West Macs Monster, NT
Woodchopper’s Ultra, WA

On a tough, gruelling course along the Larapinta Trail in Alice Springs, NT the West Macs Monster took a hold of its inaugural year with a 231km race with three finishers completing the event in less than 48 hours.

Four participants took to the start line – three out of the four being AURA members Shane Johnstone from Caversham in WA, Stephen Redfern from Heathcote, NSW and Simon Duke hailing from Araluen, NT.

Redfern took an early lead, clearing the first of nine checkpoints (Rocky Bar Gap at 25kms in) in 2:59:00 while Johnstone and Duke kept a close eye on him, both checking in on Redfern’s heels in 3:02:00 and 3:05:00 respectively.

It wasn’t long though before Johnstone passed Redfern and held on to the lead for the rest of the race, but it wasn’t without a friendly competition between the participants. By checkpoint nine at Wallaby Gap (the 217kms mark), Johnstone was holding a nearly one-hour lead ahead of Redfern and was almost three hours ahead of Duke.

All three runners should be extremely proud of their efforts for the first ever West Macs Monster with the final tally at Johnstone with 40:55:18, Redfern at 42:36:49, and Duke with 46:42:00.

Race director Marc Woods said he was incredibly impressed by those who ran in West Macs Monster.

“I am truly blessed and humbled to think that we put together a crazy festival of trail running which obviously struck a chord,” he said.

“For Johnstone, posting an unbelievable time for a run of that magnitude and sheer ruggedness…it was an absolute pleasure to have (him), and be the first ever winner of the West Macs Monster.

“Redfern (has such a) beautiful personality and attitude towards such a gruelling and exhausting event, and his love of extreme trail running really motivates me.

“And Duke, how does he do it? He spent months brainstorming and organising so many elements of the event as one of the committee (members) and then smashing his own FKT and personal goal of sub 48 hours.”

Also at the weekend, Forest Series WA hosted it’s Woodchopper’s Ultra in WA, holding a 50kms trail in Donnelly River.

While some participants ran in their usual trail running gear, a varying few took the opportunity to dress up and showed up in all creativity that is the lumberjack theme.

Congratulations goes out to AURA’s Julia Mackay who completed the distance in a time of 9:35:43.

The next races on the AURA-listed calendar include the IAU/ITRA Trail World Championships in Mirandha do Corvo, Portugal on 8 June, the Gold Coast 100 in Queensland on 9 June and the Cleland 50 in Cleland, SA on 9 June which are the 2019 AURA National Trail Championships (Short Course).

Pictured: The four starters of the 231km West Mac Monster ultra race. Photograph – Jamie Lines/Facebook.