WTF #7 – 2019

This year we moved to Nanga Bush Camp due to a few reasons.

1. We’d outgrown another location in Dwellingup Adventures.

2. The original course was supposed to be on the Waterous Trail out back of Nanga. Hence the name. One of our reasons for remaining on the Munda Biddi north of town was due to a lack of mobile reception south of town but a new tower at Nanga had largely fixed this.

3. The Munda Biddi north of town was gradually moving sections of single track onto Scarp Rd making navigation and trail maintenance more difficult.

4. It was getting increasingly difficult to man 9 aid stations, and we had 70 traffic management signs to put out and collect over an 80K course.

5. I was regularly working out at Nanga Bush Camp and thought it would be fun to all hang out together for the entire weekend.

In the 100 Miler we had our closest race since 2013 with Ally Willcox chasing Sergio home and making up 13 minutes over the last 22K leg. Sitting at the finish line waiting for them, I saw Sergio’s headlamp in the distance and before he had arrived there was Ally’s light shining through the same gap in the trees. We knew it would be close as Ally had Shane Johnstone pacing him and they’d made up 19 minutes between the last 2 aid stations. The last spot on the podium was Andre Pienaar who ran a very handy 22:15 on a new tougher course.

In the women’s race Jen Millum was just racing herself and maybe some of the men as she ran the fastest Nanga time so far with a 22:48. Michelle Lane was the next finisher in her first ever 100 Miler running a great debut time of 28:39. Working her way back from a late DNF at Delirious Cheryl Tatterton finished in 30:14. This was the furthest I’ve ever seen Cheryl run without her good mate Mark Williams who was injured in the lead up.

Leading the way we had a team of gun runners doing the 100 Mile relay including Alan Stabler and Ian Newell this kept the volunteers on their toes as we were racing around setting up aid stations to be ready for their sub 16 hour pace.

Further back in the field we had our hottest ever weather with the Sunday hitting 29C and full sunshine. This was bad news for our slower runners, but it was awesome seeing a man who had volunteered at every previous race in Thomas Grober finishing in 34:45.

In the 50 Miler Mick Francis turned back time to run an incredible 8:37 at 61 years of age! To put into perspective how quick that time is DUV has given it an age graded time of 6:59 over 2 laps of the powerlines. This led to Mick winning by over an hour. In his wake were Matt Yearsley 2nd in 9:40 and Owen DeSnoo in 9:54.

In the women’s race we had quite a close battle with Sarah Dawson taking the win in 10:31. In 2nd place Raquel Rae was able to run past Kate Jenour after trailing by 4 minutes at the last aid station and hang onto a narrow win 10:51 to 10:53.

Further back it was great to see long time crew member Tex Webster join the runners and finish 4th place. Tex had helped Michael Head complete his multiple 100 Milers in previous years. Also, for the first time ever we had the same number of female and male finishers in the 50. When I started running I remember Rottnest had the highest ratio of female to male runners in the whole of Australia with 30% so to hit 50% we’ve seen a lot more women get involved in this great sport.