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2019 Brisbane Trail Ultra 100 mile race wrap up

What an absolutely thrilling race the inaugural BTU 100 mile event turned out to be. I had the pleasure of following these amazing athletes around the course and it was nothing short of pure guts and determination.

The morning started early, very quiet and sedate. Athletes weighed in and were in their final preparations for the long run to proceed. Their focus was palpable. As the clock ticked closer to 5am, final pre-race niceties were exchanged with support crew and competitors and then it was all business.

The stir at the start line as runners prepared for a big day.
Photo Credit: Kenn Santos

It was clear runners were pacing themselves for the long haul as lights moved steadily through Enoggera Reservoir, snaking up around the dam before turning towards Mt Nebo. Ewan Horsburgh was the first to reach check point 1 McAfee’s Lookout and was closely followed by Vivian Johnston, Matthew Crehan and Kieran O’Brien. Nikki Burke was leading the women’s pack with Jenny Morris, Sam McNulty, Lisa Hurring and Erika Brann not far behind.

Ewan Horsburgh first up to Jolly’s Lookout

The terrain to come consisted of short climbs and descents before hitting some flat sections of single trail. In this leg, the lead runners stayed within minutes of each other with Matthew Crehan taking the lead. The ladies were a little further apart now with Lisa Hurring out in front.

Kieran O’Brien and Vivian Johnston completing the Jolly’s Lookout loop

Constant rain meant very slippery and muddy descents before the slow gradual climb up Mt Glorious and into the rain forest. Kieran had now snuck into the top 3 alongside Matthew and Ewan. Lisa extended her lead on the other women.

Ewan showed his experience in the next sector. The mild descent down Lawton Rd gives the legs a stretch before the relentless climbs to come. Ewan and Matthew were on each other’s heels towards check point 4 Dundas Bush Camp. Locals Kieran and Noelis were close behind and Lisa still forging ahead. It is now past the half way point and teetering on nightfall when the most technical section of the course is ahead of them.

To add to the difficulty of the infamous Township Break, night fell and so did the rain. The loose rocks, shale, clay and mud means rain water can be seen trickling down the trails. To give you a gauge of the expected difficulty of this section, medics and the rural fire and emergency services were stationed at the top of the climb. Now back on track and following the same course as the 110km competitors, runners then jumped back onto some wide fire trail featuring gradual rises and falls towards check point 6 Gold Creek Reservoir.

Matthew was first to arrive at Gold Creek Reservoir. Ewan and Kieran were minutes behind. At this point unfortunately only two women were left in the running of the 100 mile course. Lisa in the lead and Jenny a few hours behind.

The undulating terrain towards check point 7 JC Slaughter Falls are short but sharp. It was through this section that Ewan regained the lead with Kieran within arms reach of him. Matthew was now in third place. It is not often we see a race to the finish for a 100 mile run but this is exactly what this appeared to be. Kieran powered through to the finishing line only 8 min in front of Ewan to take the inaugural Brisbane Trail Ultra 100 mile event. Matthew closed out the podium finishes in the men’s race. Lisa Hurring finished ahead of Jenny Morris even though a 2 hour time penalty was added to her time.

What a challenge. The attrition rate was high. Of 30 competitors signed for the BTU 100 miles, 4 did not start, 8 did not finish. What a tough course, what a tight cut-off. What a thrilling race.

Ewan Horsburgh (left of photo), Kieran O’Brien (middle) & Matthew Crehan (right of photo) Photo Credit: Kenn Santos

Overall Male:
Kieran O’Brien 20:49:43 Open (26-39)
Ewan Horsburgh 20:57:48 Veteran (40-49)
Matthew Crehan 21:44:39 Open (26-39)

Lisa Hurring at presentations
Photo Credit: Kenn Santos

Overall Female:
Lisa Hurring 27:45:31 Veteran (40-49)
Jenny Morris 29:50:11 Veteran (40-49)

Jenny Morris crossing the line in the BTU 100 mile event

2019 Brisbane Trail Ultra 110km race wrap up

Wave 1; BTU 110km runners sharing the start line with their BTU 100mile runners.
Photo Credit: Kenn Santos

From the get-go, the BTU 110km race was one to watch and could almost be considered a State of Origin- Trail series contest. Our local trail favourites Ben Duffus and Jess Schluter were flying the flag for Queensland and interstate trail stars Vlad Shatrov and Kellie Emmerson representing NSW, the battle of the states starts here. Will the cane toad cheer squad help the Queenslanders over the line?

Wave 2 Elite 110km starters. Photo Credit: Kenn Santos

The heavy clouds were looming and a light brisk breeze blew, but the rain held off for the first wave start. The 5am 110km competitors shared the start line with their 100 mile compatriots. The signal was given and the race commenced. A stream of head torches moved along the footpaths of The Gap before disappearing into the suburban single trails. The 6am wave followed not long after and here begins the BTU 110km race.

Ben Duffus and Kellie Emmerson heading through Corra-Mulling Park

The first sector towards check point 1 McAfee’s lookout was a fast one. Vlad Shatrov lead the way creating a 5min gap between himself and Ben Duffus. This Australian marathon champ, boasting a road marathon PB of 2 hrs 8min, was really showing his speed on the trails. Kellie Emmerson was on their tail and was followed closely by Garry Marwood and Daniel Lucas. Hannah McRae and Jess Schluter were not far behind.

Jess Schluter heading into McAfee’s Lookout. Photo Credit: Kenn Santos

Local trail knowledge gave Ben a huge advantage in the next leg of the run. The climbs and descents towards check point 2 Mt Nebo State School were made all the more muddy and slippery as the rain fell lightly but constantly. On exiting Mt Nebo Rd and onto the fast flat sections of the Thylogale Trail, Ben had not only caught up to Vlad, he had overtaken him and was now 2min ahead at check point 2. Kellie had extended her lead on Hannah and Jess to sit comfortably in behind Ben, Vlad and Garry. Daniel had dropped back and Miles Brown was now in front of him.

Daniel Lucas at Jolly’s Lookout. Photo Credit: Coby Wise

The next leg took the competitors through some of the most technical parts of the course- a steep descent into Township Break. This technical descent was made much more difficult with the continuing rain. The shale and clay combination together made for a slippery downhill and a sludgy climb out; comparably this could almost be considered an OCR segment of the BTU 110km.

Ben Duffus leading the way along the Jolly’s lookout loop

There was a reprieve from the technicality of the terrain as the run continued onto the fire trail sections of Augies Rd and Gold Creek. The gradual climb towards Gold Creek Reservoir followed firm fire trail before descending into the forested single track and finally into check point 6. Ben arrived here 30 minutes ahead of his closest rival and was all set to make quick work of the last 2 legs of the race but unfortunately and retired from the race. Vlad was now in the lead again with Garry and Kellie not far behind. Daniel was promoted to third position in the men’s race. In the meantime, Jess had quietly snuck up on Hannah and was now only 30sec behind.

Even with nasty blisters, Vlad fought hard and reached check point 7 JC Slaughter Falls in no time. This section features undulating trails that are wide, firm and can be run fast. Garry was now 30 min behind with Daniel further back. Kellie had made great ground and sitting in third place overall and well in front of the jostle for second place. Jess had pulled in front of Hannah, putting in a 10min buffer between them.

Kellie’s Red Bull Climb was nothing short of amazing. With 94.8km on her legs, she managed a 7th place in the women’s Red Bull Climb challenge with a time of 00:15:21, wow..

Vlad powered through the urban sector to finish in an impressive time of 11:18:27 for the outright win and first completion time logged for the BTU 110km. The last stretch saw Kellie chase down Garry to take overall second and first female in a time of 11:57:37. A very exciting race indeed.

Overall position:
1st Vlad Shatrov 11:18:27 Veteran (40-49)
2nd Kellie Emmerson 11:57:37 Open (26-39)
3rd Garry Marwood 12:10:13 Open (26-39)

Overall female:
1st Kellie Emmerson 11:57:37 Open (26-39)
2nd Jessica Schluter 14:15:43 Open (26-39)
3rd Hannah Mcrae 14:59:19 Open (26-39)

Overall male:
1st Vlad Shatrov 11:18:27 Veteran (40-49)
2nd Garry Marwood 12:10:13 Open (26-39)
3rd Daniel Lucas 13:16:59 Open (26-39)

Garry Marwood (left of photo) and Daniel Lucas (right of photo)
Photo Credit: Kenn Santos

Look out for the addition of age category winners

2019 Brisbane Trail Ultra 60km Race Wrap Up

The inaugural running of the BTU 60km was nothing short of challenging. This course features some of the most beautiful and technical single trails on the course, with transitions into every trail terrain imaginable. The wet weather made for some muddy and slippery sections of track for our runners.

Competitors from the 10am wave eagerly awaiting the signal to go
Photo Credit: Kenn Santos

The BTU 60km was run with a split start- a 10am wave and a 12pm wave. After an introduction and formal opening of the Brisbane Trail Ultra by Hon. Amanda Jones, the race was on.

Tom Brazier, Steph Auston, David Longo and Sam Burridge at the start of the BTU60km. Photo Credit: Kenn Santos

The run up to check point 1 was quick. Sam Burridge and Steph Auston were out on a mission, having covered the 15.6km and 737m of vertical gain in 75min and 78min respectively. Anthony Gordon and Tom Brazier stayed closely behind, as did Carol Robertson and Kazu Kuwata.

Tom Brazier and Steph Auston heading towards Enoggera Reservoir. Photo Credit: Amanda Fagan

The second sector from McAfee’s Lookout to Check Point 2 Gold Creek Reservoir was going to be tough. Runners travel down the infamously named Hell Hole Break before jumping onto the technical single trail sections of the course. Sam and Steph used their experience to pull ahead of their competition to make quick work of this section and reached Gold Creek in just over 2 hours. The ladies race positions were maintained with Carol behind Steph and Kazu sitting uncomfortably in third position with Jodie Oborne very closely behind. The men’s race appeared to be Sam’s, however the remaining podium positions were anyone’s game with less than 10min separating the next 6 runners. Reece Evans, Brad Walker, Anthony Gordon, Richard Young, David Longo and Andrew McDonald were all vying for a trophy.

Thank you Melinda, Julie, Jane and Nat for your smiles and encouragement! The wonderful Bunya Belles and Bunyaville Trail Runners were all kitted up in their tutus and smiles to welcome all runners in for a fuel up, at CP1 McAfee’s Lookout, before continuing along some massive climbs.
Photo Credit: Kenn Santos

Sam and Steph both extended their lead from the rest of the pack as they travelled along undulating terrain towards Check Point 7 JC Slaughter Falls and it was evident now that they were racing each other for the outright win. It is phenomenal that here, with 44km on her legs, Steph pulled out a 2nd place in the Red Bull Climb section behind BTU 30km winner Beth Cardelli! Wow!!

The last leg of the race was more of a challenge than expected. With course markings missing within the urban sector of the race, navigation skills had to take over. Sam found himself off course and having to call in for directions (thanks Sarah!) and Steph had also taken a wrong turn before both powering into the Queensland Maritime Museum finishing line for the win.

I have included the overall results for this report as it is very inspiring to see two women in outright second and third!

Overall placing:
Sam Burridge 05:58:02 Open (26-39)
Stephanie Auston 06:04:58 Open (26-39)
Carol Robertson 07:03:27 Veteran (40-49)

Overall Male:
Sam Burridge 05:58:02 Open (26-39)
David Longo 07:03:35 Open (26-39)
Reece Evans 07:11:38 Open (26-39)

David Longo (left of photo) and Sam Burridge at presentations.
Photo Credit: Kenn Santos

Overall Women’s:
Stephanie Auston 06:04:58 Open (26-39)
Carol Robertson 07:03:27 Veteran (40-49)
Kazu Kuwata 08:00:00 Veteran (40-49)

Kazu Kuwata & Carol Robertson at presentations.
Photo Credit: Kenn Santos

Age category winners to follow. Please watch this space

2019 Brisbane Trail Ultra 30km race wrap up

What an exciting race!! The start line was pumping with 198 competitors rearing to go. An electric atmosphere to cap off the final starting wave of the 2019 Brisbane Trail Ultra. This course can be split into three sectors. The Gap State High School to JC Slaughter Falls, 14.1km; The Red Bull Climb 1.76km, and the final 15.3km section to the finish line.

BTU 30km start line antics
photo credit: Kenn Santos

The women’s race was led from start to finish by Beth Cardelli, followed very closely behind by Lou Clifton. Lou was only a minute behind at the start of the Red Bull Climb but this is where Beth pulled away. At the end of the 1.76km section, Beth had pulled ahead by a couple of minutes in which she not only maintained, but continued to extend until crossing the finish line. An impressive run by these 2 ladies, better known for their ultra distance running abilities! Mish Handsford put in a massive effort to maintain 3rd place over the race to hold off Penny Matkin-Hussey & Esther Cahill.

Overall Female:

Beth being presented with her BTU 30km winners trophy at presentations by Shona Stephenson.
Photo Credit: Kenn Santos

1st Beth Cardelli 02:42:59 Open (26-39)
2nd Lou Clifton 02:48:24 Veteran (40-49)
3rd Mish Hansford 03:16:41 Open (26-39)

Lou Clifton at the media conference
Photo Credit: Kenn Santos

Mish unfortunately wasn’t able to attend the presentations. We’ll have to chase up a photo of her soon!

In the men’s race, Luke Garrett led the way and reached check point 7 in just over an hour. Impressive!! however, slacking off was not an option as he was followed closely behind by a hungry group of runners Josh Dinale, Johnny Kingma, Adam Nash, Aaron Knight and Kevin Sherry. It was obvious at the finish of the Red Bull Climb that this was a challenge but the pack stayed close with the top 6 men finishing the climb within minutes of each other. The race became a sprint to the finish line. The urban sector proved to be no challenge for Luke Garrett as he flew in 10 minutes in front of Josh Dinale. Aaron Knight put in a mammoth effort in the last sector to pip Johnny Kingma and Kevin Sherry for 3rd place.

Podium winners Luke (middle), Josh (left of the photo) & Aaron (right)
photo credit: Kenn Santos

Overall Male:

1st Luke Garrett 02:28:10 Open (26-39)
2nd Josh Dinale 02:38:03 Open (26-39)
3rd Aaron Knight 02:39:41 Veteran (40-49)

Look out! age category winner results to follow.

2019 BTU Red Bull Climb

The Red Bull Climb takes us from Check Point 7 JC Slaughter Falls to the top of the Pinnacles Track on Mt Coot-Tha. This is a 1760m stretch of trail featuring a generous 161m of vertical gain. If you think that this was a challenge in itself, the additional challenge lies in the fact that the course was set with 17.1km to go which meant after 14.1km of the BTU 30km, 44.2km of the BTU 60km, 94.8km into the BTU 110km & a massive 142.8km into the BTU 100 mile course.

All race distances were eligible to join the challenge this year however it would easily be noted that the shorter races had the advantage! What are we playing for? Red Bull Australia has offered the ultimate prize for the climb!

The fastest male and female runner up the climb scored themselves a team entry into the first ever Australian Red Bull Defiance adventure racing event! This is a prize worth $1799.

So who took out the climb??

Overall Male:
Tom Brazier 00:10:25
Josh Dinale 00:10:56
Johnny Kingma 00:11:02

Overall Female:
Beth Cardelli 00:11:32
Steph Auston 00:12:04
Lou Clifton 00:12:09

Tom Brazier came in in a cracking time of 10min 25sec!! what an amazing run considering he had just run 44km of the BTU 60km course! Beth Cardelli is the overall winner of the female climb and continued her speedy run to take out the BTU 30km win. And how opportune that both Beth and Tom are La Sportiva teammates. This will be a mixed team to watch during the Red Bull Defiance Adventure race on Hamilton Island in August/September 2019. Congratulations Tom and Beth!!

Red Bull Defiance winners Tom Brazier & Beth Cardelli
Photo Credit: Kenn Santos

A few notable mentions here. Steph Auston, you’re a speedster and came second in the climb even with a marathon behind you. And also a huge effort from Vlad Shatrov and Kellie Emmerson, both clocking a climb time of just over 15min after a whopping 94.8km on their legs. Wow!!

Stay tuned for age category results here!!