2021 has been another tough year and a challenge for runners and race directors. It has been great to see the resilience and determination in the running community. There have been a lot of inspiring stories in Ultramag of members’ achievements and adventures around the country.

Our calendar had around 80 races but there was the repeat of last year with a few needing to be rescheduled or cancelled due to state restrictions. Next year’s calendar is shaping up nicely with plenty of opportunities to race multiple distances and terrains.

We introduced the flat $49 per year membership fee to simplify the process and give more value back to the members who sign up for the full year. Hopefully, with a few recurring memberships and attracting new runners with the low cost our member base will keep growing.

A highlight of the year was kicking off our series of webinars covering beginner ultra running and women in ultra running topics. A big thanks to the organisers and panel of speakers who put a lot of time into preparing content, wrangling the technical side of the delivery and then generously giving up their time to take part to share their wisdom and experience. It’s been great to see so many people wanting to give back to the sport and help more people enter the world of ultra running.

We were pleased to be able to announce the events successful in hosting AURA Australian Championships in 2022. This includes the introduction of a 100 Mile Australian Championship for the first time.

The Australian Championships this year are as follows:

  • 50km – Fisiocrem GC50 Run Festival, 4 December 2022
  • 100km – TBC as finalising details
  • 24hr – Southern Sydney 24 Hour Ultra, 3 June 2022
  • 48hr – Sri Chinmoy 48 Hour Track Festival, 25 March 2022
  • Short Trail – Two Bays Trail Run (56km), 16 January 2022
  • Long Trail – Heysen 105 (115km), 22 October 2022
  • 100 Mile – The Glasshouse 100, 10 September 2022

We are hoping next year is a safer one to travel which will allow us to select and send Australian teams to the World and Continental Championships. There will be more info around selection and dates so those interested can plan out their calendar and build ups.

In exciting news, we secured the hosting of a championship event in our own country for the first time. The 2024 Asian and Oceania 24hr Championships are coming to Australia! For the next generation, I hope this provides motivation to work towards the dream of representing your country.

Once the year comes to a close our annual awards will be voted on and decided. It is always an interesting look back on the year and a celebration of our members’ achievements. Last year’s ultra runner of the year performances were weighted heavily in Western Australia as their vibrant race calendar was border protected offering multiple opportunities to race a full season. This year there has been a more balanced mix of states even considering the lockdowns in NSW and Victoria.

A massive thanks from myself and the committee for all the volunteers that have helped keep AURA moving forward and in a good position to keep supporting the ultra running community. Special mention needs to go to 3 retiring volunteers who have put a lot into AURA over the years. Jodie Oborne, Kerrie Bremner and Susannah Harvey-Jamieson have contributed as Australian reps, committee members and also in specialised roles. 

Thanks to Kate for keeping the entertaining and educational stories flowing through Ultramag including this end-of-year special.

Personally, I’d like to say a big thanks to the committee Simone, Matty and Stephen who’s support and commitment keep the AURA wheels turning. The regular committee meetings, daily messages, side phone calls, long run discussions, votes, member management and all the activities you do to keep the association progressing are appreciated.

I hope everyone gets a few long runs in over the break and has a great 2022.

Ewan Horsburgh
AURA President