Elephant Trail Race, NSW
Birdy’s Backyard Ultra (Last One Standing), WA
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Elephant Trail Race, NSW

The Elephant Trail Race was held the weekend of 17-19 July (2020) in Port Macquarie, NSW and offered three ultra distances for participants – a 50kms, 100kms and 160kms.

With a great line up of participants, and ultra runners just raring to go post-COVID, we saw AURA members take to the start line and run some great results.

Starting with the 160kms distance, it was a field of 12 entrants with 6 finishers within cut-off.

For the men, Jochen Hess claimed 1st Male with 33:54:20 whilst AURA’s very own Jeremy Rankin from Normanhurst, the ACT claimed 2nd Male right behind Hess in a time of 35:21:42. Third Male went to Michael Murdoch (37:28:45).

For the women, Maree Connor took the 1st podium finish after crossing the finish line in 33:54:21 and AURA member Renae Brock from Wallsend, NSW held on to claim 2nd Female with a time of 40:22:06 – this was her 2nd ETR.

Brock is also to be congratulated on becoming the ETR’s very first Ambassador for 2021.

In the 100kms event (14 finishers within cut-off) 1st Male went to Aaron Dower (16:08:58) whilst AURA member Sinclair Park from Bellingen, NSW was right behind him on his heels to claim 2nd Male with a finish time of 17:52:05. Third was awarded to Thomas Godfrey (18:40:02).

There was only one entrant for the women’s division – Deborah Castres finished in 28:29:58.

Congratulations to all those who ran in the 50kms, of which there were 83 participants, 80 finishing within cut-off.

Birdy’s Backyard Ultra (Last One Standing), WA

As WA’s first official AURA-listed event of the year, this was an event that was more like a reunion for some of the state’s best ultra runners. Held in Moodiarrup, WA the weekend of 7-9 August (2020) the weather wasn’t exceptional for Birdys Backyard Ultra – in fact, it was windy with a chill factor, so for those finishing the 6.71kms loop and waiting for the next hour to begin may have very well been uncomfortable throughout the weekend.

It took 40 laps, but AURA’s Michael Hooker from East Perth took out the title of Last One Standing, meaning his total distance equalled a finish of 268.40kms – not to mention his lap times were fairly consistent. Lap 40 saw a time of 32:31; Lap 39 was 30:01; Lap 38 totalled 30:57…we could go on, but all 6.71kms loops were less than 33 minutes, and none under 30.

With the different format of all participants DNFing, there were no ‘real’ podium standings with everyone receiving a DNF wooden spoon.

However in the men’s category Phil Gore was right behind Hooker, finishing 39 laps before bowing out, while AURA’s Jon Pendse DNF’d at 31 laps, totalling a distance of 217.27km after going out for lap 32. This made Gore and Pendse second and third (respectively) top male finishers. 

For the women, it was another couple amazing performances by WA’s prestigiously well-known ultra runners and AURA members.

Margie Hadley from Henley Brook timed out after securing herself a new PB with a total of 201kms and DNFing at 30 laps, but determination was her end-goal, never giving up and giving every lap conquered a red hot crack. She was the top female finisher.

Behind Hadley was the ever strong-willed Jen Millum from Karnup, WA who showed what she was really made of. Also known for podium finishes in the WA ultra community, AURA member Millum completed a total of 27 laps, meaning it was a distance of 180kms for second top female finisher.

Third top female title went to Ky Lee Bell who DNF’d at 24 laps (100mi).

Congratulations to all AURA members who went out and competed at Birdy’s Backyard Ultra over the weekend, including Kate Ashfaq, Doug Bartlett, Timothy Bond, Kerryann Bresser, Jimmy Brook, Bob Colligan, Rob Collins, Ian Dougan, John Fisher, Amy Glen, Sergio Gustinetti, Beck Hefferon, David Kennedy, Jutta Kober, Emma Luscombe, Julia Mackay-Koelen, Kevin Matthews, Peta Moore, Sue Robertson, Glen Smetherham and Georgia Snowball.

Hero Run, SA

The Hero Run was held at the weekend, and we are awaiting official results.

Coast 2 Kosci Registrations

Don’t delay, get those entries in for your participation in the 2020 Coast 2 Kosci Ultra. There is already a total of 84 registrations, and less than 24 hours to apply. There are qualifying criteria, so be sure to back your entry up with your racing resume. Head here to register.

IAU 6hr Virtual Global Solidarity Run

In case you missed it, AURA announced its successful applicants to the IAU 6hr Virtual Global Solidarity Run to be held 29-30 August (2020) across the country. All runners will have two days to complete the virtual run and have been given the option to run however they like i.e. track, treadmill, stairs, trail or road.

For the women, the team consists of Cassie Smith (Qld), Julia Mackay (WA), Emma Luscombe (WA), Harmony Waite (WA), Amelia Griffith (Vic), Donna Urquhart (Vic), Karen Mickle (Vic), Heather Hawkins (NSW) and Kristen Brace (NSW).

For the men’s team it will be Clay Dawson (Qld), Dan Simonds (Qld), Barry Loveday (Qld), Matthew Eckford (Qld), Jeremy Rankin (ACT), Patrick O’Leary (Vic), Greg Wilson (Vic), Joe Ward (NSW) and Stephen Redfern (NSW).

Coming up

Coming up on the AURA-listed calendar of events is the Berry Long Run which will be held on 15 August (2020) in Vic. However due to recent Stage 4 restrictions coming into place by the State Government, changes have been made:

  • Instead of a Berry Long Run, race organisers have announced a Berry Long Week.
  • The event will now take place from 5am Monday (17 August) to 8pm Sunday (23 August) and participants can run their distance throughout the week in their own time.
  • Participants must record their activities on GPS, preferably uploaded to Strava (join the Strava club titled BLR2020).
  • If you don’t like using, or don’t have, a Strava account, email your GPS files when the week is over to the BLR organisers.
  • No more than one activity per day.
  • No more than one hour per activity. Disqualifications will occur if this rule is breached.
  • Stay in your 5km radius perimeter. Disqualifications may occur if breached.
  • Vert is not required, but will be considered in rankings.
  • Any runs recorded outside of curfew will trigger immediate disqualification.

For more information regarding the new rules for the Berry Long Run (Week) visit their FB page here.

Pictured: Margie Hadley leading the pack at Birdys Backyard Ultra (Last One Standing) in WA at the weekend. Photograph – Astrid Volzke.