24hr World Championships, France
Heysen 105, SA
Mico RunningWorks 50k, WA

Ned Kelly Chase, Vic
International performances

This past weekend on the AURA calendar saw yet again a block of amazing races and performances by ultra runners from our astounding community.

IAU 24hr World Championships

The IAU 24hr World Championships were held on Saturday (October 26) in Albi, France and the Australian team did extremely well on the track. As AURA president Rob Donkersloot said earlier this week on the socials, “AURA cannot be more pleased; every runner gave it 150% and represented our country and Association superbly. Thank you from all our members and the Australian running community as a whole.”

Men’s team results:
1. 797.994km – USA
2. 780.102km – Hungary
3. 777.120km – France
5. 747.300km – Australia

Kay Bretz                   259.670km 11th
Kevin Muller             246.293km 21st
Ewan Horsburgh      241.813km 27th
Stephen Redfern       221.771km 50th
John Yoon                   215.787km 58th
Matthew Eckford      194.007km 104th

Women’s team results
1.   746.132km – USA
2.   721.124km – Poland
3.   696.846km – Germany
11. 612.770km – Australia

Donna Urquhart        206.861km 37th
Nicole Barker             204.444km 40th
Simone Hayes            201.463km 48th
Nikki Wynd                181.544km 77th
Tia Jones                     128.329km 121st

Team coach Martin Fryer said to the team shortly after the race “That is a very creditable set of results for us and you all should be proud, despite things not always going to plan. We batted way above our average and I know we left an extremely positive, indelible imprint on the event and the people that we met and interacted with.

“Unbelievably superb camaraderie was shown by all of the Emus and their super crew. I am humbled by the courage and sportsmanship shown by the runners and the incredible, limitless energy and enthusiasm displayed by the crew.

“Thank you all for an experience that I will never forget, but also for the timeless imprint you left on this event and town as fine ambassadors for Australia.”

Heysen 105

Kicking it off for our national events was Ultra Runners SA’s Heysen 105 which started on Saturday (October 26) and offered three distances for participants – 105k, 60k and 37k. This year, the course had a change that saw the original 57k turn into a 60k and the 35k into a 37k.

The 105k allows runners to travel along a section of the 1200km Heysen Trail in SA with views of rolling farmlands, sandy forests, rocky hills and more.

In the 105k, podium finishes for the men went to Andrew Hough in 1st (9:43:43), Damian Espinase in 2nd (10:25:57) and Marcus Staker in 3rd (10:52:00).

For the women it was Ally Gosling 1st (12:13:49), Sonja Jansen 2nd (13:02:18) and Jennifer Ritossa 3rd (13:03:16).

Well done to our AURA members who took on the 105km and finished successfully including Cherie Rothery (18:46:52), Chris Glacken (19:17:38) and Justin Parise (19:35:39).

On to the 60k event at Heysen, and we saw top spots for the men were won by Howard Norton 1st (5:01:08), Glen Koopman 2nd (5:04:41) and Jarrad Browne 3rd (5:25:57).

In the ladies event we saw Lauren Rooke claim 1st in 5:51:05, Helen Durand take 2nd in 6:02:54, and Danni Vanderheul hold for 3rd (6:12:29).

Well done to all our AURA members who raced in the 60km including Dej Jamieson (6:02:54) and Merle Carter (12:28:45).

Mico RunningWorks 50

Steaming hot conditions took over the course at Sunday’s Mico RunningWorks 50 at The Spectacles, WA with temperatures soaring to about 37 degrees by midday. On offer to runners were a number of distances, including the 50k ultra as well as a half marathon (generating to about 24km) and an 8km.

In the 50k event for the men, AURA’s Jon Pendse from Kingsley, WA took top honours with a fast 3:30:16 on the fast course. Second was extremely close, right behind Pendse – AURA member Tony Smith from Tapping, WA took the podium finish with 3:32:20, while Nathan Fawkes took 3rd with 3:35:46.

For the women it was Casey-Anne Marais 1st with 5:30:23, Rachel Russell 2nd with 6:42:34 and AURA’s own Fee Salmons from Greenfields, WA taking 3rd after a successful finish of 7:20:05.

A big congratulations also to AURA member Andrew McLeish who finished his 50k race with 5:18:53.

Ned Kelly Chase

The 100km and 50km events at the Ned Kelly Chase held on Sunday also doubled as the AURA 100km National Championships, and always is a bit of fun as the pushbikes chase runners.

In the results for the AURA championships for the women, congratulations goes to Rhiannon Snipe from Blackburn, Vic who placed 1st with a time of 8:09:58. Second went to Michelle McAdam from Naremburn, NSW after a finish of 8:15:15, whilst 3rd was successfully taken by interstate traveller Henley Brook, WA’s Margie Hadley after securing a time of 8:43:59.

In the men’s AURA championships results, Clay Dawson from Karalee, Qld took 1st place with 6:54:03 and claiming 6thbest ever by an Australian male.

Dion Finocchiaro from Chelsea, Vic held on for 2nd with 7:03:30 and Kyle Weise took 3rd with 7:53:04 (a new M20-24 Australian age group record).

Congratulations to all our AURA members who raced in the 100km including Amy Glen (10:34:10), Mak Sawa (10:54:34), Nicole Vaughan (10:54:34) and Andrew Ross. 

In the 50km event, podium finishes for the women went to top spot placing for AURA member Amelia Griffith from Moonee Ponds, Vic with a finish time of 4:12:36. In second place was Ella Copping (4:37:23) and 3rd went to Zoe Ravenscroft (5:14:21). 

For the men’s standings it was Jai Edmonds 1st (3:11:12), Julian Sinke 2nd (3:33:19) and Nick Creek 3rd (3:49:31).

Well done to all our AURA members in the 50km including Stuart Munro (5:07:31), Tim Erickson (5:56:07), Max Carson (6:31:32) and Albin Hess (6:54:00). 

Race director Justin Scholz said the Ned Kelly Chase was simply outstanding this year. 

“Clay Dawson’s 100km time appears to be the 6th best ever by an Australian Male, 3rd best in Australia and the best time in Australia for more than 20 years,” he said.

“Amazing frankly to see that 2nd place this year was a 7:03 from Dion Finocchiaro (now 8th best by an Aussie) and even 3rd would usually have won just about any other 100km race in the country at 7:53. 

“The women’s times also fill some spots in the top 10 best ever and we have a total of three performances here which have hit the top level international qualifications set by the IAU.”

International performances

AURA’s own Lou Clifton from Mount Victoria, NSW known for her international ultra races, ran spectacularly on October 20 at the Cappadocia Ultra-Trail 199km (CUT) in Central Anatolia, Turkey claiming 1st Female and crossing the finish line in a whopping 12:41:32.

Second female, Teresa Nimes Perez was about 44 minutes behind Clifton, completing her race n 13:25:13 whilst 3rd place getter Giulia Vinco came in at 14:18:17.

Congratulations to Clifton on a fantastic performance.

Coming up on the calendar

Coming up on the AURA-listed calendar of events is the Feral Pig Ultra on November 9 in the hills of Perth, offering a 100mi, 100km, 50mi and 50km. 

Pictured: The Australian team at the IAU 24hr World Championships in Albi, France. Photograph – Supplied/Facebook.