WTF #6 – 2018

The 2018 edition was set to be the fastest yet with one of Australia’s top 100 mile runners in Stephen Redfern making the journey over to WA. He was joined by star Pacific Island runner Angelique Plaire from Noumea. This was part of a rich vein of form for Angelique which culminated in a 2nd place finish at UTA the following year. However, we started the 2018 race with something just a little crazy. A 13K kids race to Aid 1 at Kingsbury Rd. Hannah Kennedy took off with the lead men in the 50 Miler and managed to hold off the boys.

In the 100 Miler Stephen and Angelique both quickly established huge leads. Stephen was seen running the whole of Goldmine Hill and having an absolute ball. He beat me to the nightclub aid station and Ken I chased him to Torrens Rd where he arrived right on dark. He sat and ate chips with us for about 5minutes pretty chuffed that he was still averaging sub 6s at 127K. I think the only leg that he didn’t run a course record for was the last Oakley to Dwellingup section where the relentless pace slowed a little. His time of 16:45 will remain the forever record. Even with Michael Hooker entered this year I don’t think that is under threat on the tougher Nanga course.

Angelique was also on a mission soon settling into 2nd overall. Tempted by the lure of a post race cigarette from her “coach” she ran some incredible splits including 48minutes for the Goldmine Hill 7.5K out and back. Sergio ran a brilliant race finishing 12 minutes behind in 3rd overall and 2nd male. Of those 12minutes he actually lost 11 of them in the first leg. After going out cautiously he moved through the field and found himself in 3rd by Nth Dandalup Dam.

Rounding out the men’s podium was Shane Holstein sneaking under 20 hours with 19:54. Shane decided he liked the long stuff after this and went on to run 3x 200K+ events in 2019 before succumbing to injury.

Our only other female finisher was Jen Millum in 20:44. Her time ranks as the 3rd fastest time ever making this comparable to 2013 as one of the fastest editions of the Miler. With the men we had the 1st and 6th fastest times and the women the 1st and 3rd fastest. 2013 produced the 2nd and 3rd fastest men’s times as well as the 4th and 5th fastest female times.

Further back we had a plethora of buckles, 13 in all. A highlight for me was regular volunteer and infrequent racer Todd Lakeman who ran a very handy 22:17. Another amazing run was seen by Tim Hamilton. With a new girlfriend in tow Tim ran the race of his life to finish in 5th with 21:35. Tim actually ran a faster average pace than his 50 Miler the year before!

2018 was our biggest ever 50 miler with no fewer than 41 finishers and 7 relay teams. Gerry Hill led the way and claimed victory in 7:53. He was followed by Ben Freer (8:04) and Alex Keys (8:16). Alex not long after re-located to Victoria and you may see him umpiring in the VFL if you follow him on Strava.

There were some happy ladies in the women’s race with Michelle Brown (10:03), Sophee Gregory (10:38) and Crystal Shui (10:44) all surprised to land podium positions. It was a typical WTF day starting off cold before getting quite warm by the finish. The atmosphere was great as many runners and crew lazed on the grass out the front of Dwellingup Adventures enjoying the sunshine.

Notable among the other finishers were Dan King who would go on to run a couple of handy 200 Milers and race sponsor Chris Lark in his longest ever race.