Over the weekend of 17-19 May approximately 7000 trail runners participated in the Ultra-Trail Australia event in the Blue Mountains. The event consists of a 1km climb of the Furber Steps at Scenic World, or distance events covering 11km, 22km, 50km and 100km.
Being in the Blue Mountains you would imagine some elevation being involved, and the 50km runners got to experience a vertical descent and ascent equivalent to the annual Navy Physical Fitness Test (2.4km), while those in the 100km event scaled and descended gradients of twice that much.
In near perfect weather conditions, some great times were achieved across the Navy participants. It was particularly good to see not only the camaraderie between all participants, but between the Australian Defence Force runners who supported each other before, during and after the event.
Chief Petty Officer Shane Kelly summed up the post-event feeling best, when he declared “never again…until next year!”
Australian Defence Force champion on the day, Acting Sub Lieutenant William Dixon achieved a fantastic time in the 100km event.
“Ultramarathon running gives me an opportunity to learn more about my mind and body than I thought possible, being able to push past limits that I thought I had is like nothing I have ever experienced.
“The sense of community and camaraderie, especially among the ADF members competing, is second to none,” Acting Sub Lieutenant Dixon said.
The Navy runners who participated in the gruelling events were:
|Acting Sub Lieutenant William Dixon||UTA 100km||Completed in 13:34:01|
|Chief Petty Officer Shane Kelly||UTA 100km||Completed in 15:34:34|
|Commander Andrew Clowes||UTA 100km||Completed in 17:35:48|
|Acting Sub Lieutenant Joshua Sewell||UTA 100km||Completed in 17:55:36|
|Captain Michael Manfield||UTA 50km||Completed in 7:59:26|
|Lieutenant Jonathan Milton||UTA 50km||Completed in 8:24:33|
Navy runners who are members of the Australian Defence Force Running and Athletics Association had the opportunity to recoup 50% of the event registration fees from the association as they celebrated their individual achievements on the day.