KOSCI50 TITLES CLINCHED AT ULTRA-TRAIL KOSCIUSZKO BY UTMB®
Germany’s Fabian Rahn and Canberra’s Helena Michael have claimed the top step of the podium in the men’s and women’s races in the inaugural Kosci50 race at Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko by UTMB® in the Snowy Mountains.
Rahn and Michael impressed across the 50km course on Thursday, with both runners taking the lead early and pushing on to be first to take the finish tape.
Runners were faced with cold temperatures and even snow at the start line in Thredbo, resulting in some changes being made to the courses, but all took it in their stride as they made their way along the 50km course.
Fabian Rahn was first across the finish line in Bullock’s Flat, taking the win in 4:02:48, more than five minutes clear of Canberra’s Michael Daly with Morgan Payne a further 10 minutes back in third.
Rahn, a former professional IRONMAN triathlete turned trail runner, is spending three months in Australia and New Zealand training and racing and is making the most of his time in the southern hemisphere.
“It’s an awesome feeling because I never thought I could win today, I had a little bit of hope for the top three and the direct ticket for the UTMB finals but when I was Cairns two days ago and it was 35 degrees and humid, I didn’t know what to expect but today the air was clean, soft and smooth to breathe, it worked,” said Rahn.
“I think in the end the changes to the course were better for me, and to be honest it was much harder than I expected, because you push so hard for the first uphill metres and then push from kilometre 20 to 30 and then I had so much cramping in the last 20kms, all the way up and down, it was a real challenge, only 900 metres uphill but it was tough, overall it was really smooth and a great race,” he said.
The 36-year-old is enjoying his recent switch from long-distance triathlon to trail running.
“To be honest I’m enjoying it very much, I have two little kids now, eight months and three and a half years, and there was a lot of stress in the last years, a lot of baggage when travelling, the need for a big car and all the travel stuff with bicycles but now it is so easy to enjoy the sport and the life in the mountains so I’m really thankful that I’m now in trail running,” he said.
Canberra’s Helena Michael stormed home to claim victory in the Kosci50 women’s race, finishing more than 10 minutes clear of Jessica Haro Ramos, with Chantal Minchin third.
It was Michael’s first major trail running win, as she’s a recent convert to the sport.
“I’m very tired but feeling really good, I definitely did not expect snow but it’s an alpine area so it can change pretty quickly. It was a tough course but it was beautiful, I just took it step by step,” said Michael. “I’m loving being in trail running, I come from Canberra where we have lots of beautiful trails, I just get to appreciate all the nature and I love that aspect.
“It was amazing out on course, all the support crew, all of the other runners, all just passing each other, taking the time to say good job, keep going, it was incredible and they keep pushing you on,” she said. “I didn’t come out to win to be honest, I just came out to have fun, I’m really thrilled but I’m just here to support everyone in our running group, to get out and support them as well.”
On Friday the race distances at Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko by UTMB® ramp up with the Kosci100 and KosciMiler starting at 6am from Perisher Valley. Both races will finish at Bullock’s Flat, with KosciMiler runners having 36 hours to make their way along the 100 mile course.
Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko by UTMB® – Kosci50 – Men’s Results
Fabian Rahn – 4:02:48
Michael Daly – 4:08:00
Morgan Payne – 4:18:02
Corey Arkins – 4:19:01
Jack Gill – 4:19:06
Lachlan Jamieson – 4:19:14
Rowan Lewis – 4:19:33
Marc Rawlings – 4:23:54
Iain Best – 4:26:12
Mark Langley – 4:30:09
Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko by UTMB® – Kosci50 – Women’s Results
Helena Michael – 4:44:44
Jessica Haro Ramos – 4:55:02
Chantal Minchin – 5:03:49
Ellen Bradley – 5:06:09
Amelia Kerr – 5:09:32
Tania Mulvey – 5:11:03
Beatrice Telling – 5:15:27
Kate Cush – 5:28:45
Amy Payne – 5:33:58
Ellen Wildey – 5:34:34
The first winners of the inaugural Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko by UTMB® were crowned following the Kosci27 race on Thursday.
Canberra’s Charlie Hamilton and Sydney’s Paige Penrose were the male and female winners of the 27km race which kicked off the event in the Snowy Mountains. Unseasonably cold conditions and even snow greeted runners on the start line in Thredbo, which led to some reworking of the courses, but as soon as racing got underway that was all forgotten as runners took to the network of trails. Charlie Hamilton pushed hard early and opened up a gap on his competition, eventually crossing the finish line in 1:54:48, more than three minutes clear of Andrew Gatenby, with Jack Powell a further five minutes behind in third.
“I’m feeling good now, there was a couple of k there toward the end where I was just ready to be finished, it’s always like that. I’m happy to be here, happy to see all my friends and everyone who have come to help so yeah, I’m feeling great now,” said Hamilton. “The course was awesome, it was a shame it had to change but I totally understand. We still got a really good course, it was nice and fast, flowy, the trails up here are absolutely gorgeous, it’s such a nice part of the world.
“I had originally planned to have a crack up the first hill and then once that got taken out I kind of had to reassess and just tried to rip early and I kind of ran the whole thing by myself, which is a little shame, it would’ve been nice to have someone come with but it was just about trying to go hard at the start and seeing what happened from there,” he said. “A month ago I was talking to one of my friends about cooling strategies, you know how are we going to keep cool throughout this whole thing, and then a week ago we were talking about heating strategies, how are we going to layer up. No one really expected this but it kind of made for a fun event.”
Andrew Gatenby made it a Canberra one-two at the front of the men’s Kosci27 field.
“It was great fun, pretty memorable having the snow at the start and even though we had to shave off half the vert from the original course it was still a really tough course,” said Gatenby. “It was a heavy track from the last 13, 14k, it was quite attritional that whole section but quite fun as well.
“I run with Charlie a reasonable amount so I was hoping I’d be somewhat near him early on but when he ran away pretty quickly it became everyone running their own race and sort of keeping pushing yourself hard while you’re all alone and you can’t really control what everyone else is doing, so get through it as fast as you can,” he said.
Nevada-based Sydney runner Paige Penrose took out the women’s Kosci27 race, finishing in 2:16:18, three minutes ahead of Laura Gillard, with Kellie Angel third.
“I’m pretty happy, to be honest I didn’t come to race. I got off the plane on Tuesday from the US and so it was just my chance to see these mountains again and get back in the bush and catch up with everyone, but yeah, really stoked,” said Penrose. “This is actually quite warm today. We’ve been doing track workouts at minus seven degrees at 9am in the morning so I was quite pleased that it was going to be quite cold today. I miss the Australian trails so much, really nice to be back among the gum trees instead of the pine forests.
“Today I was just running to feel, as I said I just got off the plane on Tuesday from the US, so I really didn’t know what to expect from my body. I started and my legs just froze straight away but just kept moving and just tried to keeping rolling, didn’t push too hard and remind myself that it’s 27ks and I haven’t run that far in a while,” she said.
Laura Gillard, from Albury on the New South Wales/Victoria border, was second over the line in Bullock’s Flat, after chasing Penrose across the entire 27km course.
“The trails were really good, nice and flowy, and then obviously we didn’t go all the way up at the start but that was still good, a good loop,” said Gillard. “I thought I’d try and stick with Paige and stay back for a bit but then towards the end she took off and I could not keep up. This is my first time up here, it was awesome, definitely keen to do it again.”
Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko by UTMB® – Kosci27 – Men’s Results
- Charlie Hamilton – 1:54:48
- Andrew Gatenby – 1:58:02
- Jack Powell – 2:03:12
- Henry Hugman – 2:04:31
- Lachlan Oakes – 2:04:48
- Matthew Johnsen – 2:08:05
- Matty Abel – 2:09:10
- Nick Clark – 2:14:09
- Josh Godden – 2:15:27
- Matt North – 2:17:27
Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko by UTMB® – Kosci27 – Women’s Results
- Paige Penrose – 2:16:18
- Laura Gillard – 2:19:23
- Kellie Angel – 2:21:19
- Katie Mahoney – 2:22:16
- Victoria Beck – 2:28:18
- Kylie Simpson – 2:32:18
- Greta Truscott – 2:37:08
- Monika Holmwood – 2:37:16
- Jade Doley – 2:39:49
- Sian Kennedy – 2:40:58
For more information on Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko by UTMB® visit www.ultratrailkosciuszko.com.au
Ultra-Trail Kosciusko by UTMB® is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.