No coasting on the Surf Coast
ASH WATSON AND DEB NICHOLL WERE crowned champions of the Surf Coast Century 100km Ultra Marathon, while Roger Lay and Rachel Tucker took the 50km titles in Anglesea, Victoria. The seventh edition of the race saw more than 1,100 competitors take on an off-road course along the beaches, 4WD tracks and hinterland trails of Anglesea, Torquay and Aireys Inlet. Squally showers hinder progress bringing an unwelcome return to winter temperatures. Watson smashed the course record by mere seconds, finishing in 8:16:50. It was only his second ultra and his first 100km race. “It was close; I knew the record was 8:17:08. The weather was challenging, it was a bit slippery on course, and it slowed me down,” said the 29-year-old from Ballarat. “I had a rough patch where I struggled badly up those hills, but I came good. Then that sand at the end was an absolute killer, I didn’t realise how soft it was going to be. I thought I was in a bit of strife, but I was watching the time very closely in the last couple of minutes, until I got there.” James Roberts, 31 of Perth was second in 8:35:22, and third went to Scott Richmond, 36 of Sydney (9:02:25). Deb Nicholl from Brisbane won the women’s race in 10:35:03, with Hobart’s Jessica Collins and Mansfield’s Christine Hopkins completing the podium. “The first section wasn’t too bad, I found it really tough the second section on the rock hopping, I got passed by a lot of people through there, and I was thinking this is not good, and then the third and fourth section it all sort of came together,” said Nicholl. Roger Lay (4:10:52), Apo Kale (4:11:17) and Gary Mullins (4:27:32) were the top three men over the 50km race, raced over the second half of the 100km course. Fastest females were Rachael Tucker (4:47:59), Kate Child (5:04:02) a nd Darthea Clydsdale (5:13:03). Bl a k e Hos e a n d Madel e i n e Ol d f i e l d comprising relay team ‘Duo Lick The Stamp’ posted the fastest 100km time of the day in 8:15:54, while ‘Team Danger’s trail crew’ were the fastest team of four in 8:24:10.