2015 was the first year I hadn’t run and the day started with a 4:30am bus to Jarrahdale with a handful of 50 mile runners. Meanwhile the 100 mile runners were getting ready to head north.
The early action was in the 50 where Scandinavian runner Ron Kauri was chasing local favourite Nathan Fawkes who’d run a very handy 7:57 the previous year and only managed 5th. Approaching Kingsbury Rd Ron fell and lost his glasses. Nathan did the right thing stopping to help him find them. The battle raged on all day with the 2 runners leaving Oakley together. It was here that things got heated. With Ron opening up a slight gap Nathan took a wrong turn with about 14K to go. Knowing the course Nathan had anticipated the turn and went slightly early emerging in front of Ron. With accusations of “cheater” ringing in his ears, Nathan decided to settle the argument of who was the better runner once and for all by winding up the pace over the next few K’s. With the splits nudging 4:30s an audible sigh was heard from behind and Nathan cleared out to a 11 minute victory.
Further back we had our biggest field to date with the women’s victory going to Emily Laidley who would return to win the 100 Miler the following year. She was closely followed by Pam MacCaskie and Jane Snowdon with the 3 top runners just outside 9 hours.
Back in the 100 we finally got a full women’s podium. Crystal Shui had moved over from Victoria and ran away with the victory in her first 100 Miler. It was not without incident though as Crystal missed the detour to Oakley Dam during the first leg. I allowed her to make up for it on her return leg by doing the out and back again. Not the greatest doing those hills twice during the night but she was happy to still get the official time. Rachel Evans had trained the house down and was stoked to finish in just over 28 hours. Rounding out the podium with quite a few tears was Harmony Waite in 29:29.
In the men’s race Richard Avery established a handy lead early but unfortunately missed the Oakley Dam Aid Station. Unfortunately, it was not to be Blue’s day as our hottest Saturday in race history saw him peeing blood by 100K. Also in the noticeable DNFs was Grant Lewis who became our furthest DNF in 3 years pulling out at 136K.
With Avery gone Ben Harris took ascendency but Alexis Oosterhoff was in fine form and not to be outdone catching Ben at the final aid station. However, it turned out Alexis was racing for pizza and not victory and gave away nearly 10 minutes eating before chasing Ben home. The local Rottweiler was soon barking indicating Ben’s imminent arrival at the caravan park but before he arrived the barking started again suggesting a close race for victory. Despite making up over an hour in the 2nd half Alexis had to settle for runner-up while Ben claimed victory in 21:45.
We had more buckles awarded than in previous years with 3rd, 4th and 5th the very familiar names of Glen Smetherham, Wayne McMurtrie and Ron Mcglinn going home with their pants held high.