Surf Coast Century to come to life (finally!)

November 11, 2021 BY

One of this year's youngest competitors, 15-year-old Chelsea Wilkins, will take on the 100km course for the first time.

THE Surf Coast Century will finally come to life on Saturday, December 4, after being postponed twice due to COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions.

Celebrating its 10th year, the event will take place in Victoria’s Great Ocean Road Region and has cemented its place as one of Australia’s must-do ultra trail marathons, and one of only a few on offer in 2021.

With entries still open, competitors can participate either as a solo runner in the 50km or 100km courses, or in a relay team of between two and four runners over the 100km course covering approximately 25km each.

One of this year’s youngest competitors is 15-year-old Chelsea Wilkins of Lethbridge who is set to take on the 100km course for the first time. Chelsea has showed exceptional dedication over the past few months with her training and can’t wait for race day.

“I ran my first marathon at age 13 after seeing my dad run the Surf Coast Century; so I said I will run this with you one day too!” Chelsea said.
Torquay-based event organisers Rapid Ascent caught up with Chelsea about her involvement in the Century and what motivated her to not just compete, but fundraise too.

What inspired you to run 100km at the Surf Coast Century?

“Running has always been something I enjoy doing and back in 2015 my dad ran the 100km at the Surf Coast Century. It looked like such a big challenge and that definitely inspired me to have a go!”

“I am raising money for Diabetes Victoria as Mum was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12. I am hoping to raise much-needed awareness for diabetes and hopefully one day there will be a cure for diabetes.”

Where do you like to train?

“I love to go to many different places when I run, but my heart belongs on the trails and in the bush, exploring new trails, finding wildlife and sharing trails with lots of trail running friends.”What are you looking forward to on race day?

“I have been working really hard and I can’t wait to enjoy the day, see all the other runners, have the support of friends and family, and enjoy all of the beautiful Surf Coast views. It’s what I have been dreaming about for a long time!”

The 100km course takes competitors from Anglesea to Torquay along the beach, returning along the clifftop tracks and hinterland trails to Moggs Creek and Aireys Inlet, before heading back in to Anglesea on the Surf Coast Walk trail, via Point Roadknight.

Rapid Ascent said it’s great to finally have events back on the scene and on the breathtaking trails of the Surf Coast Shire region.

“Even though we have pushed the race back twice now, we can’t wait to see competitors dreams and training be rewarded at the 10th edition of the event; it will surely make this one of the most memorable races to-date,” Sam Maffett of Rapid Ascent said.

In 2019, the event attracted 1,400 runners and almost 3,000 spectators from all over Australia and contributed $4 million dollars to the Surf Coast economy with even greater numbers originally forecast for 2021.

The much-adored ultra-run has built a reputation as one of Australia’s ‘bucket-list’ trail running events due to it being one of the more unique 100km ultra courses in the world.

For more event information head to SurfCoastCentury.com.au.
To donate to Chelsea’s fundraising page go to give.diabetesvic.org.au/my-fundraising/16/team-wilko-doing-it-for-type-1.