a massive asset. Don’t be fooled by the walking though, Justin still has plenty of pace too, scoring a top twenty position in the very competitive Two Bays 56km ultra earlier this year too.
Look out also for:
- David Turnbull: 1st SA 100 track champs 2017, 2nd Yurrebilla 56km ultra 2017, 2nd Heysen 105km 2016
- Penbin Chen from China who grabbed fourth at C2K last year. He’s back for another crack and possible podium.
- Cameron Gillies: 2nd Ned Kelly Chase 50km 2017, 2nd Canberra 24hr track ultra 2017.
Good luck to all runners and crew out there this Friday and over the weekend.