The Surf Coast Century has firmly established itself as one of the biggest 100km races in Australia as over 2,000 runners make their way south for the seventh edition of this race, which starts and finishes in Anglesea. The 100km off-road course takes competitors along the beaches, 4WD tracks and hinterland walking trails in the Anglesea, Torquay and Aireys Inlet areas.
The Surf Coast Century kicks off at 7:30am on Saturday 15th September with a mass start on Anglesea Main Beach and will see over 1,100 runners from around Australia and overseas participate in the 100km and 50km, solo and relay team events.
So who are the leading contenders for the race? Well with such a massive start list, I do hope I’ve managed to pick out a few of the leading favourites for this weekend, but forgive me if a dark horse or two slips under the net!
Ladies Surf Coast Century Contenders
The ladies race looks to be an enticing battle between four quite evenly-talented women.
Deb Nichol loves these types of races, and coming down from Queensland to the cooler climate of the Surf Coast will suit her down to the ground. Deb’s been a stalwart of the ladies ultra running scene here in Australia for many a year now. She will contend for the win here.
Christine Hopkins was on the podium here back in 2016, along with finishing fifth last year as well. She’s also won the Buffalo Stampede ultra back in 2017, along with a second place this year too.
Amy Lamprecht is back for another bash at this race, having last run here in 2015, where she finished second, a position she finished in 2014 as well in a very speedy 9hrs 32mins. Since then she’s kept up the cracking form with a third place at UTA and a second at Cradle Mountain this year too.
Finally, Nikki Wynd is one of our best-known ultra long distance runners. She’s the 2015 Badwater Ultra Marathon champion and current Australian 48 hr Track record Holder with 343km. She’s also captaining our Australian 24hr team this year as well.
Men’s Surf Coast Century Contenders
In the men’s race we have four names who look likely to bid for the top billing:
Ross Hopkins was last year’s winner, finishing in a time of 8hrs 43mins. He’s also finished second (2015) and third (2016) in this race, giving him the complete set! This year, Ross has only raced once, finishing third at the Buffalo Stampede ultra.
Ash Watson looks set to be a real contender for the win with speed to burn. He’s competed for Australia twice as a junior in the World XC championships and World Mountain Running Championships. He also has a marathon PB of 2:24 and ran his first ultra marathon last year at Comrades, finishing in 25th position in a time of 6:06.
David Eadie is another winner of this race, coming in joint first with Brendan Davies in 2014. Although the elder statesman of the contenders, Dave always seems to turn it on for this race, so expect him to be up there.
Andy Turner finished fourth in this race last year and warmed up for this with a cracking second place at the Berry Long Run just over a month ago.
Other men to look out for include Ewan Horsburgh and James Roberts too. Both highly capable of top five finishes.
Best of luck to everyone racing this weekend!