For anyone wondering what the activity was at the Eudunda Caravan Park, over June 11 to 13th it was a control point/sleep station for “The Irrational S.O.U.T.H. (Southern Oz Ultimate Trails & Hills) 200 Miler”. During the time of the event several hundred people were to pass through the district, as they supported the event.
What an amazing challenge this event has been with the 27 runners registering for the event.
Competitors left from Murray Bridge at 7am on June 9th 2021, running to Clare along the Lavender Federation Trail. The trail is the ideal distance being 325Km (pretty much smack on 200 miles).
The event itself had its own trials thanks to COVID-19, as Shaun Kaesler, Event Director telling how this was the third attempt to run the event, and that a third of those who had originally registered this time had to cancel at the last minute due to another COVID outbreak interstate. Shaun also explained that some of the regular field had also been depleted because there was no overseas competitors able to attend.
It should be mentioned that it was expected that the runners would be in the same area around Inspiration Point as the ‘Lew Job 2 Day Reliability Trial held at Robertstown‘ (also reported here). There had been fantastic support from thier organizers, Michael Kerin and Patrick Neal to ensure that both events would protect thier participants. Well done to both for your efforts.
Sunday 13th 2021 was the official end of the Ultra Marathon at Clare, with lots of celebrations.
What is truly amazing is how fast these runners are and how much they must endure. As an indicator in the
Womens First Place was Jacqueline Cresp finished with a time of 73 hours 37 min 06 sec.
Mens First Place was Kieran O’Brien finished with a time of 52 hours 50 min 01 sec.
Let’s just say again – those times are to travel (running or maybe walking) from Murray Bridge to Clare a distance of 200 Miles or 325 Kilometers, and for anyone who has walked the Lavender Federation Trail is is not all nice level back roads, and the competitors would have found steep hills, an amazing number of creeks, narrow paths, rocks, rabbit and wombat holes and more, much of this would be encountered in the dark. An astounding effort.
We met up with the last runner in the field, Kelly Bennett as she was preparing to leave at approximately 10:30pm from the Eudunda Caravan Park Sleep Station, with her next destination being ‘Inspiration Point Aid Station. Carey Aylmer and Debra Pelgrave were running with Kelly to the next station as part of thier job as ‘Sweeps’.
Kelly may have been the last woman in the field to finish, in 7th place, but she must have made up some very good time as she finished at 98 hours, 3 min and 52 seconds which was only a couple seconds under 5 minutes behind Wilma Mace who finished 6th. A great effort,
In Eudunda there was an extra buzz around the town, as supporters gathered goods, and had a general look around the town.
The South Australian Recreation Trails Inc Board (SARTI) who constructed and maintain the Lavender Federation Trail congratulate each and every competitor, helper and organizer, and once again thank all land owners who generously allow the trail through thier property.