Birdy’s Backyard Ultra, WA

Birdy’s Backyard Ultra

AURA members from WA took on the inaugural Birdy’s Backyard Ultra at the weekend, which began on Friday (September 6) on a private property in the hills of Perth.

Participants took on an official 6.7km loop course, with requirements to be at the start line ready to go again on the hour, every hour until there was a last one standing.

Forty-five runners had their names on the whiteboard when the first lap began, but Birdy’s proved to be a tough course with a fair bit of elevation.

In the end, after a gruelling 21 hours, it was Michael Hooker who took title of winner and last one standing following an incredible performance of completing 21 laps, or approximately 140.70km.

Best three performances by the men were Hooker, Jimmy Brook (20 laps) and AURA’s very own Sergio Gustinetti from Tuart Hill (17 laps).

Best three performances by the women were AURA member Jen Millum from Karnup (13 laps), AURA’s Margie Hadley from Henley Brook (11 laps), and Ky Lee Bell (10 laps).

Congratulations to all our AURA members who took on the inaugural Birdy’s Backyard Ultra – there were a lot of happy faces for this new format in the state, with many thrilled to be given a wooden spoon when DNFing – Darlene Dale, Barbara Fieberg, Robert Freitag, Sophee Gregory,Beck Hefferon, Shane Holstein, Kathryn Hookham, Jutta Kober, Kevin Matthews, Wayne McMurtrie, Alexis OosterhoffShaye Pett, Andre Pienaar, Glen Smetherham, Georgia Snowball, Cheryl Tatterton, Logan Vickers and Harmony Waite.

It was also fabulous to see a number of our members donning the new AURA t-shirts at Birdy’s! 

Other Events

There were a number of other events across the country (non AURA-listed) and we saw a few AURA members participate in those.

Sadly, due to out-of-control bushfires in the area, the Coastal High 50 in Queensland was cancelled. The AURA community wishes everyone to stay safe and ensure the safety of themselves and their families as first priority.

The River Run 100km was held on Saturday (September 7) in Brisbane, Qld with fabulous performances by AURA members.

Greg Ponych from Wishart, Qld took 1st Male with an astounding time of 9:47:01.

Not stopping there, Annabel Hepworth from Annandale, NSW claimed 2nd Female after crossing the finish in 11:12:22 and Kristy Ryan from Pacific Pines, Qld held on to claim 3rd Female with her time of 11:30:17.

They were outstanding 100km performances by these runners.

Also on Saturday was the Kowen Moonlighter 12hr event in Wamboin, NSW where again, our AURA members did amazingly well.

Congratulations to Isobel Ross from Boronia, Vic who claimed 1st Female following a distance of 90.600km and also to Peter Fitzpatrick (75.500km), Samantha Post (64.340km), Arnold Campbell (60.400km) and Leah Weeden (52.850km).

Last but not least was the Backyard Blister at The Branch, NSW which featured a last one standing race that started on Friday (September 6) as well as a 12hr event (September 7).

In the last one standing race, it was Geordi Maclean from NSW who claimed the title, winning outright while Emma-Leigh Heighway won the 12hr event. We are still waiting on official results to see if any AURA members participated.

Coming up

Coming up on the AURA-listed calendar of events is the Great North Walk Ultras (100mi, 100km, 50mi, 50km) on September 14 in Teralba, NSW; the Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Ultra (100km) on September 14 in Acton, ACT; and Run the Great Whitsunday Trail (57km) on September 15 in Airlie Beach, Qld.

AURA members, please submit your race reports, in a Word document with high resolution images attached to the email, to to be featured in the next edition of Ultramag.

Pictured: AURA members Wayne McMurtrie and Sophee Gregory getting ready to hit out at another lap at the inaugural Birdy’s Backyard Ultra. Photograph – Andrew Yeatman.