Coburg 24hr, Vic
Convicts and Wenches, Tas

Last weekend saw the running of two amazing events – the Coburg 24hr Festival in Vic and Convicts and Wenches over in Tas.

The Coburg 24hr provided a few options for participants with a 24hr run, 24hr walk, 12hr run, 12hr walk, 6hr run and 6hr walk, and fields were strong this year for the race at the Harold Stevens Athletics Track. AURA members represented well in most categories, totalling 22 out of 56 finishers.

Nikki Wynd from Lysterfield, Vic took first female in the 24hr run for the ladies having completed 503 laps of the track, resulting in 201.290kms. Following suit was Cheryl Symons (Murrumbeena, Vic) with 476 laps at 190.580kms and Annabel Hapworth (Annandale, NSW) with 286 laps at 114.457kms.

All three women in the 24hr run category were AURA members.

In the men’s 24hr run,Daragh O’Loughlin from St Kilda, Vic claimed victory with an overall first position, having finished his time with 543 laps at 217.250kms. Second overall was Kay Bretz (Cremorne, NSW) coming in with 531 laps at 212.660kms. Other AURA members also did amazingly well in the warm conditions – Stuart Hughes (182.372kms), Joel Claxton (164.717kms), Oliver Mestdagh (163.032), Philip Balnave (150.206kms), Peter Munns (144.650kms), Stephen Lewis (140.000kms), and Tony Wilms (100.000kms).

The 24hr walk saw 17 competitors and a big congratulations goes out to our AURA members who completed massive distance, including John Timms (118.844kms), Justin Scholz (111.808), and John Kilmartin (81.916kms).

Well-known WA ultra runner Bernadette Benson took out the 12hr run at Coburg, as did Victoria’s Lou Augello, in the women’s division. Benson saw herself pushed to do 202 laps at 83.769kms and Augello completed 145 laps at 60.448kms.

Malcolm Gamble from Mordialloc, Vic claimed first position in the 12hr run for the men, having done 332 laps at 137.763kms, and Ian Hoad rocked second place in the men’s 12hr walk at 61.780kms.

Congratulations also goes to Karen Mickle (Kensington, Vic) who was victorious with a first place finish in the women’s 6hr run after her efforts of 156 laps at 64.838kms.

For the men, Kevin Muller from Upper Kedron, Qld took home the gold with 196 laps and 81.414kms, while Andrew Ross (Prahran, Vic) followed suit in second with 69.046kms. It is believed Muller set a new age group record for the M45 6hr; it was 80.681kms set in 2016. This record is yet to be ratified and confirmed.

Annabel Hapworth, who claimed third in the 24hr women’s run, recalled the conditions of the events and said the later start meant heat only in the last hours of the day.

“It was warm (enough that Kay Bretz took account of the heat early on in what was an extremely disciplined race for a naturally very fast runner), and there was also a bit of a smoke haze,” she mentioned.

“Conditions settled by about 5pm, so people who had been slowed came to life.

“Nikki, Cheryl, myself and others who were on the Canberra 48 would have appreciated that at least it was not the brutal heat we experienced on that event; the later start at Coburg (midday) meant we were again aware of the heat in the last hour or two.”

Sunday saw the running of Convicts and Wenches along the shores of Tasmania, and the event also hosted a number of events, including a 50kms, 25kms, 12kms and 5kms.

AURA member David Bailey from Tollmans Hill, Tas led the way with first place in the 50kms, crossing the finish line in 3:59:16.

Congratulations also goes out to AURA Vice President Alexis Oosterhoff (5:56:51), David Campbell (5:58:10) and Steve Appleby (6:08:04).

With Australians today marking and commemorating Anzac Day, this Saturday sees the Lighthorse Ultra kick off with 12hr, 6hr and 3hr events in Woodvale, WA. The race is held the weekend of Anzac Day and was originally inspired by the sacrifices of those who have and are serving in the armed forces.

Feature Image – David Bailey taking the win in the 50kms event at Convicts and Wenches. Photograph – Supplied/Facebook.
Pictured – Cheryl Symons racing in the 24 hour event at Coburg. Photograph – Jane Sturzaker.