6 Inch Trail Ultra, WA
Narrabeen Allighter, NSW
Internationals, Memberships, and National Championship News

What a finish to 2019, and a start to 2020. Here is all the latest, including race reports, some international race reporting, who won the December 2019 membership competition and some important news about National Championships moving forward.  

6 Inch Trail Ultra

Due to severe heat and extremely high fire risks in WA, the December 15-planned 6 Inch Trail Ultra Marathon was cancelled – always a tough call to make by a race director, but a necessary one for the safety of runners.

However in amazing Aussie spirit, a large number of registered participants have been travelling from Perth down to the south west of WA throughout the last few weeks to complete either of the two courses (47km and 23km) in their own time.

Each individual has then collected their finisher’s medal and worn their shirts with pride.

Narrabeen Allnighter

The Narrabeen Allnighter kicked off the 2020 running year on Saturday (January 4), held in Narrabeen, NSW.

The main event was the multi-lap trail race with the winner the person to complete the furthest distance in 12 hours (there is also a marathon which starts at midnight).

Held on a 5.275km out-and-back trail loop adjacent to Narrabeen Lake just 20km north of Sydney, the trail is full of bush that heads west from the start line.

Top three finishers for the men in the 12hr were Grant Brisbin who came in 1st Male (129.22km), along with AURA member Philip Balnave from Kensington, NSW who completed 118.67km in 22.5 laps to take 2nd Male, and Geoff Millar who took 3rd Male (110.76km).

For the women it was Joasia Zakrzewski who took 1st Female (129.22km) and AURA’s very own Renae Brock from Shortland, NSW who claimed 2nd Female after completing 19 laps and totalling a distance of 100.21km. Long-time AURA member Pam Muston from Wamboin, NSW held on to take the title of 3rd Female after racing a total of 18 laps to complete 94.93km.

Congratulations to all our members who raced at Narrabeen including Akira Suzuki (79.11km), Leah Weeden (79.11), Cheryl Symons (73.84km) and Samantha Post (68.56km).  

International Events

Annabel Hepworth has been hitting the ground hard over in the US with her outstanding racing in the Across The Years multi-day ultra. Held in and around Phoenix, Arizona the event provides a number of options for participants, including a 10-day, six-day, 72-hour, 48-hour and 24-hour event.

This year, the ATY 10-day event started on December 28, 2019 and ran all the way through to January 7, 2020.

Hepworth really showed the Americans what the Aussies are made of in the 10-day, with her incredible endurance to secure 1st Female with her total distance of 740.78mi (1192.169km), landing the top spot overall out of 61 competitors.

For an overview of the top three overall finishers, it was Hepworth 1st, followed by American Philip Eberts with 660.10mi (1062km) in 2nd and Leanid Anatska from Belarus with 628.67mi (1011.74km) for 3rd.

Hepworth said she hoped women racing in events like ATY inspired younger girls to pursue their own adventures.

2020 Membership Competition

Congratulations to Gayle Cowling from Elsternwick, Vic who won this year’s AURA membership competition. She will receive free entry to any AURA-listed event in 2020 up to the value of $500, and a further $500 towards travel and accommodation associated with attending her chosen event.

Thank you to everyone who renewed or joined AURA during the month of December – there were a total of 199 individual and nine family memberships that were eligible for the draw.

While the competition is over, it’s not too late to renew your membership or join as a new member in 2020. Click here for renewals and here for new memberships.   

National Championship News

A big change has been made with regards to AURA-listed National Championship events for 2020 with AURA president Rob Donkersloot explaining they were now open to all Australians, and not just members.

“Late last year, the AURA Committee made a significant change to its policy regarding qualifications for Australian Championship events,” he said.

“To qualify for Australian Championship awards, runners are now not required to be an AURA member, however Australian citizenship requirements will still need to be met.

“In recent years, Australian Championships were awarded to runners who had not necessarily won the event, which made the award feel somewhat hollow.

“Now, the best runner in Australia on the day will rightly be recognised.”

In other changes to Australian Championship policies, AURA has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Athletics Australia, which sees the 100km and 50km championships of both organisations aligned.

AURA will select the events to host the 100km and 50km championships each year after consultation with Athletics Australia.

Coming Up

This weekend will see the Sandman V: Atlas Rise held on Saturday (January 11) in Dunsborough, WA with a 50km beach run, whilst on Sunday (January 12) the Two Bays Trail Run will take place in the Mornington Peninsula, Vic for a 56km trail event.

Send in your race reports to ultramag@aura.asn.au along with high resolution photos and captions for inclusion in the monthly Ultramag digital magazine. 

Pictured: AURA member Pam Muston in the 12-hour Narrabeen Allnighter. Photograph – Supplied.