Every year, AURA asks for its members to put their hands up to represent the organisation in their respective states. This year, we have a plethora of amazing talent to showcase AURA across the country and we wanted you all to get to know who your State Representatives are. State-by-state, please welcome your new reps for the 2021-22 ultra season.
Jane is an anaesthetic nurse living on the Northern Beaches of Sydney with her husband of 36 years. They have 3 adult kids and ‘almost’ 4 grandchildren. Jane was the first woman to run across the Simpson Desert, where in 2012 she did it in 10 days and logged 664kms. She also ran solo and unsupported from Canterbury, UK to Rome, Italy in 2014, successfully completing 2300kms in 40 days; Jane ran 700km across the Gibb River Road in 11 days (2013); and she also ran unsupported in 2015 across the 88 Temples of Shikoku, Japan which saw her do 1200kms in 17 days. Altogether, Jane has run over 450 marathons and ultramarathons including more than 25x 100km events, 10x 100 milers (161kms), and 9x Coast 2 Kosciuszko finishes.
Ben has been running since he was 8 years old and completed his first half marathon at the age of 15 (Woodford to Glenbrook, 1990). He then moved onto Olympic distance triathlons throughout his teens but it wasn’t until 2008 that he started to get significant training with a mix of triathlon and running. Ben has since completed events including the 6 Foot Track, Mt Solitary Ultra, Sydney Oxfam, Wild Endurance 100, TNF/UTA100, GNW 100m and Ironman Australia. He has gained great joy in creating opportunities for the love of running to be shared with others through the Blue Mountains Marathon Clinic and Running Wild NSW.
Kevin has been running ultras for about 15 years after competing in Ironman races. He originally took up ultra marathons thanks to friend Paul Every, who was the original race director for the Coast 2 Kosciuszko with his partner Diane. Kevin is the only person to have completed 12x C2K races and all of the official C2Ks, which is an honour. He has also completed 13x 6 Foot Track races in the Blue Mountains and his longest event to date is the 6 Day in Adelaide when he successfully ran 719km and came 2nd. Overall, Kevin has done 79x ultra marathons, 72x marathons, 5x Ironmans, and multiple shorter distance races. He loves that AURA is so inclusive of those not-so-fast runners.
Julia has a special place in her heart for ultra running, always putting in the extra effort to make participants smile or laugh with her creative costumes at almost every event she attends. Hailing from WA, Julia started in long distance in 2018 and since then has gone on to race in multiple ultras. She’s excited about the year ahead representing WA as a state rep, and contributing her time to the sport.
John has been competing in ultras for over 20 years, and has made 11 appearances for the Australian team at the 24 hour distance, being named team captain on 4 of those occasions. John served as AURA vice president for 2 years (2014 and 2015) and is now a running coach with a passion for helping others achieve their own personal goals and aspirations.
Hailing from sunny Qld, Dan started running ultras in 2015 and hasn’t looked back since. More comfortable racing at track events, he occasionally ventures out to the trails. In 2019, Dan represented Australia at the World 24 Hour Championships and was later named the 2019 Young Male Ultra Runner of the Year – his 2nd time receiving the accolade. Most recently Dan took 2nd Male at the Southern Sydney 24 Hour with a total of 237km.
Matthew is a former Australian race walking champion who made the shift into ultra running in 2018 after an injury. He is the co-founder of the ULTRA Mediocre Runners of Canberra and an organiser of the GUMBY (Great ULTRA Mediocre Back Yarder).
Martin has been active in the sport of ultra running for more than 20 years and is known for his passion and knowledge when it comes to all forms of running including track, trail and road. He has deep rooted experience as a competitor, race timer, race director, course designer and volunteer. Martin has been a member of AURA for almost 25 years, inspired in the mid 1990s by the incredible stories of ultra endurance achievements that he read in the AURA magazine. His first ultra was the 6 Foot Track in 1997 and he has since completed more than 100 ultras ranging from 4 hours to 43 days in duration and from 45km to 2800km in distance.
Allicia first experienced the vibe of AURA during a 48hr run in Canberra early in 2021 and decided right then and there she wanted to be a part of it all, so now has put her hand up as a state representative to get more involved and encourage others to get into ultra running. Allicia has always loved to run, and her favourite distance is the 100km where she says ‘it’s long enough to question why on earth you’re doing it but also long enough to feel that runner’s high when you cross the finish line.’ She is looking forward to what the following 12 months can bring for both AURA and herself.
Before running, Isobel used to race mountain bikes, but following a fall where she fractured a vertebra and dislocated her hips, she stopped the sport. She then had children and gave body building a go while they were little, however Isobel found the lifestyle was too difficult and took up running to stay fit. She lived in the bush so ran mostly on trails and then decided to train for her first marathon. Like many beginners, she did too much too soon and ended up with an injury. Learning a lot from that and a few years down the track, Isobel started training again, aiming for a sub-3 hour marathon as a B race and won the 6 Foot Track Marathon. This allowed Isobel to represent Australia at the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships. She represented Australia 3 times, and has also run 24 hours on track, clocking up 198.74km in her one and only attempt. Isobel is a qualified personal trainer and a certified running and ultra running coach.
George started running 10 years ago and wanted to complete a marathon, but he got mixed up with the wrong crowd and ended up jumping into ultras after only 6 months. He discovered parkrun and also loved to combine travelling with running – and that’s how he has found himself here today as a state representative for AURA. His biggest achievements have been coming back from a DNF at Coast 2 Kosciuszko in 2015 to a good finish of 35:37 in 2016, and then a stronger finish of 32:30 in 2017. In 2018 he became the 14th Aussie to complete Spartathlon, having only 5 minutes to spare from the final cut off while running through a cyclone. He then completed the Tahoe 200 miler in 2019 finishing in 79 hours and in 33rd place. Having finished more than 40 ultras, George can’t imagine weekends without a running adventure.
Nikki has raced at the highest level both locally and internationally over the last decade. She is the first Australian female to win the prestigious Badwater 135 (217km) ultra marathon through Death Valley, a race considered to be one of the top 10 toughest ultra events in the world – she finished 4th outright. Nikki has represented Australia five times in 24hr racing and twice in the 100km. She set an Australian and ‘All Comers’ record running 343km in 48hrs at the Australian 48hr Track Championships and finished the year in 2016 by winning the Asian Oceania 24hr Championship in Taipei with 209km. She has finished Coast 2 Kosciuszko 3x, Gold Coast 100, GNW Miler and the Glasshouse Mile, UTA, Surf Coast Century amongst other races.
Donna started her ultra journey in triathlon and adventure racing, with highlights including participating in the World Ironman Triathlon Championships in Hawaii. After having a baby with husband Rhys back in 2012, she found it difficult to train for sports but discovered how easy it was to put on a pair of running shoes and get out the door for a walk or run. She signed up for her first ultra a year later, the 50km North Face, and has been hooked on long distance ever since. She has completed the Coast 2 Kosciuszko 240km and discovered her love for 24hr track events; with multiple totals over 200km and a PB of 121km at the 2019 Sydney 24hr Race, she represented Australia at the 2018 Asian/Oceania and 2019 World 24hr Championships where she was 2nd and 1st Female.
Since racing in his first marathon back in Sydney 2003, John couldn’t resist signing up again and again in the never ending quest to improve his time and eventually moved into the trail scene with 100km and 100 miler events. Looking back now, John is grateful to have been able to travel to beautiful spots around the world for events including the UTMB, UTMF, Tarawera and Reunion Island. In Sydney 2016, he discovered 24hr track racing and in 2018 at the Adelaide 24hr he won the National Championships with 245km and qualified for the national team, which allowed him to represent Australia at the 2018 Asia Pacific Championships and 2019 World Championships with friends and legends of the discipline. John says AURA has always provided him with a wealth of support through its network and as part of the Aussie team; he is now looking forward to being a part of the state representative team in Vic.
Beck is the founder and owner of Adelaide’s trail store BKT-Trail. She loves ultra and adventure, having completed the Patagonia Run, Western States and UTMB all in one year, the Triple crown races over 2 years being Tahoe 200m, Bigfoot 200m and Moab 240m and iconic multi-stage races the Marathon Des Sables and the Jungle Marathon in Brazil. Through her store, Beck endeavours to encourage people to embrace their trail run journey and to seek out adventure and community through running, hiking and fastpacking ultra distances in beautiful places.
Chris runs Coastal Fun Runs, where has raised over $200,000 for charity. He has personally run 270 official marathons and 10 ultras, coaches footy at the community and volunteers at PAFC. Chris has already represented SA as a state rep for AURA and is doing his best to promote the ultra distance in Australia. He says the trick is to have exciting trail courses and not the usual road marathon course; he ran all his early marathons, including many back-to-back events with no rest between in Vic. Chris has been running seriously for 15 years now.
Amy has been running ultra distances and trail for the best past of the last 16 years and has been fortunate enough to compete in some great events including UTA, Coast 2 Kosciuszko, the Tassie Trail Fest and Buffalo Stampede; Amy was also part of the World Championship team in 2016. She is part of a small running crew in Tasmania called Ultrain, where they organise local events and run tours as well as some ultra distance and trail specific coaching.