Ultra-Trail Australia, NSW
Down Under 135mi, Vic
Kep Ultra V2, WA
Great Ocean Road Running Festival, Vic
Other News – Records & Dead Cow Gully Backyard 
Upcoming Events

Ultra-Trail Australia

Unbelievable performances at this year’s Ultra-Trail Australia, with the event starting on Thursday (13 May) and finishing on Sunday (16 May).

In the UTA100 event, for the men’s podium finishes we saw Matthew Pellow take the lead with 1st Male, coming in at 9:51:32 whilst Vajin Armstrong took 2nd with 10:04:28. Michael Dimuantes held on for 3rd Male (10:09:37).

In the women’s, it was Ceilia Mattas who took the win with a finish time of 11:35:40. Sophie Brown took 2nd Female (11:51:12) and 3rd Female went to AURA’s very own Sarah Ludowici from Sydney with 11:53:17. Ludowici also walked away with 2nd Female in her age category (OpenW 18-29).

A whopping 1125 runners participated in the UTA100, a stellar number!

Congratulations to all our AURA members who ran and finished their UTA100 including Matthew Crehan (4th Overall, 10:16:08), Brendan Davies (5th Overall, 10:24:07), Mike Carroll (10:35:18), Shane Johnstone (10:54:45), Gerard Riordan (11:26:37), Michel Haenggi (11:31:20), AURA NSW State Representative Stephen Redfern (11:56:57), Noelis Rheault (11:57:42), Mark Taylor (12:29:13), Thomas Allen (12:34:21), Ultramag contributing Coach’s Corner author Paul Hadfield (12:48:15), Anthony Gordon (12:49:10), Justin Hiatt (12:51:08), Maree Connor (1st MasterW 40-49, 12:56:48), Michael Molloy (12:58:06), AURA president Ewan Horsburgh (13:21:42), Chris Murphy (13:23:31), AURA treasurer Simone Hayes (3rd MasterW 40-49, 13:31:19), Sinclair Park (13:45:16), Gretchen Smith (13:48:14), Tim Lyndon (13:52:59), Lisa Krummer (13:53:35), Shiree Yap (14:18:55), Jeremy Rankin (14:35:12), David Campbell (15:22:32), Steve Collins (15:41:40), Doug Richardson (15:45:42), Scott Heckmann (15:53:46), Greg Thomson (15:57:57), Adam Darwin (16:10:23), Akira Suzuki (16:30:10), Doug Bartlett who flew over from WA (16:44:57), Renae Brock (16:48:14), Bernhard Freisler (16:52:16), Masanori Chiba (16:52:41), Karen Douglas(16:58:22), Jonathan Ennis-King (17:05:57), John Herzfeld who also flew over from WA (28:05:40), Malcolm Sleet(18:12:37), Andy Speakman (18:49:38), Stephen Collins (19:21:38), Jody Daff (19:25:43), Taras Mencinsky(19:40:32), Tracy Watson (20:22:46), D. Lynn Williams (22:17:09), Suzanne Wilson (22:18:10), Alex Lee (23:03:31), Barry Gill (24:54:16) and Ganesh Vengadasalam (24:57:08).

The Gold Coast’s Tom Brimelow and New Zealand’s Ruth Croft claimed the men’s and women’s UTA50 titles, coming out on top across the 50km course, which included 2450m of elevation gain with Brimelow finishing in 4:35:44 and Croft in 4:52:09.

Second for the men was Luke Taylor (4:37:36) and 3rd was Gerald Macpherson (4:38:06) just 30 seconds after leading for much of the race – Brimelow had made his move for the win with just over a kilometre to go.

In the women’s race, Croft had arrived in Australia on Thursday evening but quickly got up to speed, taking victory by almost five minutes. She spent most of the 50km neck and neck with 2nd place winner Paige Linegar (4:56:49) with the two women widening the gap a third of the way through the race. Third for the ladies was Anna McKenna in 5:12:22.

Congratulations to all our AURA members who raced at the UTA50, where there was a total of 1827 participants!

Well done to Patricia McKibbon (5:28:52), Michael Palmer (6:16:28), Diane Sheedy (6:58:50), Shaun Whitehouse(7:24:09), Chris Bennett (7:27:44), Lonneke Kefalas (7:36:50), Barry Carter (7:43:30), Amanda Pavey (7:47:29), Andrew Lee (7:48:56), Mark Sewell (8:14:36), Jenny McAuley (8:24:29), Shane Kelly (8:49:26), Jennifer Lawrence(9:11:52), Deb Gale (9:31:48), Adam Plummer (11:24:34), Nadine D’Elia (11:40:22) and Samantha Post (13:31:07).

Down Under 135mi

Thirty-five starters took to the start line at the weekend’s Down Under 135mi, and 2 finished in what has been described as extremely challenging conditions.

Nigel Hill took out this year’s Down Under 135mi in a time of 52:36 whilst Tom Dade completed it not far behind in 53:11. Congratulations on this massive effort! 

*We are awaiting access to the full list of entrants to check for our AURA members. 

Kep Ultra V2

After a 7 year hiatus, the Kep Ultra – now the Kep Ultra V2 – finally returned to WA under direction from a new race director in Ultra Series WA’s Shaun Kaesler. The weekend’s race, which started at 630am on Saturday (15 May), saw participants running on much of the original Kep route but with some obstacles taken out that led to the halting of the original format. It also offered a 75km distance as well as a 100km distance.

All results are currently preliminary until confirmed later this week.

Starting with the 100km event, it was Tony Smith who took 1st Male having crossed the finished line in 8hrs 53min. Second Male went to Graham Dixon (10hrs 16min) whilst 3rd was claimed by Michael Snart (10hrs 17min)

AURA’s very own Jen Millum from Karnup took 1st Female with her finish time of 10hrs 49min.

With the 75km distance, AURA member Joshua Chugg from Hamilton Hill claimed 1st Male following a total time of 5hrs 38mins. Andrew Wait held on for 2nd with 6hrs 11min and Nathan Reeves took 3rd (7hrs 10min).

In the women’s division 1st position went to Sandra Wharerau (8hrs 53min), 2nd Female went to Raquel Rae (9hrs 03min) and 3rd went to Darlene Dale (9hrs 36min).

Congratulations to all AURA members who ran in the newest version of the Kep Ultra’s 75km including Jeff Gray (7hrs 27min), David Kennedy (7hrs 40min), Andy Thompson (9hrs) Sue Robertson (10hrs 04min), Bianca Harding (10hrs 34min), Emma Luscombe (12hrs 08min), and Shaun Kaesler.

Great Ocean Road Running Festival

The Great Ocean Road Running Festival was held on Sunday (16 May) through the Lorne and Apollo Bay Townships in beautiful Victoria. Providing a 60km road event, participants get a scenic run with south eastern coast views.

AURA members took top spots this year with the podiums in the ultra event.

AURA’s very own Matthew Whitaker from Richmond, Vic took 1st Male with a speedy time of 3:49:01 – this on the back of winning last month’s Canberra Times Marathon Festival 50km in 2:56:00. Second Male placing was claimed by AURA’s Wayne Spies from Wishart Brisbane, Qld when he crossed the finish line in 3:53:04 – both runners well ahead of the pack, with 3rd Male Conor Dillon coming in at 4:29:23.

AURA’s Natasha Fraser from Ballarat, Vic has a significant history with AURA world championship events in the 100km and 50km distances; she has won the Great Ocean Road Running Festival back in 2019 with a time of 4:32:47 and this year, she claimed the title yet again – crossing the finish line in 4:24:14.

Fraser has won the ultra event at the Great Ocean Road Running Festival every year (2020 was cancelled) – 2018 (4:18:54), 2017 (4:29:49) and 2016 (inaugural ultra event in 4:33:01).

This year, Fraser claimed an astonishing 35 minute lead over the 2nd place winner, Sarah Jayamaka (5:00:55) whilst 3rdwas claimed by Kathleen Judge (5:12:24).

She said there were trying conditions in the weekend’s race.

“It was really wet and windy, definitely a tough day for running,” she said.

“I was actually happy to do the two turn-offs uphill as each one got me out of the headwinds for a bit; I love to climb but prefer road events sometimes as it’s easier to fall into a rhythm with your pace.

“Great Ocean Road is one of those rare road events that gives you the same sort of scenic eye candy that you get on the trails.”

A big congratulations to Whitaker, Spies and Fraser.

Other News

The following records have now been ratified.

  • 50km   Wayne Spies M45 Canberra 50km Ultramarathon (11 April 2021) 3:02:53 (gun time)
  • 12hr     Greg Ponych M55 Coburg Carnival (17 April 2021) 119.477km
  • 12hr     Cody McKeller M20 112.134km
  • 50mile Clay Dawson M35 5:37:08

We love making mention of AURA members when they achieve incredible results at other races across the country and around the world, so if you or someone you know is an AURA member and they’ve had an amazing event that isn’t AURA-listed, email kate.dzienis@aura.asn.au and keep us in the loop!

Our Weekly News Report for 4 May 2021 provided a wrap up of the Dead Cow Gully Backyard Ultra, however I failed to mention John Pearson was an AURA member. After an incredible performance throughout the weekend, Pearson took the assist – he headed into the 44th loop with eventual winner Ryan Crawford however 500m into the lap his knee locked up and he was forced to turn around.

Pearson completed a total of 288.10km (6.7km each loop x43) in conditions that made it difficult to see clearly due to mist and fog. A well deserved congratulations!  


AURA’s 2021 Annual General Meeting will be taking place on Monday, 31 May by electronic meeting only. Members will be able to attend electronically using Zoom. Details on how to log in and access details will be provided on the AGM page about 7 days before the AGM. 

The AGM will run from 6.30pm WST, 8pm Central and 8.30pm EST. 

Upcoming Events

West Macs Monster will be held this weekend 21-23 May from Telegraph Station in Stuart, NT offering distances of 231km, 128km and 65km whilst Trails and Tails will be held from 22-23 May in Telegraph Point, NSW where runners can race with their canine companions in the Cairncross State Forest near Port Macquarie.

The Cleland 50 will be kicking off the weekend of 29 May in Crafers, SA where racers will run along a 50km trail just 20 minutes from the heart of Adelaide city centre.

Photograph – Ultra-Trail Australia 2021/Facebook.