I’ve been staring at my screen for some time, wondering how to start this post.  The past several weeks have seen most people’s lives turned upside down due to the Corona Virus pandemic. For some, the reduction in social gatherings and restrictions on travel has been an inconvenience, but for many, it has meant the loss of employment and destruction of livelihoods. My heart goes out to all those who face an uncertain future.

Ultra running in Australia has grown at a phemnomenal pace over the last few years. Once a niche sport with just a handful of events organised by small groups of volunteers, we now have hundreds of races throughout Australia each year, run by small volunteer groups, large organisations and small businesses alike. The cancellation (or postponement) of events will have a relatively small financial impact to participants, but for many of those races that we love it may mean a massive financial loss and possibly result in their loss in the future. If you are able, please give thought to supporting your local race directors going forward, and try to remain active in your local running community through social media. More than ever, we will need to support each other’s mental health.

It is going to be hard to maintain fitness, and even harder to commit to training programs or events while the future remains uncertain – nobody knows how long it will take for life to return to normal. I can only hope that you, our members and readers, stay safe and well over the coming months. 

National & International Championship Events

AURA National Championship events will be impacted this year. With the future unknown, if national championship events are cancelled it is unlikely that new arrangements will be made for an alternative. We will continue to support NC events that are rescheduled. Changes at the time of writing are:

  • 48h – the Canberra 48h race has been cancelled.
  • 50km – the Canberra 50km race has been tentatively re-scheduled for August 23.

As for World/Asian Championships, there has been no official statement from the IAU on the cancellation or re-scheduling of these events. However, we believe it to be unlikely they will proceed, as there is too much uncertainty around travel restrictions at this point in time:

  • Asia/Oceana 24h (July 18) in India.
  • World 100km (Sep 12) in The Netherlands.

AURA AGM

The AURA AGM is scheduled for April 28 and will be conducted fully online. Please see the notice here. There are three vacant roles on the committee – President, VP and Treasurer. 

Feel free to reach out to myself or Rob Donkersloot should you be able to help out, even if it’s in a smaller capacity than being on the committee. We are always looking for volunteers to assist in other areas, such as website maintenance and membership management – if individuals are able to help with these, it provides the committee members with more time to focus on other initiatives.

2019 Young Female Ultra Runner of the Year

The AURA Committee would like to announce Stephanie Auston as joint recipient of the 2019 Young Female Runner of the Year. Stephanie had an outstanding year of racing in 2019, including 19th place at the Trail World Championships in June, 1st place at the Brisbane Trail Ultra (60km), Australian Alpine Ascent (50km), Six Foot Track (45km), Snowies Trail Run Festival (50km) and Two Bays (56km), and 2nd place at Tarawera 100km (NZL).

The AURA awards, announced in Feburary, recognise outstanding achievements by our members across a number of categories, with Nicole Vaughan awarded the Young Female Ultra Runner of the Year at the time. Due to an error in the AURA membership database, Stephanie’s membership information was missed during the awards process. A subsequent review identified this error, and the AURA Committee agreed unanimously that Stephanie’s achievements deserved recognition.

This in no way takes away Nicole Vaughan’s achievements in 2019, and we are very pleased to jointly award the 2019 Young Female Runner of the Year to both Nicole and Stephanie.

 

Alexis Oosterhoff
Vice President, AURA