The 6 inch trail marathon (47K) takes place this weekend 17 December 2017. From humble beginnings it has matured to become a fantastic race attracting its share of international and interstate entrants. Just one look at the leading contenders shows you the quality that’s on show here this weekend.
On Sunday 0430hrs 300+ runners will again be charging or trudging up Goldmine Hill. This time perhaps under a rainbow of sunrise and a sprinkle of summer rain. The forecast for unseasonably cool conditions may lead to race records for both men and women.
There is a very strong female field this year, including some seriously ‘pacey’ marathon runners. Likely 6 inch trail marathon contenders include:
- Nera Jareb: She is making her trails debut after a 2.45 in the Berlin Marathon this year.
- Emma Pooley: Olympic silver medallist for cycling; winner of 2013 Lausanne marathon in 2.44 in Switzerland. Emma trains in Perth during the English winter and won the Half Marathon in record time here last year. This will be her ultra debut.
- Lauren Shelly: Australian Commonwealth Games and World Championships marathon representative; 2.33 marathoner; 3.48 for 6 inch which is 10minutes quicker than any other female.
- Visnja Jareb: 2.51 marathon runner from 2014. The twin sister of Nera is a fine runner in her own right.
- Kathryn Watt won here in good time in 2015. After a break to have a baby last year she is back in 2017.
- Katherine Stockwell is a regular winner over the shorter distances in the Perth Trail Series. Will be exciting to see how she goes over the 47K.
The 6 inch trail marathon likely lads to be in the top 5 include:
- Scott Hawker: Announced his arrival as a World Class runner at this race 4 years ago beating Brendan Davies and breaking the race record. An 11th in a stacked UTMB field earlier this year and a recent 3rd at Ultra Trail Capetown show his is in fine form.
- Tom Bakowski: Multiple Rottnest Marathon champion on the road, former pro Ironman, and 3rd Aussie at UTA100 in 2015. Tom is a regular on the podium but yet to crack the win here.
- James Roberts: Top 20 at UTA100 this year in 10hours 45minutes, James took it right up to Scott here last year being only 1minute down with 5K to go.
- Justin Kelly: Is a regular just off the podium. The cool conditions will effectively shorten the race and improve his chances.
- Kevin Matthews: 2.41 marathoner and 8x finisher he will be near the front again.
- Shane Johnstone finished 5th last year on debut and will improve his time this year in cool conditions.
- Alex Keys: Tarawera finisher and Australian Rules umpire could surprise here.
- Zac Jeps: Is super quick on the road. On debut on the trails. Certainly, one to watch.
Half Marathon (23K)
This shorter course starts at approximately the halfway point. Possible contenders for the men include:
- Kim Thomas: 2.43 marathon in Melbourne this year
- Wade Adam: Won the Bibra Lake Half Marathon on the road this year.
- Chris Lark: Won the half last year and knows the course well.
For the women:
- Melina Mellino: Perth Trail Series director is the favourite this year.
- Leah Bryant is one to watch.
- Hard to pick a podium here.
Track runners through http://bluechipresults.com.au/ this Sunday morning from 4:30am WST.