Sri Chinmoy 48hr Track Festival, ACT
Herdy’s Frontyard Ultra, WA
Upcoming Events

Sri Chinmoy 48hr Track Festival, ACT
The Sri Chinmoy 48hr Track Festival, ACT doubled up as the AURA 48hr National Championships over the weekend, with events kicking off on Friday (26 March) from 10am.

AURA’s very own president Ewan Horsburgh was entered for the 48hr and managed 866 laps to claim 1st Male with 346.546km. Not far behind him was AURA NSW state representative Stephen Redfern from Engadine who took 2ndMale with 326.441km, but it didn’t stop there.

It was a complete AURA podium, with AURA’s vice president Matthew Eckford holding on for 3rd Male after 689 laps and a total of 275.649km.

First Female in for the 48hr was AURA’s Cheryl Symons from Murrumbeena, Vic who completed 805 laps and a total of 322.352km. Her achievements not only saw her take the top spot for the women, but she was also 3rd Overall.

Legendary AURA member Nikki Wynd from Lysterfield, Vic took 2nd Female with 762 laps and 304.906km whilst 3rdFemale saw the podium blocks complete the AURA circle, with Allicia Heron from Theodore, ACT secure 665 laps and a total of 266.139km.

With all male and female podium standings seeing AURA members take the titles, the same results apply for the AURA 48hr National Championships.

Congratulations to all our AURA members who took part in the 48hr event, including Paul Mahoney (252.448km), Joffrid Mackett (219.895km), Stephan Kent (214.135km), Kris Ryan (208.436km), Colin Wiley (208.000km), Colin Brooks (205.542km), Ingo Ernst (185.600km), Cassie Smith (95.950km) and Michael Thompson (91.200km).

In the 24hr event, AURA’s very own Matthew Griggs from Torrens, ACT stepped up to the plate and took 1st Male with a distance of 244.087km. Behind him in 2nd was Ashley Colquhoun with 187.770km and Stephen Kiley in 3rd(174.598km).

For the women, AURA’s Kathryn Austin from Greenbank, Qld took the crown for top spot finishing her 24-hours with a whopping 169.223km.

Well done also to AURA’s Duc Do who finished his 24hrs in 319 laps (132.330km) and Paul Gay with 281 laps (116.574).

Onto the 12hr, and for the men AURA’s Joseph Ward from Fairlight, NSW took 1st Male with 314 laps and 125.754km and another AURA member, Adam Keighran from Helensburgh, NSW claimed 2nd Male after 312 laps and 125.085km. Third Male went to Baden Reynolds (109.863km).

There were some ground-breaking results for our women in the 12hr with 1st Female Tia Jones (AURA) from Ipswich, Qld finishing a total of 124.211km (310 laps). Her astounding achievement meant that not only was she 3rd Overall in the 12hr, but she actually set four new Australian records in the W55’s category for 6hr, 50 mile, 100km and 12hr! Yet to be officially ratified, but a big congratulations!

AURA’s Sabina Hamaty claimed 2nd Female after finishing 250 laps and a total of 100.038km, whilst 3rd Female went to AURA member Bernadette Benson from Kelmscott, WA after 205 laps and

Congratulations to the AURA members who ran in the 12hr, including Daragh O’Loughlin (109.002km) and Vice Hazdovac (102.720km).

There was also a 6hr event and 1st Female as well as 1st Overall was won by AURA’s very own treasurer Simone Hayeswho secured 160 laps and a total of 66.613km. Second Female was claimed by Cassie Cohen (66.419km) whilst 3rdFemale was taken by AURA’s Chloe Skewes-Weir from Annangrove, NSW with 152 laps and 63.097km.

Well done to AURA members Gregory Jenkins (53.617km), Tracy Watson (52.761km) and Justin Hiatt (42.299km) for taking on the 6hr.

All results reported on today are provisional and yet to be official by the race directors.

Herdy’s Frontyard Ultra
What the WA ultra community witnessed over the weekend at Herdy’s Frontyard Ultra was something else. Held at Herdsman Lake, you would never guess that the location was less than 5km from the Perth CBD where participants were encouraged to run 6.7km laps on the hour at every hour. This Last One Standing format is relatively to the state’s ultra running community, but thanks to Ultra Series WA this sister event to Birdy’s Backyard is gaining popularity.

Herdy’s saw 147 runners step up to the plate at 4pm on Friday (26 March) and it wasn’t long before the mosquitoes starting biting, but that didn’t bother anyone there. Support crews, family, friends, volunteers and race staff were all camping out to provide a spot of respite for each runner as they tackled the course and made sure to be back at the start line before the hour was up.

Eventually the top four, which included Phil Gore, Kevin Matthews, and AURA members Margaret Hadley and Michael Hooker fell down to two by 1am Sunday, and the rest of Sunday was a battle to see who wouldn’t be backing down.

Hadley bowed out at the end of Lap 33 (33 hours). This stellar effort meant she had been the only female on the course for a whopping 18 hours and she had set herself a new distance PB. Her previous record was 30 hours (207.547km) at Birdy’s Backyard Ultra in 2020.

Hooker decided to return to the start line after starting Lap 34, a shock to everyone following as he had one both the 2019 and 2020 Birdy’s Backyard Ultra and was a massive contender for Herdy’s.

Gore and Matthews both had scores to settle, as Gore had claimed 2nd LOS (Last One Standing) behind Hooker at the 2020 Birdy’s Backyard and Matthews 12th.

At 1pm, Gore and Matthews set out for the start of Lap 46, equalling the Aussie best/record (46 for the winner, 45 for the assist by Chris Murphy and Barry Loveday, respectively, at Big Dog’s Backyard World Championships, 2020).

At 2pm, the boys set a new Australian best/record for an Australian backyard ultra.

At 3pm, they got ready to go out for their 48th lap but Matthews succumbed to the challenge and when the lap started, Gore started his last loop whilst Matthews chose not to go on.

Congratulations to all our AURA members who participated in the inaugural Herdy’s Frontyard Ultra including Michael Bellmon, Diane Breant, Aimee Brown, Mark Caldwell, Lucia Caravia, Meghann Coffey, Giovanni De Vita, Sergio Gustinetti, Beck Hefferon, Paul Hopwood, Peter Johnson, Jason Kell, Wayne McMurtrie, Glenn Monaghan, Geoff Quinton, Chetan Sadhana, James Sawyer, Colette Sims, Lizelle Smith, Andy Thompson and Simone Watkins.

Upcoming Events
If one backyard ultra isn’t enough for you, then get ready for this weekend’s Dead Cow Gully Backyard Ultra on a cattle property in country Qld. Another Last One Standing format held from 3-5 April, participants will run 6.7km loops each hour, every hour until only one runner is left to do their last lap solo.

On 11 April get ready for the Canberra Times Marathon Festival, which will also double up as the 2021 AURA 50km Australian Championships whilst from 17-18 April there will be the Coburg 24 Hour, offering a double up of it being the 2021 AURA 100km Australian Championships.

The inaugural Trails and Tails will start on 18 April in Telegraph Point, NSW offering runners to race alongside their furry best friends and the Run Larapinta 4-day, 4-stage trail running race will be held the weekend of 23-26 April in Alice Springs, NT. Then there’s The Gumby Last One Standing event on 24 April in Coree District, ACT and the Belair Marathon in Belair, SA on 26 April.

Pictured – Herdy’s Frontyard Ultra runners on Saturday with 17 participants left. Photograph – Shaun Kaesler/USWA.