Surf-Coast-Century-Ultra-Trail-Running-Australia

Surf Coast Century 2012

by Shona Stephenson on September 19, 2012

I’m pretty excited. I’m heading interstate for the first time to the Surf Coast Century 2012 for a running holiday. No kids but sadly no husband. I spotted the Surf Coast Century at the beginning of the year. I thought it looked like an awesome way to clock up 100km.

This year I have already 2 race records for coastal events in 2012. Coastrek 50km Team Race Record of 6 hours 14 minutes from Palm Beach to Balmoral Beach and Coastal Classic 2:49 from Otford to Bundeena. Oxfam Trail Walker Sydney can be said to be similar terrain to a coastal event, as it is located along the Hawksbury River, Jerusalem Bay, Cowan Creek and Sydney Harbour. I again broke a record, I now hold the Mixed Course Record for Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney of 12 hours 18 minutes. It was competing in Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2012 was when I decided to go for the the hat trick of Coastal Events wins in a year.

My task won’t be easy. I have not much idea of the course. I really must sit down and watch the Surf Coast Century course description movie. A few athletes have unfortunately taken a wrong turn while racing TNF and Coastal Classic in 2012 and I really want to make sure this does not happen to me. I will write the course description out in excel much like the GNW course descriptions. I will colour code the course so I will know what surface, track and terrain I should be running on and where the climbs are on my course descriptions.

The International Surf Coast Century Star Studded line up sadly including the Salomon runner Claire Price won’t be starting the Surf Coast Century 2012. I met Claire Price last year in my first Solo 100km, and my first TNF while she over took up running up Kedumba. She was so nice to me, and I could see that she felt for me. I was really hurting. I would have loved to see how I’ve improved in a year. I really wanted to enjoy a chat with Claire Price talented English born, Hong Kong based runner.

It will be up to the other strong Aussie girls to make their mark on the field. Bronte Ness who won the Juniors at TNF with a time of 12 Hours 35 minutes. I will be watching my back and expecting Bronte to chase me down.

In the team event Samantha Gash and Gretel (Margaretha) Fortmann have joined forces up to form a winning combination watch out boys they are a true talent. Samantha Gash who has already completed multi day Ultra’s in the Sahara Desert, and the Himalaya’s I can dream about doing. (Although I now totally boycott any “Racing the Planets” Events.) Gretel Fortmann who was and the only the female to finish top 10 in the UTMB in 2011. Gretel and Samantha are fast, fit and fabulous. Bronte Ness is definitely a young and dangerous up and coming athlete who grabbed my attention at TNF100, and boys there is me, Shona Stephenson. I’m asking the question “Who is getting Chicked on Saturday?”. Hehehe.

The Surf Coast Century 2012 will be an interesting event. Race organizers Rapid Ascent are allowing 14-16 year old girls to race the 100km. I think this is fantastic. Seriously people, you can walk an event like this in 24 hours. I’ve walked and run Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney in 17 hours with 2 broken feet 2010. This goal for the Geelong Girls is very achievable the course is easily accessible by car for most of the 100km. The gradient is not “Hard” in trail running terms, there are kilometers of flat beaches in the course, so it is what I’d call an easier Ultra and I’d recommend the Surf Coast Century to anyone who was wanting to try an Ultra. You never know the fitness levels of these girls. I know I was fighting fit in my teens playing rep-netball from 8am to 4pm as “Centre” every second Sunday as well as playing Netball for 2 games on the Saturday, plus umpiring 4 games of Netball too. That was only the Netball that I played. I was involved in many other sports as well. I was probably a similar fitness level in my teens as what I am now. I lost all my fitness after i left school. This is the Geelong Girls local area, I’m sure their local knowledge will play to their favour. They are less likley to get lost than me.

I found Duke of Edinburgh a breeze when I was 15 years old, carrying 17 kilo packs on my back around the Colo region in Sydney for 3 days. The mandatory gear for the Surf Coast Century is pretty minimal, hypothermia is not a threat, neither is overheating. As long as these girls are educated on their first aid, nutrition and hydration, carry mobile phones and they have completed the training and as long as they keep moving forward they will be fine.

We should be encouraging more teens to enter endurance sports. We all know that Ultra Endurance Sports mainly use fat as a fuel. Over one quarter of children aged 5-17 are Overweight or Obese in Australia with 9% of Boys and 6% of Girls being Obese. This is a shocking statistic. I’m sure the Geelong Girls have completed the training and will be out to prove the nonbelievers wrong. Go Girl Power.