Australian Alpine Ascent (AAA)
SA Track Ultra
Herdy’s Frontyard Ultra
We are always on the hunt for your stories and reports, so with March Ultramag due out soon, send in your incredible tales to firstname.lastname@example.org And remember, it doesn’t have to be about an AURA-listed event specifically!
AUSTRALIAN ALPINE ASCENT, NSW
The Australian Alpine Ascent was held on Saturday, 11 March 2023, providing a 73km, 53km and 22km trail run. Participants raced through Kosciuszko National Park, starting and finishing at Charlotte Pass Village.
There were 28 finishers in the 73km division.
Congratulations to AURA member Andy McConnell from Watson, ACT who took 1st Male in the Men’s 73km event, crossing the finish line in 6:47:35. A stellar effort! Second and 3rd Male were won by Ryan Degan (7:51:56) and Dave Gwyther-Marchant (8:30:23).
In the Women’s 73km, podium finishes were awarded to Paige Strudwick (9:03:20), Tegan Porter (9:11:43) and Amanda Wheatley (9:37:47).
There were 96 finishers in the 53km race.
In the Men’s 53km, winners were named Myles Kinchington (4:44:43), Tony McEntee (4:53:41) and Cameron Luksich (5:18:57). In the Women’s 53km, it was Ellie Deakin (5:51:40) 1st, Kristin Bjerregaard (5:57:54) 2nd and Prue Davies (6:12:43) 3rd.
Congratulations to AURA members Jillian Mitchell from Mawson, ACT who finished the 53km in 7:25:13 and Joel Anderson from Throsby, ACT who completed his race in 7:38:17.
SA TRACK ULTRA, SA
The SA Track Ultra was held on Saturday, 11 March 2023 at the SA Athletics Stadium and offered a 50km and 100km for ultra runners.
In the Women’s 50km, AURA’s very own Tanya Caro from Golden Grove, SA took 1st Female with a total time of 5:55:24. Second Female went to Kay Parkin with 7:24:16 and 3rd was won by Stacey Miller with 8:51:12.
Congratulations to AURA member Melissa Knowles from Kilburn, SA who completed her 50km in 12:20:00.
In the Men’s 50km, Daniel Farrugia took 1st Male with 4:34:34 and Dylan Hayes won 2nd with 4:47:37. AURA’s very own Geoffrey Langhans from Happy Valley, SA took 3rd Male after finishing the 50km event in a fantastic time of 5:31:49.
In the 100km there were 2 competitors.
Michelle Salerno finished the Women’s 100km in 14:21:46 and Ben O’Brien finished the Men’s 100km in 14:59:49.
HERDY’S FRONTYARD ULTRA, WA
The highly anticipated Herdy’s Frontyard Ultra kicked off on Friday, March 17 at Herdsman Lake, WA and continued all the way through until the very early hours of Monday morning.
For two years running, AURA’s Phil Gore from Darling Downs, WA has held on the title of this particular race, winning it every year since its inception in 2021.
In 2021, he won it on 48 laps with AURA member Kevin Matthews taking the Assist on 48 laps. In 2021, Phil won it again, and increased his PB, taking the title on 50 laps whilst AURA’s Chetan Sadhana claimed the Assist on 49 laps.
This year, in 2023, Phil took it even further and won Herdy’s after an astonishing win on 57 laps, with a new Assist named as Michael Bellmon on 56 laps.
Congratulations to all our AURA members who raced at Herdy’s, including Tim Kacprzak from Vic (51 laps), Chetan Sadhana (36 laps), Jen Millum (30 laps and ‘last’ female standing), Ben Hirst (29 laps), Kevin Matthews (28 laps), Jessica Smith (28 laps), Brad Halls (25 laps and proudly sporting an AURA shirt), Michael Hooker (24 laps), Rob Parsons (24 laps), Gabe Alves (21 laps), Tristan Cameron (13 laps), Graham Tottey (12 laps), John Cooke (10 laps), John Herzfeld (10 laps), Andy Thompson (7 laps), Jason Kell (6 laps) and Claudia Seke (3 laps),
A couple of our AURA members have been abroad this month, imprinting the trails, roads and tracks in international racing.
AURA Secretary Stephen Redfern and AURA member Melissa Robertson both travelled to Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee, USA following their invitations into the 2023 Barkley, which kicked off on Tuesday, 14 March. We are all aware of how gruesome this particular race is with 54,200ft of accumulated vertical climb (and descent) and the allowance of only 40 participants permitted to run the loops (5x 20 mile loops with a total distance of about 100 miles or longer that must be completed in 60 hours).
Stephen completed his first lap in about 11 hours, and upon starting his second loop came back in 7 hours due to the brutality and cold weather. Congratulations on being the fourth Aussie to have officially completely one entire loop at Barkley!
Melissa Robertson gave it her best efforts however did not finish her loop in the allocated 12 hours; she’s recovering well and hope to see her tackling Barkley again!
AURA member Margie Hadley also travelled internationally this month to race in the Run Rome Marathon (Italy) on Sunday, 19 March. She secured herself a sub-3 hour marathon with a total time of 2:59:58 and finishing 10th Female. Well done on a fantastic result, Margie.
It’s a big weekend in ultra racing this Friday, Saturday and Sunday!
Noosa Ultra-Trail will be held this weekend, from 23-26 March in Tewantin, Qld followed by the Sri Chinmoy 48 Hour Track Festival at the AIS in the ACT from 24-26 March – it doubles up as the Australian 48hr Championships.
The kunanyi Mountain Run, also doubling up as the Short Course Trail Australian Championships, will be run from 24-26 March in Mt Wellington, Tas and the Lithgow Ridgy-Didge Trail Run Festival kicks off on 25 March in Lithgow, NSW.
The Washpool World Heritage Trails will be held on 26 March in Gibraltar Range, NSW.
Pictured: AURA member Michael Hooker (centre) at the weekend’s Herdy’s Frontyard Ultra. Photograph – Noeko.