Australian 24hr Track Invitational, ACT

After months of unfortunate cancellations and postponements of races across the country due to COVID-19, the new 2020 ultra racing season kicked off with a weekend of stellar performances at the inaugural Australian 24hr Track Invitational.

Hosted by AURA’s very own vice president Matthew Eckford, the event was originally created with quality over quantity in mind, and it sure did deliver.

Despite the sun fading away and some rain falling on the track of the AIS Track & Field Facility in Canberra, the contingent of ultra runners remained strong – a combination of runners on the track itself and those in Victoria racing virtually due to border restrictions.

It was a massive effort by AURA member Joe Ward from Fairlight, NSW who secured a distance of 239.529kms to take 1st Male, and said he was shocked yet ecstatic to take the win.

AURA’s very own John Yoon from Kensington, Vic took 2nd Male following a finish of 237.378kms while member Luca Turrini from Little Bay, NSW held on for a 3rd Male title after an impressive 200.867kms.

In the women’s event, international entrant Joasia Zakrzewski (Scotland) took 1st Female after finishing on the track with 236.561kms.

AURA member Nikki Wynd from Lysterfield, Vic claimed 2nd Female following a final distance of 208.826kms while AURA treasurer Simone Hayes, hailing from Gymea Bay, NSW held on to claim 3rd Female with 106.800kms.

With 9 participants in all, 8 of whom were AURA members, congratulations also goes to Matt Griggs (200.400kms), Matthew Eckford (180.000kms) and Stephen Redfern (140.000kms) who all put in phenomenal efforts across the weekend.

*Race results are provisional at time of race report publication.


AURA president Ewan Horsburgh will be making an exciting announcement this Wednesday, July 29 at 7pm EST via Livestream on Facebook, so be sure to stay on the screen at that time in our group page. 


Due to government restrictions across the country constantly changing and being updated, some races are unable to still go ahead despite many states seeing their own restrictions lifted. 

The Five Peaks Ultramarathon and SA Trail Running Festival in Adelaide, SA was due to go ahead on August 2 however it has been cancelled. The event’s committee was cautiously optimistic about being able to proceed as planned, and since March had been monitoring the COVID-19 situation and all government regulations. Last month, the committee met again and decided that due to the ever changing nature of restrictions and other reasons, the event would be cancelled. The Five Peaks Ultramarathon and SA Trail Running Festival is now scheduled for a return next year, for 28 March, 2021. 

The next official event on the AURA calendar is Birdy’s Backyard Ultra in Moodiarrup, WA which will be held on the weekend of 7 August. This new format of racing is proving quite popular amongst the ultra community, where participants repeat a 6.7kms trail loop on the hour, every hour, until there is a last person standing. 

The Hero Run, a new event on the AURA-listed calendar of events, will be held from 8-9 August at the Laratinga Wetlands, Mount Barker, SA. This will feature a 50km on the Sunday, where participants will do four loops of an out-and-back course. 


We are always looking for members to contribute their race reports and stories for future editions of our digital magazine Ultramag because without you, there would not be an Ultramag! Please send your contributions to along with any high resolution horizontal images, as attachments. 

Pictured: AURA member Joe Ward, 1st Male at the weekend’s Australian 24hr Track Invitational in the ACT, with AURA Vice President and event organiser Matthew Eckford. Photograph – Supplied/Facebook.