The fourth edition of the Margaret River Ultra Marathon to be held on 1 May 2021 in south-west, Western Australia has sold out, having reached capacity with 1,500 participants on Friday.
Organisers predicted the 80km point to point course would sell out well prior to the race day.
“We expected the 2021 race to sell-out after witnessing a huge increase in numbers in 2020 and believe the event is fast becoming one of the most popular ultras on the Australian running calendar,” said Sam Maffett, General Manager of organisers Rapid Ascent.
Rapid Ascent have a self-imposed entry limit to preserve the competitor experience for those running on the day.
“Sure, the vibe of a big field adds energy to us all, but trail running is also about getting away from people, enjoying the wilderness and blowing out your lungs, and legs, and body… so bigger is not always better.” Maffett said.
Several other strategies will also be put in place at the event to handle the large number of competitors, such as separate race starts for solo and team runners, limited access at checkpoints and better traffic management.
“The main goal is to always ensure runners have the best possible experience on the magnificent Margaret River trails,” added Maffett.
A waiting list is available via the event website for those who have missed out; with slots to be made available if and when a current entrant withdraws.
The spectacular 80km course offers magnificent trail running for competitors as they make their way from Hamelin Bay to Wilyabrup on the breathtaking Cape to Cape coastline. Competitors will finish with a celebratory beverage at the Cheeky Monkey Brewery, the official event venue.
250 competitors will tackle the course as a solo runner, with the remainder of the sold-out field running as part of a relay team of 2 to 5 members covering 10-20km each.
Amongst the solo competitors is Victorian elite runner Matt Crehan who has taken advantage of the WA border opening recently to tackle this bucket-list ultra-run against Western Australians.
Crehan placed 2nd at the 100km Surf Coast Century in December and is eager to take on reigning Margaret River Ultra Marathon champion Justin Scarvaci of WA who is back to defend his title in May.
“Having not ever been to WA, success at the race would be having a good day on some trails I’ve never run on before,” said Crehan. “Although having said that, I know what I’m like and once I’m on that start line, I’ll want to be competitive.”
Scarvaci set a course record in 2020, with a fast-flying time of 07:16:55. It’ll be fair to say there is a VIC vs WA battle on our hands!
The Surf Coast Century and Margaret River Ultra Marathon have a brother/sister relationship where the winners or placegetters of each event are invited to race in the adjacent event.
These two ultra-marathons are organised by Rapid Ascent—one of Australia’s premier off-road events management company—manager of the Eagle Bay Epic Adventure Race and up-coming X-Adventure Dunsborough also conducted in Western Australia—among others.
For more information on the Margaret River Ultra Marathon head to www.MRUltramarathon.com.au