Many Covid restrictions had been removed and we were allowed to get back to racing again. Unfortunately, the Lighthorse Ultra had been rescheduled to 2 weeks before WTF so a lot of runners who had already entered Lighthorse raced there instead. There were, however 2 exceptions Julia Mackay ran both and Alexis entered the longest race at each event succumbing to a lack of motivation halfway through WTF which has since been immortalised in song by another long-time volunteer in Peter Barry.
In the Miler Sergio didn’t have a lot of competition until towards the end when Glen Smetherham was chasing his 5th buckle and got within half an hour. Rounding out the men’s podium was Steven Williams in just over 26 hours. In the women’s race Kate Jenour was on fire. Kate had been training hard for Delirious and the 100 was a good test to see where she was at. Alexis and I actually ran into Kate on our 500K Munda Biddi Mission about 6 weeks later and she was running the hardest section of our whole ride doing a 5 hour training run. Behind Kate, Nicola Walters ran a great debut miler in 30:12. Our last spot on the podium went to Trish Hoare, also on debut, she ran 32:34.
During the last 20K of the 50Miler the heavens opened and everyone got soaked. I was out getting a last minute sign in the ground so I got soaked too. I actually came away from putting the sign out on my bike and headed off down the wrong trail looking for the leaders. I soon realized I was heading towards the most hectic downhill trail in the whole park. I decided that no one would be coming up this trail in the pouring rain so I headed back down the wrong way and raced back to the finish line. Nathan Reeves had missed the turn I was marking and discovered he was on the wrong trail. He found his way back to the course but not before Daniel Chidlow had gone past going the correct way. Nathan chased hard and caught up to Daniel. What did he want to do sprint it out or cross the line together? Daniel chose to take the tie. Trail runners being a bunch of hippies this was quite common in my early days in Australia. I say sprint it out you long-haired louts! Rounding out the men’s podium was Giovanni De Vita in 9:49.
Casey Edlington managed 3rd overall in taking out the women’s race, the fastest time for the original Nanga course. She managed to hold off the winning relay team the Du Toits RUS which was a full family affair, mum, and dad and their 2 oldest kids. Mick Francis coached runners made a clean sweep of the women’s podium with Martina Tairea (10:11) and Ilze Rouix (10:20) the other prize winners.
Further back in the field it was great to see Cassie Hughes running after volunteering at so many races over the years. Cassie ran a very handy 12:37 to prove she’s learnt a few tips watching from the sidelines.