Dreams are about to become a reality at the Surf Coast Century ultra marathon next Saturday 17 September 2022 in the 11thedition of the race.
Trail runners will tackle the 100km and 50km courses solo; whilst relay teams of two, three or four runners will share the 100km journey, each covering approximately 25km. Taking place in Victoria’s Great Ocean Road Region, the event has cemented its’ place as one of Australia’s must-do ultra trail marathons with a number of elite runners eager to toe the start line. In-form Josh Chugg of Western Australia will be racing his first 100km Surf Coast Century after winning Rapid Ascent’s ‘other’ ultra running race, the Margaret River Ultra Marathon over 80km earlier this year. Chugg is looking forward to enjoying a new course and going for the win!
“It’s my first time running 100km, so getting through injury free and motivated for the rest of 2022 is the main thing… that said, I’ll be racing to win once we get underway!” said Chugg. “I did my first ultra marathon over five years ago, however it is only in the last two years that I came back for more and really got hooked,” added Chugg. “I’ll be trying hard to stay as relaxed as possible come race day.”
Ready to push Chugg on course are Victorian’s Ash Harink who is back to defend his 2021 title which was his first 100km ultra marathon; and Ross Hopkins, the 2020 100km Surf Coast Century winner who clocked an impressive 8:38:29.
“It’s a long way out there and over the years I’ve learnt to pace myself a little bit,” said Hopkins on his 2020 win. “I can’t wait to be back at the Surf Coast Century; I really enjoyed the varied terrain and landscapes throughout the entire course.” Said Harink.
Mornington Peninsular resident and notable keen ultra runner Thomas Dade is also expected to be at the pointy end of the field. Dade posted a steady time of 10:07 over the 100km course in 2020, however is coming off some fairly decent form this year with recent wins at the Great Southern Endurance Run and the Downunder 365. He says “Ultrarunning is an outlet I use to push and discover more about myself.”
“I’ll be attacking the race by keeping a comfortable pace to start with and I’ll see how I’m looking at 40-50km,” said Dade. “My favourite part of the Century course is the sand running at the start and the end – the sand is firm enough so it is not too taxing.”
In the female field, eyes will be on Victorian Sarah Hedger (2020 winner and 3rd place in 2021) who has nothing but praise for the 100km course and can’t wait to share the experience again with other runners next Saturday.
“I love running in beautiful environments – they’re a big motivator and that’s why I keep coming back,” said Hedger. “It’s such a great event atmosphere for all runners.”
Meghann Bullen (nee Coffey) from Western Australia is another in-form female runner who will be running in the 50km event. Coffey won last years’ Margaret River Ultra Marathon and was invited over to take on the Victorian’s.
“The east coast race is a going to be a challenge for me, but I’m really excited to do something out of my comfort zone,” said Bullen. “I’m looking forward to the atmosphere, having a fun day and enjoying new trails!” added Bullen.
The 100km course takes competitors from Anglesea to Torquay along the beach, returning along the cliff top tracks and hinterland trails to Moggs Creek and Aireys Inlet, before heading back to Anglesea on the Surf Coast Walk trail, via Point Roadknight. Whilst the 50km course does the second-half of the 100km. Runners’ experiences will be enhanced over the weekend with a post-race athlete lounge, and recovery activities and celebrations the day after racing, including a kids run.
An extensive event expo in Anglesea accompanies the race for spectators to enjoy, along with a number of recommended viewing/cheering spots along the coastal tracks (details HERE).
The much-adored ultra-run has built a reputation as one of Australia’s ‘bucket-list’ trail running events due to it being one of the more unique 100km ultra courses in the world. Limited entries remain.
The event is supported by the Surf Coast Shire with more event information at www.SurfCoastCentury.com.au