Ben Harris returned to the Fun Run in 2017 and took nearly an hour off his PB from 2014. He was chased home by Thomas Heal and the then unknown, Sergio Gustinetti in his first ultra. Curtis Simon-Menasse was leading but missed Oakley Dam and struggled to the finish low on food and water. Martine Neild made it back to back in the women’s race, which is the only time that has happened in the 50. Sergio would repeat the feat in the Miler in 19/20. Raquel Rae ran a huge PB for 2nd dropping nearly 2 hours from her 2015 time. Wrapping up the podium was Jen Millum in her first race over 50K. Jen would go on to be one of WA’s best ultra runners.
In the main event there were no fewer than 10 buckle performances. 2017 marked our first event finishing at Dwellingup Adventures as we had outgrown the caravan park. At the head of the pack was Keith Holt. This was quite a surprise given his previous ultra performances in WA usually saw him finish mid-pack. I’m not sure I had discovered DUV at this time because a quick look would have shown a 25th position at Marathon Des Sables. Not bad given the field size was nearly 1000. Unfortunately, that was the last we’d see of Keith, with DUV showing no results since.
In second overall and finally taking down the original course record in the women’s race was Margie Hadley. Margie was the first woman and only Aussie woman thus far to go sub 20 hours. Given her already stellar record I thought she might run Keith down but I was obviously unaware of his prowess in the really stuff. After running a lot of the race with Margie, Andrew Poli (aka Felix) ran perhaps his best ever race to finish 2nd male in 20:44. Wrapping up the men’s podium was Logan Vickers in 22hours and 2 seconds.
Margie was the only female finisher in 2017.
Further back in the field early leader Nathan Fawkes finally got a 100 Mile finish in 22:32 but not before a 2 hour nap at Oakley. This year also saw the emergence of 200 Mile star Jimmy Brooks. In his first race over 40 miles Jimmy showed he’s well suited to longer distances.