New Aussie ultra unveiled...
Australian events company Rapid Ascent have today unveiled a stunning new 100km trail race, aimed at enticing ‘first timers’ and seasoned ultra runners to the beautiful south coast near Melbourne…
Full event release
A new 100km ‘ultra’ trail event dubbed the Surf Coast Century has launched with a format and course that promises to attract endurance runners from the ranks of international and national elites who will compete alongside runners stepping up to longer distances for the first time.
Set for Saturday, 22 September, the Surf Coast Century will start and finish in the seaside township of Anglesea, located only an hour’s drive from Melbourne on the world-renowned tourist attraction that is the Great Ocean Road.
The 100km ‘Century’ will explore tracks and single trails along Victoria’s famous Surf Coast, taking runners on a enviable journey under some of the tallest cliffs and most beautiful beaches in Australia, before mixing up the terrain with hinterland bush and fern fringed stands of Eucalypt.
While the single track quality of what pundits say will be a ‘quick’ 100km course – sub-ten hours – is set to attract many experienced solo ultra runners, all looking to snatch the inaugural course record, the relay teams category will give those new to the game a taste of what ultras are all about.
Race organiser Rapid Ascent notes that the event has specifically been developed to be a “stepping stone” ultra by opening up team categories of between two and four runners, who will each complete between 25km and 50km legs in a relay team.
“Sell-out fields in renowned ultra events such as The North Face 100 and the Great Ocean Walk 100 demonstrates that ultra running is becoming more popular, but we recognise that 100km is a massive undertaking for anyone,” says Race Director, John Jacoby. “So we wanted to build in a ‘beginner’ factor, by allowing the relay concept. Having said that, you’ll still need to put in some decent training for even the shortest leg of 25km!”
The Surf Coast Century promises to become a mainstay on the ultra marathon circuit, with a unique and spectacular course that runs past lighthouses, waterfalls, scenic lookouts, renowned surf beaches (heard of Bells?), surf life saving clubs, remote wilderness and almost everything in between.
“There’s headlands to traverse, cliff top and bottom trails, sweeping singletrack ensconced in coastal flora, all coupled with jaw-dropping views across the southern seaboard,” says Jacoby. “We’re hoping the mix of terrain and the varied format will establish the Surf Coast Century and one of the Southern Hemisphere’s must-do trail running events for anyone.”
The Surf Coast Century encompasses a figure eight course, ensuring plenty of spectator opportunities with ease of access to checkpoints and other viewing areas for friends and family to cheer along their runners.
“With the course starting and finishing on the beach backing on to the Anglesea township, there is plenty of great local food, accommodation and entertainment options to make a holiday of the occasion,” says Jacoby.
The Surf Coast Century offers one of the biggest prize purses in Australian ultra trail running, with $1000 plus a Suunto Ambit GPS watch (RP$650) going to the 100km solo winner, plus a raft of prizes for category winners.
Organisers are planning to hold an familiarisation day on the course with a date set tentatively for 5 August, allowing runners to get a taste of the course along with expert advice from event ambassador, Julian Spence, an Anglesea local who just happens to be one of Australia’s elite ultra runners, having won the 2011 Great Ocean Walk 100 ultra.