IT WAS another great display of super long distance running on the Surf Coast at the weekend.
Ash Watson and Deb Nicholl won the Surf Coast Century 100km Ultra Marathon, while Roger Lay and Rachel Tucker took out the titles in the 50km race at Anglesea.
The seventh edition of the race saw more than 1,100 competitors from across Australia and overseas journey 50km and 100km across a spectacular off-road course along the beaches, 4WD tracks and hinterland trails of Anglesea, Torquay and Aireys Inlet.
Despite conditions that saw multiple rain squalls sweep across the Surf Coast and a return to winter temperatures, the triumph and elation at the finish line proved it was a race worth running.
Ash Watson, 29, of Ballarat broke the course record by seconds, coming in in just eight hours, 16 minutes, 50 seconds. It was only his second ultramarathon, and first 100-kilometre race.
“It was close; I knew the record was 8:17:08. The weather was challenging, it was a bit slippery on course, and it slowed me down.”
Watson didn’t let a couple of falls or getting lost and losing time affect his end-goal.
“I’m really glad I got under by a couple of seconds, because if I had have missed it by a little bit I wouldn’t have been able to sleep tonight.”
Deb Nicholl, 48, of Brisbane and the Mountain Goat Trail Runners won the women’s race convincingly in 10 hours, 35 minutes and three seconds, and with it became the first to clinch the Rapid Ascent Ultra Running Triple Crown; finishing, and at the same time winning all three ultra running events; Run Larapinta, the Margaret River Ultra Marathon and the Surf Coast Century.
“The first section wasn’t too bad, I found it really tough the second section on the rock hopping, I got passed by a lot of people through there, and I was thinking this is not good, and then the third and fourth section it all sort of came together.”
The Surf Coast Century is organised by Torquaybased adventure sports event management company Rapid Ascent.
Head to SurfCoastCentury.com.au for more information.
The running action continued on Sunday as more trail runners took to the Anglesea trails for Sunday’s Race 4 of the Trail Running Series, which featured a range of shorter, more accessible races of 8km, 15km and 23km in length as well as a 2.5km Kids’ Run.
For the full list of results from the Surf Coast Century, visit bit.ly/2pbUixV.