This coming weekend the focus is on Victoria with two very different races taking place the DU135 (Down Under) and Mount Buller Skyrun.
The Down Under 135
First up, is the Down Under 135, which probably rates (alongside GSER100) as one of the hardest races on our calendar. Coming in at 135 miles, the elevation chart can appear misleading, but the terrain by all accounts is pretty unforgiving. Last year, Kevin Muller and John Salter won the event, coming in joint first from a field that only contained four finishers. This is certainly a bit of a brute and with John an Kevin both lining up again this year, it will be interesting to see if they can repeat last year’s performance, or if we’ll see one of them win outright or even a new winner crowned for 2018. Both John and Kevin and known for their longer exploits, with Kevin just completing the CBR48hrs, knocking up an impressive 340km-ish.
While the field is small at the DU135, it’s perfectly formed so here’s a run down of other names to keep an eye on over the course of the race:
Ladies DU135 contenders
Karen Barrett: 6th Buffalo Stampede Ultra SkyMarathon 2017; 5th Blackall 100 2016; 8th Surf Coast Century 50 km 2016
Jennifer Damon: 5th GSER 2017; 10th Buffalo Stampede 2017
Georgette Mungcal: 7th Peaks and Trails 2017; 3rd Macedon Ranges 50km 2016
Natalie Reutter: 4th GSER 100 miler 2017; 8th Northburn 50km 2016
Men DU135 contenders
David Giles: 3 x US 200 milers and C2K in 2017
Richard Gould: 12th Tahoe 200 miler 2017; 1st wtf 100 miler 2016; 3rd Berry Long Run 2016
Mat Grills: 5th Glasshouse 50 Cook’s Tour – 50 Miles 2017; 3rd Glasshouse 100 miler 2016; 3rd Glasshouse 50 Cook’s Tour 2016
Mount Buller Skyrun 45km
Over to the North East of Victoria and to the ski resort of Mount Buller, there’s less snow and more sky in place for the Mount Buller Skyrun, which includes a series of races and for our focus, the 45km event. Perhaps the big name for this is some random lady called Lucy Bartholomew 🙂 She’s been winning and on the podium of quite a few races recently – you may have seen this on the Book of Faces if you follow her 🙂
Others to keep an eye on for podium in the ladies include:
Lucy Carter: 4th B2H 2016; 4th GOW 2015; 1st Berry Long Run 2015
Karen Mickle: 5th Alpine Challenge 50km 2017; 3rd Great Ocean Road International Marathon 2017; 2nd Tarawera 85 km Ultramarathon.
In the men’s race, here’s my pick for the male podium:
Kieran Funk: Top 15, UTA50km 2016; 1st Heysen 57km 2015; 3rd Yurrebilla 2015
Ben Clark: 8th Oscars Hut2Hut 2018; 2nd Maroondah Dam Trail Run 2017; 3rd Mount Buller Skyrun 2017
Stuart Cox: 5th Mount Buller Skyrun 2017; 4th Maroondah Dam Trail Run 2017
All the best to all runners racing this weekend, no matter if it’s 45km or 217km – enjoy your poison!
Feature image: Kevin Muller and John Salter trekking it in together for joint first at the DU135