On what was perhaps RunAsOne’s busiest weekend so far, runners competed across three main events both locally, and interstate. On Friday, some of our superstar trail runners tackled the 22km event at the Ultra Trail Australia event in the Blue Mountains. Next up, a number of our team mates tested their leg speed over a much shorter, 3 x 3.6km relay at the opening event of the Athletics SA winter season. On the same day, the 50km event at UTA started, before Scott Smith toed the line destined to see 100km worth of what the Blue Mountains trails had to offer! While Scott’s journey kept the RunAsOne social media pages busy, and everyone keeping their phones close for updates, some of the more inspired headed south to the Great Southern Run Fest. Here, we were represented in the 10km and 21.1km events on the incredibly scenic course that started and finished at Aldinga Beach.
It would be remiss to start this weekend review anywhere else but the Ultra Trail Australia event. Our RunAsOne representatives were so consistent and diligent in their preparation for these races, and it was so exciting to follow their journey as they realised goals they had set months earlier. Friday’s 22km event saw runners climb nearly 1000m of elevation on trails and stairs! Julia Vidic was our first representative home, followed by Rosey Batt, Ruby Hickman, Nola Cirocco, and Anna Kovac who finished close together in that order! To round out a successful day Annabel Comerford had a fantastic run choosing potentially the most difficult way possible to tick the box of half marathon runner! While we are extremely proud of their results, it’s difficult to determine their level of achievement based on times due to large queues regularly forming on the trails, and substantially delaying their progress. In the 50km event, our runners faced similar conditions only now with 2500m of elevation! Atsushi Ogai was the first RunAsOne shirt home, scoring a top 5 age group placing for a very well executed race! Behind Atsushi, Kate Abraham and Nicole Connolly both had great days finishing just 1 minute apart, and they were followed home by brave runs from Phil Mellors and Alessandra Perna. However, there was no time to celebrate, as our amazingly supportive team mates quickly became Scott’s cheer squad as he continued on for 50km more, and nearly 4500m of total elevation! On Sunday morning, we woke to the remarkable news that Scott had made it in across the finish line in 19 hours and 49 seconds; A mind blowing achievement! We are all so proud of all of the runners who represented us at this event, and can happily announce that plans for next years UTA are already coming together!
With similar success, our representatives at the Athletics SA event were rewarded for a consistent recent block of training. Issy Tucker and Kirsty Sideris started the day off each running a 2km leg. Izzi Batt-Doyle, Issie Hume, and Zoe Toland were the 3 selected for the Women’s Flinders A team to take on the previously dominant Hills Districts club. Incredibly, the trio were first home and Izzi recorded the fastest female time on the 3.6km course! Not too far behind, Sophie Hlipala and Jen Robertson formed 2/3 of the women’s B team for the Flinders club, and claimed a 6th place finish overall. In the same division, Margo Muir (Pembroke) and Coralie Duckworth (Adelaide Harriers) ran strongly for their respective teams. For the men, Jacob and Riley Cocks put the Flinders A team in to an equal lead heading in to the final leg of the relay. They would go on to finish 2nd overall behind Hills Districts, with Riley scoring the equal fastest leg of the day in the midst of some heavy marathon training! In a dominant display of depth from the Flinders club, a strong C team was 4th over the line represented by RunAsOne athlete Luke Mitchell, and regular training partner Tom Lancaster! Patrick Hunt and Josh Young also competed strongly for the club both helping their teams to top 10 finishes, while Matt Ormsby had his first run for the club! Tony Jarrett (Adelaide Harriers) recorded the fastest 0/50 time of the day. Lastly, Matt Warner debuted in the Flinders singlet to help the O/35 team to an impressive 2nd place in that category, gaining valuable premiership points for their efforts! It was great to see so many RunAsOne athletes supporting an Athletics SA event either competing, or cheering their teammates on. We can’t wait for many more of our runners to join future events!
Finally, and fuelled by the inspiration of Scott’s finish line footage, a large contingent of RunAsOne athletes took to the sand and trails at Aldinga to have another attempt to lower some personal best times! In what was a very well run event by the Southern Athletic Club, competitors were treated to perfect conditions on a scenic course! Oscar Bloomfield lead the team home with a top 3 finish in the half marathon scoring his first sub 80 minute run! Incredibly, Mark Routley was not too far behind in 1:21:58, nearly 4 minutes faster than the time he set only recently at the McLaren Vale Half Marathon! Mark was joined by a pace team of Riley, Izzi and Jacob, which resulted in Izzi also being first female across the line. Josh and Luke paced friends on the day in around 90 minutes, and Olivia Buchanan flew home just behind them in a massive PB of 1:32:31 scoring her a 5th place female finish! Behind her, Tallia Dawood, Gemma Victory, and Jock Merrigan finished in the same minute, all recording 1 hour and 41 minutes. Issy Tucker overcame some injury concerns earlier in the week to grab a small PB finish just 5 minutes behind that group in 1:46:40. She was closely followed by Alicia Stephens in 1:48:48 who also improved on her recent personal best set at Mclaren Vale. Still under 2 hours, Olivia’s twin sister Nicole Buchanan made it a great day for the family finishing in 1:51:05, and was joined under the barrier by Tayla Haslam (1:56)! In an incredible first attempt at the distance, Carla Scragg was next over the line for RunAsOne and finished just outside the barrier in 2:02. She will certainly look to lower that time in the very near future! Not long after the half marathon, the 10km event kicked off and followed the same course for the first half. Matt Dimonte was the first RAO singlet across the line and 2nd overall in a strong 37:47. Not far behind, Andrew Heathershaw was paced by Riley, Izzi and Jacob to a PB of 40:05, and first place in his age category (5th overall!). We know that 40 minute barrier is going down next time! Helen Allnutt recorded another strong 10 performance in her lead up to her first half marathon on the Gold Coast in July. She finished in just under 50 minutes and was first in her category! Caleb Sweeting and Ryan Haylock also participated with friends, and represented the RunAsOne shirt with pride!
Next up for the team is some local cross country races, the Barossa Marathon Festival, the La Femme 5km in the city, and a regular Park Run across a range of sites! We look forward to bringing you more news of personal bests and milestone achievements in the near future. For now, we’re back to Pakapakanthi to prepare in the best way possible: together as a team!