Gold Coast 100 Kms Supermarathon - Change of location pays dividends in spades
Australia’s oldest surviving 100 kms road race, the Gold Coast 100 was held on Sunday 11 June, 2017. The race hosted the Australian Ultra Runners (AURA) and Athletics Australia national 100 kms championships for the 14th occasion in the 15 year history of the event.
Event organiser and former AURA President (2002-2011) Ian Cornelius decided to move the event from the scenic beachfront course back to Runaway Bay where the event was first held, from 2003-6 inclusive. He reasoned that the course was flatter, traffic free and faster than the beach front course.
The decision paid dividends in spades. Being the fastest 100 kms run course in Australia, it provides the best opportunity for aspiring athletes to qualify for selection in the team to represent Australia in international competition.
Male winner Francesco Ciancio (above)of Melbourne won in 7:07 taking some 18 minutes off his PB and producing the fastest 100 kms time in Australia since Yiannis Kouros 6:46 set in 1996 and the 3rd fastest 100 kms time on Australian soil, behind Kouros and Australian record holder Tim Sloan (6:29, 1996).
Female winner Marita Eisler of Brisbane broke the 8 hour barrier with a very convincing 7:59. This is Marita’s 6th consecutive Australian championship win and is the 2nd fastest time on Australian soil behind former Australian marathon champion and world duathlon and 3 times world triathlon & champion Jackie (Gallagher) Fairweather.
Both athletes are expected to represent Australia in the world 100 kms championships to be held in Zagreb, Croatia in October, 2019.
Kirstin Bull of Melbourne, Australian’s first and only ultra world champion (100 kms, Spain, 2016) was on hand to assist with prizegiving and other formalities, as was AURA Vice President, Jodie Oborne.
Up and coming local runner Corrina Black placed 2nd woman with 9:18 and the evergreen Pam Muston from
Canberra finished 3rd, breaking the Australian W55 age group record with 10:17.
In the men’s, 2016 world championship representative Barry Keem (Woolongong) kept pace with Francesco in the early stages but eventually succumbed to injury, dropping back to finish with a very impressive 7:29. First timer Francesco Mastrangello of the Gold Coast finished 3rd with a very creditable 9:37.
Prizegiving (Kirstin Bull, Jodie Oborne, Corrina Black, Marita Eisler, Pam Muston, Ian Cornelius) GCSCC
The race program offers various options from 10 kms to 100 kms including a standard marathon and a 50 miler.
The event date for 2018 is 10th June. The event is based at the Gold Coast Sports Centre of Excellence. It is on a loop course of 6.25 kms around the Pine Ridge Conservation Park.