This weekend, one of Australia’s toughest ultras takes place, the Hounslow Classic. There are two races, the 68km ultra and the 21km ‘half’. Our attention today focuses on the big Daddy of the two races, the ultra.
The ladies Hounslow race…
Victorian, Katherine Macmillan is probably the leading standout lady for this race. She’s had a cracking year to date, with perhaps the highlight being a brilliant 16th place at the coveted Western States back in June. In addition to this, she’s had wins at Maroondah Dam 50k, the Macedon Ranges 50k and the Surf Coast Wonderfalls run. Katherine also finished fourth at the UTA 100km too earlier this year. It would be a brave person to bet against her for this.
Leading the other ladies for a potential podium are Alessandra Martines and Claire Healy. Alessandra grabbed an 8th place at the Mount Solitary ultra, as well as 11th at the Tarawera 60km this year too.
Claire’s only result this year was a win at the Razorback 64km run down in Victoria. Also keep an eye on Natasha-Jade Michalczyk who finished third at the Cleland 5okm.
The men’s Hounslow race…
Previous winner Loughlinn Kennedy will be aiming to repeat his performance of 2016 with another win. He’s been pretty quiet this year, but last year took the win at the Mount Solitary ultra, as well as a top ten at Six Foot Track.
He’ll be facing some stiff competition though in the form of Mark Green and Marty Keyes particularly. Mark’s had his usual highly solid year of racing, featuring a fourth at UTA100km, second at Mount Solitary Ultra and a third place at Six Foot Track. Marty this year was fourth at Mount Solitary, sixth at Six Foot Track and second at Bogong to Hotham right back in January.
Another Victorian, Ashley Bennett will also likely be in the mix too. Ash mixes it well over the shorter flatter stuff as well as the longer, technical terrain too. This year he finished second at the Two Bays 56km ultra, the same position as last year’s GSER 50 miler as well.
Also in the mix for the mens race will be Canberra runner, Daniel Oehm and Central Coastie, Grant Brisbin. Daniel was 15th at Six Foot Track earlier this year, while Grant has a sub 24 hour GNW to his name as well.
Two other names to keep an eye on for the men’s race include Aussie ultra stalwart, John Winsbury and Nick Clarke.