The race with the best name in Australia, the WTF (Waterous Trail on Foot), the original WA Miler gets underway this Saturday! Here’s race director, Dave Kennedy takes us through the potential podium placers for both the 100 and 50 mile races.
In its 6th year the race has a record field.
In the ladies WTF miler, course record holder Margie Hadley is too fresh off the World 100k to do too much damage but she loves this race and should sneak a podium.
Jen Millum has improved out of site in the last 18 months and is the pick for the win. Training with perennial Australian 24hour rep Mick Francis has brought new pace to her outstanding endurance. I think it will be too hot for her to challenge the record but if the showers arrive early afternoon it could be just the boost required.
Angelique Praire is visiting from Noumea and has more experience than probably anyone in the field. The warm weather shouldn’t worry her and the tougher it is the closer I expect her to be to the front.
In the men’s WTF miler, Stephen Redfern has made the flight over the Nullarbor and is raging favourite. However there are a bunch of quality runners waiting in the wings should he falter.
Shaun Kaesler doesn’t race often and a poor race is even rarer. I expect him to be charging hard for a sub 19 hour early Sunday morning.
Richard Avery (7:35-100k runner) has an unenviable record at WTF with 2 DNFs and a DNS the last 3 years. Despite having his best performances on road/track he is a kiwi and the trails run through his veins. He could win the whole darn thing.
In the WTF 50 mile ‘Fun Run’, Gerry Hill is race favourite after three wins in the 6 Inch Trail Marathon on the same trail. This is a big step up in distance for him but the man has speed to burn with a 3k PB around 8:40.
If Gerry struggles over the extra distance Alex Keys is the likely winner. First place in the Trails and Ales 100K shows he is up for the distance and he’s expected to go sub 7:30.
The final place on the dias will be a good natured battle between Chris Lark and Andrew McLeish.
The women’s WTF 50 miler is Crystal Shiu followed by best guess for 2nd and 3rd. Dave reckons Jo D’Arcy and Michelle Brown will be in with a shout, but with many of the girls on debut it is hard to predict.
The weather forecast is fine and 24C max very similar to the weather when Ewan Horsburg set the men’s 100 record in 2013. Josh Garrett and Nikki Wynd’s short course records were set in torrential rain in 2014 and likely to last at least another year.