Local runners get ready for Surf Coast Century

August 11, 2021 BY

Matt Mazzotta (left), with one of his daughters, will take on the Surf Coast Century for the first time.

ANGLESEA father of three Matt Mazzotta has signed up to the 10th edition of the Surf Coast Century as captain of the “Roaring Forties” relay team after being inspired as a spectator in recent years.

Mazzotta will be joined by team members Leon Gairns, Michael Burston and Michael Simpson over the 100km course, running about 25km each and cannot wait to make their debut in the ultra trail marathon.

To be held on Saturday, September 11 in the Great Ocean Road Region, the 100km course takes competitors from Anglesea to Torquay along the beach, returning along the cliff top tracks and hinterland trails to Moggs Creek and Aireys Inlet, before heading back to Anglesea on the Surf Coast Walk trail via Point Roadknight.

The event is expected to attract more than 1,300 runners. It offers 100km and 50km solo options, or 100km in relay teams of two or four.

Mazzotta spoke with event organisers Rapid Ascent about his involvement in the Century and what motivated him to round up a bunch of mates to join him on this journey.

Tell us about your family. Do they inspire you to get outdoors?
We are a family of five – Tatiana and I have three teenage girls. Part of the reason for doing the Century is to try my best at setting an example for the girls by doing things rather than saying things.

How do you embrace the coastal lifestyle and stay active?
I have competed in a few trail runs at Forrest and Anglesea, and usually do all of the ocean swimming events across the Surf Coast in the summer. During the week all year round, I hang off the back of an ocean swimming group around Torquay/Jan Juc called the ‘Frothblowers’; and run on the local trails around Anglesea when I can.

What attracted you to run in the Century this year?
After hearing about the race when I first moved down here, I always thought it would be a ‘bucket list’ type of event to do. The route is just so beautiful as it traverses both the coastline and the Surf Coast’s unique bushland. A couple of years back, a cousin also completed it in under 11 hours, which was fairly inspirational. Combining all these factors, and needing a solid 2021 goal, we all thought that a relay with mates would be a great experience and a realistic challenge.

What are you looking forward to on race day?
The pre-race nerves and banter with the boys; watching how some of the other incredible athletes prepare and warm up; taking in the scenery as I work my way through Leg 2; and celebrating with the team once we all finish! All of us are approaching 50, so we won’t be threatening the leader board! We’ll be pleased if we can get through it in reasonable time without injury, and without stopping.

What do your team-mates think?
Leon Gairns (Leg 1): Like all great plans this began as a discussion one evening over dinner lamenting our current our level of fitness. We were looking for an event that we could target and train for to improve our level of fitness. Matt spoke highly of the Surf Coast Century, the type of event and the location where it is held, so we all signed up and have been training ever since.
Michael Burston (Leg 3): I used to do a few marathons at a decent pace and have dabbled in trail running in Lorne and Falls Creek so Matt thought I’d be a great starter for the third and challenging leg. I am looking forward to supporting the team and the challenge on race day!
Michael Simpson (Leg 4): I wanted to do something with friends that would help get us in better shape, but not do a run-of-the-mill road running race. This race seemed like it would be a great team activity but also be a bit more adventurous and challenging – can’t wait!

To enter, head to the Surf Coast Century website.