• Yurrebilla Ultra, SA

  • WTF, WA

  • Brisbane Track Ultra, Qld

  • Sri Chinmoy Trail Ultra, ACT

This weekend (Sept 23 and 24) showcased an array of events, including the AURA National Short Course Trails Championships, that truly tested AURA members and they all did their finest with determination and hard work paying off.

Kicking off in SA, the Yurrebilla 56km Ultra Marathon, which doubled as the AURA National Short Course Trails Championship for 2017, was held on Sunday and out of 428 participants, 13 were AURA starters. The overall first place winner with a time of 4:56:56 was AURA’s very own Andrew Hough who kept a steady pace throughout his run, and led second place getter David Turnbull by just over 7 minutes.

Congratulations also goes out to members Damon Whish-Wilson, Stuart Hughes, Dej Jamieson, Barry McBride, Robbie Wicksham, Gayle Cowling, Wendy Lines, Cherie Rothery, Karen Beck-Treloar, Rebecca Taipari and David Bailey who crossed the finished line.

The early hours of Saturday morning started with WA’s Waterous Trail on Foot (WTF 50 and 100 Miler) just south of Perth, with a total of 26 participants in the 50mi and 25 for the 100mi – and cold conditions with rain.

In the 100mi, celebrations were abound with AURA member Margaret Hadley setting a new course record as the first woman to complete WTF in under 20 hours. Her finishing time, at 19:57:14, proved her one of the strongest contenders as she remained the only female to complete the distance at the weekend, and achieved second placing overall.

In the men’s 100mi division AURA’s Andrew Poli made an outstanding debut in WTF, claiming second with a time of 20:44:51. The win was taken by Keith Holt in 19:11:59 and AURA congratulates all its members who participated in WTF including Nathan Fawkes, Glen Smetherham, Simon Bonnick, and Bill Thompson.

The 50mi wins went to Ben Harris and Martine Neild.

In Qld, the Brisbane Track Ultra from Saturday through to Sunday saw hot conditions with temperatures reaching well above 30 degrees. Women took the top three overall in the 24hr and they were all AURA members – Isobel Ross (198.740kms), Annabel Hepworth (175.029kms) and Sabina Hamaty (172.157kms). Special mention to AURA’s Hayley Farry who claimed fourth for the women with 146.737kms.

For the men, AURA members Carl Schodde and Tony Wilms took second (145.490kms) and fourth (103.200kms) respectively, following Matt Fitzgerald’s first placing with a distance of 169.435kms.

It was an AURA podium finish for the 12hr too with all three spots going to members – Barry Loveday (123.206kms), Gregory Ponych (119.345kms) and Cameron Gillies (115.405kms). Member Cheryl Symons won second in the women’s 12hr with 85.703kms.

The 6hr division was just as exciting as we saw member Kevin Muller take home the win (70.260kms) and for the women it was a second placing for Nikki Wynd (49.408kms) and third to Cassie Smith (37.709kms).

In the Sri Chinmoy Canberra 104kms trail ultra, there were 28 starters in the solo division with just one DNF. Three AURA members took to the race and congratulations go out to Stephen Kiley who placed 12th overall, Colin Wiley who took 16th overall but second in his age category (50-59 males), and Pam Muston who placed second female with a time of 13:51:04.

Pictured: Nathan Fawkes took the lead for the first half of the WTF 100mi. Photograph – Kate Dzienis.