(Posted - 25 Sep 2012)
It was a case of new names taking the spoils at the finale of the Salomon Trail Run Series, held in Anglesea, Victoria, on the weekend, but familiar faces securing overall Series crowns.
A showery morning cleared to a sunny day’s racing over the 7.6km and 14.6km courses on offer with more than 1000 trail runners, experienced and first timers, taking to the single tracks weaving through the wilderness of the Surf Coast.
Stepping under the finish arch first in the long course was Mark De Campo, an accomplished Athletics Victoria runner securing his first Salomon Trail Run Series result. De Campo’s day improved further, when he watched his partner, Gemma Kenessy, win the long course women’s event, finishing only seven minutes later.
On the hunt behind De Campo was Jarad Kohlar, who had been part of the winning team in the previous day’s Surf Coast Century 100km trail event. Kohlar was also the Series leader going into Race Four, and his second place just over a minute behind De Campo wrapped up the overall crown for the Newport-based adventure racer.
“It was only after I won the first race at Yarra Bend that I really considered having a go at the overall series win," said Kohlar. “With that under my belt, then, yeah, I figured I’d go as hard as I could for the rest of the races. But what I love about this series is not the competitive side – I love the fact that it’s encouraging people of all abilities to get off their bums and not just engage in physical exercise, but do it in some of Victoria’s most beautiful bush settings."
In the series standings, Daniel Trevena came second with two third placings and a fourth while a consistent season by Stephen Rennick garnered him third overall in the series (10th, 5th, 4th).
Taking third place in the men’s long course at Race Four Anglesea was Salomon elite ultra runner, Matt Cooper, whose also ran a leg as part of a team entry in the Surf Coast Century.
An absent Rebecca Rosel held an unassailable lead in the women’s long course titles chase, securing the crown with a three wins from three races record in the previous rounds. But her non attendance left the door wide open for Gemma Kenessy, a first time entrant in the Salomon Series.
Behind Gemma at Race Four was another newcomer to the Series - although not to trail running as we note she has been a trail running team member at an Anaconda Adventure Race in Lorne - Carolyn Scott.
In third was Under 20 runner, Emma Cust, who has scored a series of top five places this year including a second on the podium at Studley Park (R1). One to watch next year as she rises up the trail ranks, her performances this year were enough to secure overall third place in the series behind a consistent Wendy McAlpine (4th, 3rd, 3rd).
Special mentions in the long course go to hardened trail runners Chris Noble and Scott Knable.
The former was one of only two Surf Coast Century competitors to back up his 100km with a 15km long course crack in the Salomon Trail Series on Sunday. The latter ran the final leg (25km) of the Surf Coast Century before knocking over the 15km in the Series on Sunday, making it four finishes from four starts, and accomplishing the first chapter in his to-be written legend of how a one-time 170kg (and 135kg upon starting) bloke came to change his life through trail running (beginning with the Salomon Trail Run Series).
The only other solo competitor to run both the 100km and the 15km long course was Surf Coast Century winner Shona Stephenson, who trotted around the 15km course as a warm-down in a leisurely (for her) 1:26:40.
With trail running continuing to explode in popularity, you can be guaranteed that the Salomon Trail Run Series will return bigger and better than ever next year, as will the Surf Coast Century.
In the meantime there is a jam packed calendar of trail running events around the country for runners to fill their diary with from shorter stuff to the ultra distances. Some may even like to get a taste for the trail running on offer as part of the Anaconda Adventure Race Nationals Series – either by getting involved in a team entry (so you only have to do the trail run leg) or take a leap and pick up a paddle and mountain bike to complete the other legs as a solo entrant.
MENS LONG COURSE 1. Mark DE CAMPO, 00:55:15 2. Jarad KOHLAR, 00:56:36 3. Matt COOPER, 00:58:25
WOMENS LONG COURSE 1. Gemma KENESSY, 01:02:02 2. Carolyn SCOTT, 01:03:43 3. Emily CUST, 01:07:38
MENS SHORT COURSE 1. Jason AGOSTA, 00:30:50 2. Nik SHERIDAN, 00:31:03 3. Riley KENNEDY, 00:31:27
WOMENS SHORT COURSE 1. Claire CUDDY, 00:37:43 2. Jen BARTON, 00:38:35 3. Rebecca BARTLETT, 00:38:38
Full results HERE
SERIES OVERALL (Provisional)
MENS LONG COURSE 1. Jarad KOHLAR 2. Daniel Trevena 3. Stephen Rennick
WOMENS LONG COURSE 1. Rebecca Rosel 2. Wendy McAlpine 3. Emily CUST, 01:07:38, U20
MENS SHORT COURSE 1. Riley KENNEDY, 2. Jason AGOSTA, 3. Nik SHERIDAN,
WOMENS SHORT COURSE 1. Kasia Malaska 2. Jodie Tester 3. TBC