Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail 100

Hills and trails of Canberra

Explore the natural heart of Canberra, on foot – solo or in relay

Bathe in Canberra's scenic beauty
A bush race in the heart of the nation's capital
Race solo or in a 4-leg relay
The best way to experience this unique city
Well-marked, easy-to-navigate course
Friendly, supportive atmosphere
Well-stocked drink and refreshment stations
State-of-the-art electronic chip timing
Post-event buffet meal for all runners and helpers
Full results published online same day

About the event

Canberra has some of the best trails of any city in the world.

Originally staged as a 100km race to commemorate the Centenary of Canberra in 2013, this unique run is a celebration of our "Natural Capital" – part adventure, part scenic tour and part epic endurance challenge.

The journey wends through the hills, nature parks and open spaces of central, south and north Canberra, describing a wide loop starting and finishing at Rond Terrace, at the foot of Anzac Parade on Lake Burley Griffin in the Parliamentary Triangle.

Why not have it all? – this run combines the exhilarating immersion in Nature of a genuine trail race, with the convenience, safety and proximity to city services of an urban environment. Come and experience why so many runners choose to live and train in Canberra year-round.

After growing the distance by 1km each year to reach 105km in 2018, from 2019 the race reverted to the standard distance of 100km.

Runners can challenge themselves to attain the glory of completing the entire 100km solo; or else join with friends or colleagues to cover the distance in a relay team of 2 – 4 members.

ONLINE ENTRIES WILL OPEN HERE AT 7AM ON FRIDAY 13 DECEMBER 2019.

EARLYBIRD ENTRIES CLOSE AT 5PM ON THURSDAY 13 AUGUST 2020.

ALL ONLINE ENTRIES CLOSE AT 5PM ON THURSDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2020.

Distance

100 km

Start time

  • 6:00AM for solo runners
  • 6:30AM for relay teams

Cost

  • Pre 5PM, Thurs 13 August: $140 Solos, $192 Teams
  • Post 5pm Thurs 13 August: $192 Solos, $240 Teams
  • Online entries close at 5PM on Friday 11 September

Contact

Prachar Stegemann
0404 071 327
Send Email

Award categories

  • Medals for all solo finishers
  • Trophies for top placegetters in solo categories
  • Trophies for 1st 3 teams in each category

The route

Starting and finishing at The Rond Terraces, the route explores central Lake Burley Griffin and the national momuments of the Parliamentary Triangle, Parliament House, Red Hill, Isaacs Ridge, Farrer Ridge, Mt Taylor, Mt Arawang, Cooleman Ridge, Stromlo Forest Park, the National Arboretum, Cork Oaks, Black Mountain Reserve, Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie. 

The full course takes in most of the significant sights of Canberra.

The course for 2020 will be the same as that used in 2019. View the entire course, a Trackprofiler navigable map, download the whole course gpx file and a whole-course Elevation Profile.

Download and print complete course descriptions and detailed maps for each leg.

We recommend the OsmAnd app for smartphone as a backup for staying on course. The advantage of OsmAnd is that it works offline and doesn't rely on a data connection.

You will need to:

Download OsmAnd (free version) to your iPhone or Android phone.
Download the ACT map.
Then you will need to download the GPX track for either the whole course or an individual leg from this site. You will need to open the track in the OsmAnd app. (Depending on your phone, this can be straightforward, or possibly not so straightforward!)

View, download and print detailed course maps for each leg:

Leg 1 Leg 2 Leg 3 Leg 4

Map 1 Map 7a Map 12b Map 19
Map 2 Map 7b Map 13 Map 20
Map 3 Map 8 Map 14 Map 21
Map 4 Map 9 Map 15 Map 22
Map 5 Map 10 Map 16 Map 23
Map 6 Map 11 Map 17 Map 24
  Map 12a Map 18 Map 25

Event Information

For all pre-entered Solo Athletes and Relay Teams, compulsory registration – including a pasta meal for all pre-entered athletes – will be between 5PM and 6.30PM, Saturday 12 September at "My Rainbow-Dreams" cafe, Dickson Place, Dickson (opposite the Post Office).  This will also the final opportunity to lodge late entries (pending the discretion of the event organisers).

If you have made changes to the composition or order of your team, you will need to have these recorded at Registration.  You will also sign a waiver form, collect race numbers and information on any last-minute course alterations.

Replacement of team members is allowed, provided the replacement does not alter the category of the team (eg all-female to mixed). Replacement members must sign a waiver form at Registration. Also at Registration, names are to be confirmed for each member doing each leg. Changes to this schedule will be permitted on the day, provided transition marshals are informed of the change in advance of the leg concerned.

Solo Runners- Every Solo Runner who will be commencing the final leg of the race after 4:30pm, must provide his or her own helper/pacer OR must run with another competitor for this leg. Each helper/pacer may only be responsible for one runner. Helpers may provide assistance of any kind anywhere on the course, with the exception of pacing during the first three legs (ie running with the athlete for more than 30 seconds), or physically assisting the runner to move in a forward direction (ie pushing or towing the athlete). Helpers may touch the runner as long as he or she is stationary, and may assist with clothing, equipment, food & drinks, as well as motivational, inspirational and directional advice. Helpers may not interfere with or impede the progress of any other competitor. To do so will incur the disqualification of the helper's runner, even if he or she has no part in such interference.  The helper/pacer – with mobile phone, headlamp or flashlight – must accompany every solo runner commencing the final leg after 4:30pm.

Relay Teams - Teams must provide their own assistance and transport, which must be limited to a maximum of two (2) vehicles. Only members of a team can provide assistance to a team member in the course of the event. All other conditions are the same as apply to the solo runners' helpers. Any team member impeding or interfering with the progress of any other competitor or team will incur the disqualification of his or her entire team.

The race will start in two waves, from the grassy bank at The Rond Terrace (off Parkes Way, at the southern end of Anzac Parade).

Solo Runners will start at 6:00AM.  Relay Teams will depart at 6:30AM.

Please assemble near the start for final check-in fifteen minutes prior to your start time. Final briefing will commence five minutes before the start time for both Solo Runners and Relay Teams. The race finishes where it began – on the grassy bank at Rond Terrace.

Upon the completion of each relay leg, it is the runner's responsibility to ensure that his or her number has been recorded by the timekeepers, before tagging the next runner (for Relay Teams) or proceeding to the next leg (for Solo Runners).  Besides these transition compounds, there will be several number checkpoints on each relay leg. These will be marked with a sign, and attended by an official. It is the runner's responsibility to ensure that his or her number is recorded by the official. Failure to be recorded at a number checkpoint will incur a minimum time penalty of 30 minutes. Locals will be aware of many potential short-cuts, but should remember that to take a short-cut may mean missing a crucial number checkpoint!

Race numbers are recorded at number checkpoints and relay transition compounds throughout the race. Anyone whose number is not recorded within a reasonable time will become the object of a search (and, if necessary, rescue) mission. For this reason, any individual or team member choosing to withdraw from the event must inform, or have their helper inform either an Emergency Services marshal or a race official at an aid station or a relay transition compound.

In the event of a relay team member being unable to complete his or her leg, another team member may complete that leg on his or her behalf, provided race officials are informed of the details and circumstances before the replacement team member proceeds. The resulting split time for that leg will not be credited to any team member, and the team will not be eligible for awards. Otherwise, the team may choose to leave that leg uncompleted and another team member may start the following leg, commencing from the advertised cut-off time of the previous leg. In this case, the team will be allowed to proceed, and other team members' split times will be recorded, but the team will be recorded as a DNF, ineligible for awards.

Each Relay Team runner must check-in with officials at the transition 15 minutes prior to their anticipated start-time. The team-member completing the previous leg must complete his or her course and be recorded by officials before tagging the next runner, who is then free to depart.

There will be full aid station supplies at each relay transition point. These will include water, sports drink, fruit, sweets, First Aid kit, vaseline, sunscreen (all of which are available to competitors only), and either public toilets or Port-a-loo.

Access to transition compounds is restricted to race officials, Solo Runner's helpers, media and team members involved in the changeover.

Transition compounds will be at the following locations:

Leg 1 / Leg 2 - above the dead-end of Waldock St, Chifley, near the base of the north side of Mt Taylor.

Leg 2 / Leg 3 - grassy area at the end of Kirkpatrick St, Weston, alongside RSPCA.

Leg 3 / Leg 4 - grassy area adjacent to the intersection of Phillip Ave and Majura Ave, Dickson.

Aside from the transition compounds, there will be aid stations offering fruit, sweets, water and sports drink, approximately every 10 km along the course. It is compulsory for every Solo Runner to carry a minimum of 500 ml of water or sports drink – 750 ml to one litre is recommended.

Solo runners who wish to prepare drop-off bags with special drinks etc to be collected at the transition points, must bring these, clearly labelled with their name, race number and transition number where they are to be collected, to Registration on Saturday evening, or else to the start at least 15 minutes prior to the race start.

In addition to the transition compounds, aid stations will be located at the following points:

Leg 1

a) Hindmarsh Dr tunnel, northern end – end of Hartigan St, Garran
b) Crossing of Athllon Dr

Leg 2

c) Corner of Eucumbene Dr and Hindmarsh Dr, Duffy
e) Crossing of Dave McInnes Drive

Leg 3

f) Car park adjacent to Black Mountain Dr, after summit loop of Black Mountain
g) Roundabout at Fairfax St and Dryandra St, O'Connor

Leg 4

h) Mt Majura summit
i) Campbell Park (base of Mt Ainslie)
j) Mt Ainslie summit

Restrictions:

For safety, NO RUNNER may wear an iPod, radio or other listening device during the course of the event.

Requirements:

For Solo Runners: every solo runner must carry the following equipment with him or her for the entire event.  This equipment will be checked prior to the start, and may be checked at other points along the course:

* Mobile phone
* Minimum of 500 ml of water or sports drink – it is recommended to carry 750 ml to one litre
* Every solo runner starting the final leg of the race after 4.30pm must carry a headlamp or torch
* Every solo runner starting the final leg of the race after 4.30pm must be accompanied by a helper/pacer (who must also carry a mobile phone and headlamp or flashlight) OR must run with another competitor for this leg

For Relay Team Runners: every relay team runner must carry the following equipment with him or her for their entire leg.  This equipment will be checked prior to the start of each relay leg:

* Mobile phone
* Every relay team runner starting the final leg of the race after 4.30pm must carry a headlamp or flashlight

Most of the course of the Sri Chinmoy Canberra Ultra Trail Run is within Canberra Nature Park, which includes Red Hill, Isaacs and Farrer Ridges, Mt Taylor, Mt Arawang, Cooleman Ridge, Black Mountain Reserve, Bruce and O'Connor Ridges, Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie – as well as through Stromlo Forest Park and the National Arboretum. We are very fortunate to have been granted permission to stage this event through these areas. The authorities of Access Canberra have been extremely cooperative and helpful.

However, please be aware that this event takes place in a public domain. We do not have exclusive use of any of these areas, all of which are used by many people on weekends. Please treat other users with courtesy, especially walkers.

ALL RUNNERS MUST GIVE WAY TO ALL TRAFFIC AT ALL ROAD CROSSINGS. While marshals will be stationed at major crossings, they will not be stopping traffic, but simply assisting you to make a safe crossing. Please be patient and cautious. In the context of an all-day event, a short delay at a road crossing may be used as an opportunity for a brief rest.  Failure to give way at a road crossing, or failure to obey the instructions of a marshal at a road crossing, will result in immediate disqualification from the race.

Athletes must show due courtesy and concern for all users of public cycle paths, including giving way to all pedestrians and recreational cyclists.

All gates in Canberra Nature Park, the former Stromlo Forest and the National Arboretum which are normally locked will remain locked for this event. Where a gate is closed, you may open the gate to pass through, but must then close the gate behind you. Where a gate on the course is locked, it must be climbed.

Please note that all competitors who have entered or have been entered into this event online, whether as Solo Runners or Relay Team members, must sign the participant waiver before commencing their respective leg or legs of the race. Copies of the waiver will be available at each transition area.

Any competitor who commences a leg without first signing the participant waiver is subject to immediate and automatic disqualification, and is no longer deemed a participant in the event.

In the event that any area of the course is closed to the public for any reason – including but not limited to fire, flooding, traffic or other accident – an alternative route through or around that area will be sought, and advertised at Registration or else signposted on the day of the race.  In this case, it cannot be guaranteed that the amended course will be the same distance of the originally advertised course.

In the event that the entire Canberra Nature Park is closed to the public for any reason, the event will be postponed to another date.  All entries in an event thus postponed will be held over to that later date, or else may be redeemed for any future running of the event within 3 years of the originally advertised event.

The event is being attended by trained personnel from Sports Medicine Australia who will be on hand to treat injuries. Every competitor must carry a mobile phone.

This is an endurance event, where a spirit of mutual assistance will benefit all. No amount of planning can adequately protect a 105 kilometre course through bushland, and many sections are without medical personnel or marshals for several kilometres. If you encounter another runner in difficulty, please stop to ascertain their condition and lend assistance where possible, and be sure to report the situation to the next marshal you see.

All times listed are in 24-hour clock time according to Eastern Standard Time, which assumes that the race commences with the start of the Solo Runners at 0600.  These times apply to both Solo Runners and Relay Teams (even though Relay Teams commence 30 minutes after the Solo Runners).

Relay Leg 1 - 1015    
Relay Leg 2 - 1445    
Relay Leg 3 - 1900    
Relay Leg 4 - 2400    

 

After these times, there will be no marshals, checkpoints or aid stations on the course, and split times will not be recorded.

Solo Runners: Any runner commencing the final run leg after 1630 must be accompanied either by another competitor OR by his or her helper/pacer, with a headlamp or flashlight. A sweeper will follow the backmarker throughout the course.

Relay Teams: In the event that a team member fails to complete his or her leg before the designated cut-off time, another team member will be allowed to start the next leg at that time. In this case, the team will be permitted to proceed, and all ensuing team members' split times will be recorded, but the team will be recorded as a DNF, ineligible for any awards.

The race finish and communications HQ will be at The Rond Terraces. Updates on results will be posted here from 3PM onwards, as well as online throughout the event. The nearest hot showers are available at Civic Pool. Relax with a drink, cheer on your friends, and share stories of the day's exploits.

There will be no formal awards ceremony, as many runners need to depart for interstate shortly after their finish. Awards will be presented as soon as practicable after participants cross the Finish line. Awards will be presented to all Solo Runners who complete the course; and the first three all-male, all-female and mixed Relay Teams.

Check any of the following vantage points for stunning vistas...

1. Mt Majura (4th relay leg) 888m
2. Mt Taylor (1st relay leg) 855m
3. Mt Ainslie (4th relay leg) 843m
4. Mt Stanley (1st relay leg) 841m
5. Black Mountain (3rd relay leg) 812m
6. Sheaffe Trig (1st relay leg) 793m
7. Mt Stromlo (2nd relay leg) 782m
8. Mt Arawang (2nd relay leg) 756m
9. Davidson Trig (1st relay leg) 749m
10. Red Hill (1st relay leg) 720m

Note that these records have been set on varying courses, as the event has increased from 100 km in 2013 to 105 km in 2018.

Solo Male Under 50: 9:38:31 – Brendan Davies (2018 – 105km)
Solo Male 50-59: 12:55:41 – Geoff Barnes (2017 – 104km)
Solo Male 60-69: 17:09:03 – Peter Badowski (2017 – 104km)
Solo Female Under 50: 11:24:57 – Susan Keith (2013 – 100km)
Solo Female 50-59: 12:14:00 – Pam Muston (2014 – 101km)

1st leg Solo Male Under 50: 2:04:57 – Thomas Brazier (2013)
1st leg Solo Male 50-59: 2:24:42 – Glen Gielissen (2016)
1st leg Solo Male 60-69: 3:12:28 – Peter Badowski (2017)
1st leg Solo Female Under 50: 2:25:22 – Susan Keith (2013)
1st leg Solo Female 50-59: 2:38:11 – Pam Muston (2014)
2nd leg Solo Male Under 50: 2:39:12 – Brendan Davies (2018)
2nd leg Solo Male 50-59: 3:01:49 – Geoff Barnes (2019)
2nd leg Solo Male 60-69: 4:30:51 – Peter Badowski (2017)
2nd leg Solo Female Under 50: 2:52:51 – Patricia McKibbin (2019)
2nd leg Solo Female 50-59: 3:13:29 – Pam Muston (2019)
3rd leg Solo Male Under 50: 2:13:05 – Bradley Carron-Arthur (2014)
3rd leg Solo Male 50-59: 3:07:01 – Geoff Barnes (2017)
3rd leg Solo Male 60-69: 4:12:47 – Stephen Reynolds (2015)
3rd leg Solo Female Under 50: 2:43:41 – Susan Keith (2013)
3rd leg Solo Female 50-59: 2:50:17 – Pam Muston (2014)
4th leg Solo Male Under 50: 2:24:35 – Andrew Donaldson (2013)
4th leg Solo Male 50-59: 3:36:06 – Geoff Barnes (2017)
4th leg Solo Male 60-69: 5:00:04 – Stephen Reynolds (2015)
4th leg Solo Female Under 50: 2:57:02 – Susan Keith (2013)
4th leg Solo Female 50-59: 3:10:14 – Pam Muston (2014)

Relay Teams

All-Female Team: 9:17:56 – "Here We Go" (Aimee Davenport, Margaret Helmsley, Hannah Every-Hall, Tiffany Bonasera) (2013 – 100km)
All-Male Team: 6:59:46 – "@runcanberra" (Matt Fenech, Rob Walter, Martin Dent, Philo Saunders) (2013 – 100km)
Mixed Team: 7:53:00 – "Why so much?" (Susie Sprague, Martin Dent, Kathie Dent, Philo Saunders) (2014 – 101km)

Relay Leg Records

1st leg male: 1:43:25 – Matt Fenech ("@runcanberra") (2013)
1st leg female: 2:05:21 – Jackie Fairweather ("Puffcake's tragic dragons") (2014)
2nd leg male: 1:46:40 – Matthew Robbie ("Speediegeese #100") (2019)
2nd leg female: 2:27:30 – Ellie Barrett ("Kool Galz") (2019)
3rd leg male: 1:26:02 – Martin Dent ("@runcanberra") (2013)
3rd leg female: 1:56:34 – Clare 'Dorothy' Rickards ("We're Off to See the Wizzard") (2014)
4th leg male: 1:35:47 – Philo Saunders ("Why so much?") (2014)
4th leg female: 2:02:16 – Vanessa Haverd ("Puffcake's tragic dragons") (2014)

Story Archive

Some of our entrants have contributed their own stories – you can read them in the Story Archive.

Previous Results

  • 2019 Sep 14th
    Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail 100, Saturday 14 September, 2019

    Returning to 100km felt like returning home. The distance fits snugly into an Autumn’s day, offering a challenging and fulfilling outer and inner journey, while showcasing enough of Canberra’s scenic beauty to remind us that we are blessed to live in the world’s best city for running. A record field (one more than attended the inaugural run to celebrate Canberra’s Centenary in 2013) enjoyed an unusually warm September day: Canberra gleamed in brilliant sunshine, fragrant with fresh blossoms, while a glorious full moon presided over start and finish.

    The headline solo performance of the day was Patricia McKibbin’s outstanding win in the women’s race. Never previously having run a marathon, let alone a 100km event, Patricia paced her run superbly – she was 17th solo athlete at the 1st transition – working her way through the field to finish strongly 3rd outright in 11:25:07, barely missing the solo course record by a mere 10 seconds: a promising debut run if ever there was one!

    At the other end of the experience scale, Pam Muston shone with another stellar run of 13:07:17 to take 2nd overall among the women and 1st Female 50-59 – in the process defeating all the men in the same age group. Mallani Moloney of Queensland was next home with 13:11:29, a constantly cheerful figure throughout the day. Allicia Heron completed the podium placings in the Female Under 50 with a solid 14:12:04.

    In a solo men’s field lacking obvious “stars”, with little consensus about a pre-race favourite, Nicholas Hamilton proved to be a “dark horse”, for though he resides in Canberra, very few local runners knew much about him. It turns out Nicholas was visiting the Arboretum last October, where he saw runners from last year’s race and thought to himself: “it would be good to participate in this event!” If only winning a race – or achieving any objective in life – were always that simple! His winning time of 11:01:40 was 10 minutes ahead of 2nd placing, the vastly-experienced Andrew Donaldson’s 11:11:00. Abhishek Tiwari, who had led the field for most of the day, bravely soldiered on after hitting a huge wall to finish in 3rd with 12:06:52, while Jonathan Miller took out the Male 50-59 category in 13:22:25.

    No overall course records fell today, though understandably – given that this leg was reduced by 5km from 2018 – the record for leg 2 fell in several categories, including Solo Female Under 50 – Patricia McKibbon (2:52:51); Solo Female 50-59 – Pam Muston (3:13:29); Solo Male 50-59 – Geoff Barnes (3:01:49); Male in a Team – Matthew Robbie (1:46:40); and Female in a Team – Ellie Barrett (2:27:30). It’s a testament to how good Brendan Davies’ run was in 2018, that he retains his leg 2 (and overall course) record despite 5km being shaved from the distance!

    From the spectator’s point of view, the most exciting racing came right at the front of the field with an epic duel between the 2 leading All-Male Teams, with never more than a few minutes separating “R-JAHS” (Hugh Williams, James Minto, Alan Craigie & Sam Crowther) and “Speedygeese #100” (Rowan Lewis, Matthew Robbie, Jacob Grooby & Sam Burridge). Their finishing times of 7:17:11 and 7:19:18 respectively, are the 2nd and 3rd fastest ever recorded at this race, and the fastest since the inaugural event in 2013. Both teams put great pressure on the organisers throughout the day, beating several marshals to their posts in the process. It was thrilling to observe such high calibre athletes giving their all in a great display of sustained speed, endurance and dedication.

    The quality combination of “Kool Galz” – Fleur Flannery, Ellie Barrett, Narelle Smyth & Allie Corripio – were in a league of their own in the All-Female Teams, winning in 9:37:45. “Ultra HARM” were 2nd with 10:44:17 (Heather Lawton, Rachel Venn, Alina McMaster & Michelle Gretch); from “Champagne Yaks” (Danni Farlow. Helen Morewood, Kristy Zwickert & Donna Hyland) in 10:53:44.

    The largest category saw 44 teams participating in the Mixed Teams. The winners of this division were Tom Driscoll, Mathias Richter, Justelle Coyle & Charlie Henshell posting a slick 9:07:59 to take the category from Kael Hulin, Daniel Carson, Carol Lander & Jonathan Chan (“Not All Who Wander Are Lost”) in 9:24:14 and event stalwarts “Formaggi Che Corrono” (Cam Macintosh, Denis Mungoven, Duncan Sheppard & Kate Chipperfield) in 9:52:50.

    From an organiser’s point of view, just as satisfying as watching the superb efforts of the athletes in this magnificent drama, is to witness the heroic offerings of the innumerable helpers without whom the event cannot take place. Our gratitude to the tireless medics from Sports Medicine Australia – Mike Corrigan, James Elwin and Corey Bacon; and to the phenomenal volunteers – including Michael Thompson AND Michael A Thompson, Terry Dixon, Jon Schol, Jen Bright, Jen Davis, Paul Mahoney, Nei-kiewa Close, Jeff Grey, Bria & Dan, Mhairi & Tim Craig, Anthony Newman, Claire Edwards, Andrew Blyton and Lyndon O’Grady – heroes all!

  • 2019 Sep 14th
    2019: Michael Brennan's Solo Report

    Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail 100 – A first ascent

    This year’s Canberra Trail 100 was my first attempt at a 100km race.  While not a stranger to long distance endurance events, the longest formal foot race I had previously completed was 21km, so needless to say I was coming into the event a novice.  In summary, this race is a serious challenge of mind, body and soul and this year was no exception.

    Friday night registration was a buzz of excitement and camaraderie as teams met (some for the first time) along with solo entrants to check-in. The My Rainbow Dreams Café hosted us all for dinner while every aspect of registering was overseen by a very proud Prachar Stegemann whose contented demeanor expressed: ‘These are my people’.

    Welcomed by a beautiful clear day, perfect running temperatures and very little wind – it was near perfect conditions for the race.  There was large group of solo competitors and huge number of teams making this year the largest field, eclipsing the inaugural event in 2013 by 1 runner.

    andre_and_mike_at_the_start.jpg

    Andé and Mike at the start.

    What attracts me personally to endurance events like the Canberra Trail 100 is the human connection. As soon as the race was underway at 6am, the process of getting to know your fellow competitors commenced immediately. There is an intensity to the relationships that you develop while completing a race like this, especially as the day wears on, as your vulnerabilities are exposed.

    I was very fortunate to meet a very excitable, affable and genuine fellow at the start of the first leg named Justin ‘Timberlake’ Hiatt. An accomplished runner (including a UAT 100 finisher this year), Justin was very generous with his advice and was an absolute joy to run with. Throughout the day we experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows but encouraged each other to push through until the end. It was so special to meet a kindred spirit out on the journey, along with his Dad David, partner Ellen and Mum Jane.

    justin_and_mike_celebrating_marathon_1_on_ascent_of_stromlo_0.jpg

    Mike and Justin celebrate the completion of marathon #1 on the ascent of Mt Stromlo.

    During the in between times I was also fortunate to run a few kilometers with Andrew Donaldson, who was competing in his 26th 100km event in 7 years! Andrew is an absolute inspiration and was happy to provide plentiful advice about endurance running. After the picturesque and challenging (i.e. traumatic) ascent off Black Mountain, I had the pleasure of running with another supreme athlete named Trish McKibbin.  Also running her first 100km, Trish’s mature approach and humble character will undoubtedly make her one of the ultra-champions of the future!

    In terms of my key ‘lessons learned’ to pass onto future aspiring entrants, here is my top three (all you experts can skip this bit!):

    1. Set Out Slow – aim to run the flats of the first 50km 30 to 45 seconds slower than your cruising pace for a 20km run. For example, if your cruising pace is 5 minutes / kilometer, set out at a 5 minute 30 second pace. Andrew Donaldson drew me a virtual graph that illustrated that fast is flat when comparing running pace over time.
    2. Walk The Ups – walk all the steep ups and even the little ups if you have been running for 5kms non-stop.  It changes your blood flow and gives tired muscles a quick break. Whatever you walk you will more than make up for in the flats and the downs.
    3. Practice Fueling – use your chosen energy sources during training sessions and do this lots. Feeling nauseous during the event was one of my biggest challenges.

    Justin Hiatt informed me that a lot can happen in the second half of a 100km race. The race winner, Nicholas Hamilton ran out of water during leg 2 and dropped back to conserve energy until he could refuel at the 2nd transition.  He was moving well when he passed Andrew Donaldson and me on the paddocks before Black Mountain and finished in a time of 11:01.

    Andrew Donaldson who was in 5th place at the second transition calmly worked his way through the field from the very start to finish second in a time of 11:11.  Andrew caught up with Justin Hiatt and me a few kilometres into the third leg, which is where we gave Justin some space to enter and dig himself out of a “dark hole”.  Andrew encouraged me almost all the way to the Summit of Black Mountain but has inspired me for life!

    Trish McKibbin caught me toward the base of Black Mountain and towed me over O’Connor Ridge until Lyneham High School.  Trish finished third overall in a time of 11:25! Another 20km and I reckon she could have picked up Nick and Andy – she was so strong and methodical out there.

    Abhishek Tiwari ran a solid race from the start and was only passed by Nick, Andy and Trish relatively late in the race to finish fourth overall in a time of 12:06.

    The start of the 4th leg was my time to visit a dark place myself, brought on by nausea and exhaustion. To illustrate, kilometers 80 to 82 took 34 minutes in flat terrain!!  Thankfully my friends Trev and Nat Fairhurst came out to help me take my mind off the pain – if anyone could understand what I was experiencing it was these two.  Another friend Travis Haslam then arrived to get me running again for a few kilometers until the start of the Mount Majura climb.

    The turning point in my final leg was the ‘wooo hooo’ arrival of Justin ‘Timberlake’ Hiatt who was back from oblivion and excited by the prospect of sunset over Mount Ainslie followed by a jubilant finish.

    smiles_back_at_92km_and_cadence_still_matching.jpg

    Smiles back at 92km and cadence still matching...

    For anyone who knows Justin, his enthusiasm for life is infectious, and we set off again with a matching cadence as we had throughout the whole race.

    justin_got_his_sunset_and_all_down_hill_now_to_the_finish.jpg

    Justin got his sunset!

     

    justin_got_his_sunset_and_all_down_hill_now_to_the_finish_0.jpg

    All downhill now to the finish...

    Overall, there were 35 solo finishers from 54 starters and every one of these athletes made lifelong connections and has an amazing story to tell.  Take Anthony Miles, Morgan Pettit and Caroline Warner who finished together at 11.15pm in a time of 17 hours and 15 minutes – I am in total awe of these three and hope that I can hear their story of the 2019 Canberra Trail 100.

    A vote of heartfelt thanks to: Tash, Amelie and Ciaran for being my support crew; My friends who came out to cheer me on (thanks Dave, Mel, Ellie and Penny) including those competing (well done Heather, Alina, Michelle, Rach); Andre Camilleri (finished in 16:05) for encouraging me to try an ultra; Joe Howland for keeping my body functional, and to the selfless Sri Chinmoy team for yet another inspiring event to challenge one’s self and build the social fabric of our Canberra community.

  • 2018 Oct 7th
    Sri Chinmoy Canberra Trail Ultra (105km), Sunday 7 October 2018

    Canberra turned 105 this year. To celebrate, we gave Canberra a big hug – a 105 kilometres hug embracing the whole city and many of her scenic features. She responded with an embrace of her own, an embrace of affection, beauty, joy, pride and the thrill of adventure and achievement.

    The Solo Runners

    Brendan Davies is a phenomenon. Brendan doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. Already established as one of Australia’s greatest ever ultra trail runners, leading coach and foremost authority in his sport, Brendan is a radiant example of sheer love of his field: running as life and life as running. Running with a controlled, focussed mind and powered by a limitless heart of eager enthusiasm, alone for the entire journey of 105km and offering himself utterly in the process, Brendan returned a sensational race record 9:38:31, faster even than Tom Brazier’s pioneering victory in the inaugural staging of the event when it was 5km shorter at 100km. Brendan didn’t only come to race: he brought inspiration, courage, joy and a touch of lightness to all who were fortunate to witness this stupendous master class. Outwardly he leaves Canberra with only a trophy, while inwardly he leaves in his wake a tidal wave of awe and gratitude.

    Pam Muston is another shining example to all, tonight winning this race for the second time from the Over 50 category (and now only a year from 60). Pam stands as a mighty mountain of the sport in Canberra – as event organiser, stellar athlete and role model – testimony to the extraordinary influence that one person can exert through sheer passion and exuberance. Pam has made the question of age and ageing irrelevant, as all her being is given over to the immense satisfaction and freedom derived from running on the trails. We can’t know the personal sacrifice and willpower that sustains her incredible success: we can only marvel at the unending flow of her achievements and the grace with which she holds herself. 13:44:55 is a wonderful result on this challenging course, half an hour clear of the rest of the women’s field.

    Second male finisher was another colossus of contemporary Australian ultra-running, Mick Thwaites, who although racing this event for training, ran an impressive 11:00:07 in his first outing over the course. First home in the Male 50-59 category was Andre Camilleri with 13:59:03. It’s always rather arbitrary to single out the top place-getters when every runner who completes such a momentous undertaking has accomplished something life-changing and given in the process so much inspiration to all involved. To every runner who dared to undertake this race: we salute you with admiration and thanks!

    The Relay Teams

    While the solo event embodies an absorbing inner battle and glorious adventure, for spectators the relay teams event is sheer entertainment and drama. Achievement has many faces and forms. The aspect of camaraderie and striving for the interests of the team, brings out wonderful individual performances and offerings, right from the front-runners to the “midnight finishers”.

    “Poo Stick Racing” (Melissa Clarke, Mitchell Braithwaite, David Osmond and Elizabeth Humphries) came from behind to take out the Mixed Teams category in 9:00:40, ahead of all the All-Male teams, who were led home by “Geesed Lightning” (William Barlow, Rowan Lewis, Martin Pogson and Jason McCrae)in 9:06:22. “KoolGalz” (Narelle Desmet, Ellie Barrett, Sarah Maree Johnson and Allie Corripio) took out the All-Female category with an excellent all-round race of 9:44:31 – including the outstanding leg of the day, Sarah Maree Johnson's 1:59:10 being the outright fastest time for leg 3.

     

  • 2017 Oct 7th
    2018: Tanmay Agrawal's first ultra