Lighthorse Ultra Marathon, WA
Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Ultra, ACT
Barossa Run, SA
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Lighthorse Ultra 

The weekend of Sept 12 and 13 (2020) couldn’t have gotten better for this year’s Lighthorse Ultra Marathon, which was postponed due to COVID-19 from its original April date to September. In fact, early morning runners for the Sunday got a bit of an advantage than in previous years, with the sun rising earlier than usual and a bit of light on the first 2.5km lap.

The Lighthorse Ultra provided a number of distances for entrants to choose from – a new 24hr format, 12hr, 6hr, 3hr and a 1hr.

Runners for the 24hr event received their own dawn service at Perry’s Paddock at Yellagonga Regional Park, Woodvale, WA prior to their Saturday, 6pm start. Another dawn service was presented to the remainder of participants who all started 6am on the Sunday.

And on Sunday, the heat went up to 24 degrees (felt like 28) so a tough day at the office for everyone.

The Lighthorse Ultra is an event where runners race on a 2.5km circuit of limestone, boardwalk and asphalt through the regional park, and every three hours turn to race the other way. The out and back section of the course (start/finish) to calculate each lap goes through what race director Shaun Kaesler calls ‘The Village’ – tents and aid stations with support crew are set up, and there’s an abundance of cheering as they enter and leave the area to start or finish their laps.

In the 24hr event, it was a massive contingent with 59 participants at the start line.

Phil Gore took out 1st male with his total distance of 215.11km.

AURA members Jon Pendse Kingsley and Kevin Matthews from Perth both looked incredibly strong out there on their loops; Pendse took out 2nd Male with a total of 198.23km whilst ‘Big Kev’ held on for 3rd Male, happy with his 192.55km.

For the women, Sharene Blake claimed 1st Female with 208.54km, while AURA’s very own Jen Millum from Karnup wasn’t far behind with 200.82km for 2nd Female – a smile on her face every time she passed through The Village.

Michelle Lane (161.96km) took 3rd Female.

Congratulations to all our AURA members who took on the newly introduce 24hr category for Lighthorse this year, including Michael Hooker (180km), Nicholas O’Neill (142.50km), Fee Salmons (138.13km), Sue Robertson(128.40km), Ian Dougan (127.44km), Jeremy Beauglehole (125km), James Coffey (115km), Bob Colligan (110.57km), Alexis Oosterhoff (100km), Julia Mackay-Koelen (100km), Shon Fry (100km), John Fisher (100km), Glenn Monaghan (85km), Harmony Waite (80km), Nick Swallow (80km), Richard Avery (70km), Nicola Walters(47.50km), John Stockman (27.50km) and Kerri Klumper (25km).

Thirty-three participants ran in the 12hr event which started 6am Sunday, and it was Henley Brook AURA member Margie Hadley who took out the top gong. With 1st Female, she secured 116.62km. Right behind her for 2nd Female was AURA’s Amy Glen from Como with 103.49km and Beck Hefferon from South Fremantle who finished 3rd Female with 95.018km.

A great result with a podium finish for all three spots belonged to AURA members.

For the men’s event, Mark Conway took 1st (109.77km), David Millington took 2nd (106.41km) and Stuart Beck took 3rd(105.64).

Congratulations to all those who raced in the 12hr including Doug Bartlett (92.51km), Peta Moore (82.81km), Andre Pienaar (50km), Glen Smetherham (47.71km) and Kate Dzienis (2.5km).

Seventy-seven starters hit the course for the 6hr event.

In the women’s division, 1st Female went to AURA’s very own Shaye Pett from Stoneville who secured 63.5km, equalling 25 laps. Upon spotting her pass through the village during various points of the morning, Pett looked incredibly focused and strong, her strides never failing her.

Second and 3rd placings went to Jessica Smith (63.22km) and Carly Bache (61.32km) respectively.

For the men, podium finishes went to Sam Pullin in 1st (73.97km), Matt Lyttle in 2nd (71.90km) and Michael Bellmon (67.51km).

Well done to all our AURA members who ran in the 6hr event including Adam Loughnan (63.06km), Rob Collins(60.22km), Jutta Kober (57.24km), Bryan Wright (55.99km), Myra Keep (55.08km), Mark Caldwell (48.42km) and Rosa Haywood (45.85km).

Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Ultra

The past weekend also saw the running of the Sri Chinmoy Canberra 100km Trail Ultra, which was open to all runners in Canberra and NSW only due to COVID-19 restrictions across the country. That, however, didn’t stop the event from being a near sellout, with record participation numbers of more than 94 solo runners and 100 teams.

The weather was generous on Sunday with it being overcast for most of the day to keep the heat down. Runners are taken on a 100km journey through the hills, nature parks and open spaces of central, south and north Canberra, starting and finishing at Rond Terrace at the foot of Anzac Parade on Lake Burley Griffin in the Parliamentary Triangle.

Well known AURA member Brendan Davies from Woodford took hold of 1st Male with a new course record in a time of 9:33:56. Dave Hardwicke claimed 2nd Male (9:45:49) whilst AURA’s Matthew Griggs from Torrens 3rd Male 9:52:43.

For the women’s event podium standings went to Gretchen Smith 1st (12:22:24), Ada Klinkhamer (12:29:57) and Mandy Smyth (12:40:18).

Congratulations to all our AURA members who ran in the 100km including Justin Hiatt who took 4th Male (10:08:03), Stephen Redfern who took 5th Male (10:37:19), Ingo Ernst (12:40:18), Pam Muston (13:23:43 and 1st in her age group), Akira Suzuki (14:01:15), Debbie Maher (14:45:30), Paul Mahoney (14:54:57) and Roylene Stanley(15:23:24).

Run the Great Whitsunday Trail

This event was unfortunately cancelled for the weekend, however race directors have reported it will be back next year even bigger than before.

Barossa Run

The Barossa Run was held on Sunday in Lyndoch, SA and 3 participants ran in the 42.2km event.

Preliminary results show 1st Male over the finish line was Robert Thonton (5:17:31) whilst AURA member Benjamin Anchor took 2nd Male in 7:27:19).

Suzanne McKeen was the only female and took 1st in her category with 3:38:05.

Coming up

The Butter 24 & 48 has changed its location to Boondall, Qld for 25-27 Sept with entrants ready to tackle a 6hr, 12hr, 24hr and 48hr track.

The last event for September on the AURA listed calendar is the Waterous Trail on Foot aka WTF on 26 Sept in Dwellingup, WA with a 100mi and 50mi option.

The USWA’s Haunted Pines Ultra, which was meant to be held on 2 Oct in WA, has been cancelled for this year.

The Brisbane Trail Ultra will go ahead as planned on 3-4 October in Qld and entries are still open.

Pictured: Runners take on another lap at this year’s Lighthorse Ultra at Perry’s Paddock, Woodvale, WA. Photograph – Marco Noe.