Watson & Nicholl – Champions of Surf Coast Century

Ash Watson and Deb Nicholl have been crowned champions of the Surf Coast Century 100km Ultra Marathon while Roger Lay and Rachel Tucker have taken the titles in the 50km race today at Anglesea, Victoria.

The seventh edition of the race saw over 1,100 competitors from across Australia and overseas journey 50km and 100km across a spectacular off-road course along the beaches, 4WD tracks and hinterland trails of Anglesea, Torquay and Aireys Inlet.

Despite conditions that saw multiple squalls of wind gusts and rain sweep across the Surf Coast and a return to winter temperatures, the triumph and elation at the finish line proved it was a race worth running – and the truly epic journey that the Surf Coast Century has become known for.

Ash Watson, 29 of Ballarat smashed the course record by mere seconds, coming in in just eight hours, 16 minutes, 50 seconds. It was only his second ultra marathon, and first 100 kilometre race.

“It was close; I knew the record was 8 hours, 17:08. The weather was challenging, it was a bit slippery on course, and it slowed me down.”

Watson didn’t let a couple of falls or getting lost and losing time affect his end-goal.

“I’m really glad I got under by a couple of seconds, because if I had have missed it by a little bit I wouldn’t have been able to sleep tonight.

“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. I’m stoked that I got it.” 

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, 48 of Brisbane and the Mountain Goat Trail Runners won the women’s race convincingly in 10 hours, 35 minutes and three seconds, and with it became the first to clinch the Rapid Ascent Ultra Running Triple Crown; finishing, and at the same time winning all three ultra running events; Run Larapinta, the Margaret River Ultra Marathon and the Surf Coast Century.

“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.

“But with 16kms to go I got sick, and I thought my day was over, but seemed to pull it together. I’ve got to thank my support crew, Rob, he did a stirling job, without him I wouldn’t have even got close to this. Thanks guys, I’m a bit emotional.”

Second fastest female today was Jessica Collins, 28 from Hobart in 10:54:15. Third to cross the line was Christine Hopkins, 38 of Mansfield (11:13:16).

The 50km race is held over the second half of the 100km course which is renowned for being the more difficult of the two. The top three men were Roger Lay  (4:10:52), Apo Kale ( 4:11:17) and Gary Mullins (4:27:32). Fastest females were Rachael Tucker  (4:47:59), Kate Child (5:04:02) and Darthea Clydsdale (5:13:03).

Relay team ‘Duo Lick The Stamp’ comprised of Blake Hose and Madeleine Oldfield posted the fastest 100km time of the day in just 8:15:54.

While the fastest relay team of four was ‘Team Danger’s trail crew’ (Damien Angus, Lucy Calder, Sam Hume, Andrew Killer) who posted 8:24:10.

Competitors will continue crossing the finish line into the night, until the course closes at 4am.

The Surf Coast Century has built a solid reputation as one of Australia’s must-do trail running events with no other 100km course like it in the world; featuring spectacular scenery and remote wilderness.

It is also considered to be an ideal event for those tackling their first ultra marathon; the course is challenging yet achievable, event logistics are easy and the event vibe is very supportive.

The 100km course can be completed by individual runners or relay teams (of up to four competitors) and the 50km race is for individuals.

The Surf Coast Century is organised by Torquay-based adventure sports event management company Rapid Ascent; well-known for hosting challenging and professional off-road events.

Head to www.SurfCoastCentury.com.au for more information.

For the full list of results CLICK HERE