The shorter 100 k distance of this prestigious and stunning looking ultra trail is usually the most competitive one, not only because of its early season race date making more runners opt for less mileage but also due to it being the second instalment of the Ultra-Trail World Tour series. This years edition did not disappoint and served up both big names and great performances. Our favourite pair of Baggy Shorts were making their first appearance of the year and sitting on the legs of Courtney Dauwalter it is not surprising that they saw most of this fast paced race from the front end. Courtney and local lass Cecilia Flori could be seen cruising through the first three check points together before Dauwalter "dewey-ed to it" and took control of the lead. She won the race (and placed 8th OA) in 09:28:03 twenty minutes ahead of the speedy Austrailan runner Stephanie Auston ( https://stephanieauston.wordpress.com, https://www.instagram.com/steph_auston/?hl=en) who ran a very impressive debut on the 100 k distance. Rounding out the podium was last years New Caledonia Ultra Trail champion Angelique Plaire from France in 10:39.
The 100 miler might not have been as stacked with elite names but what does that matter when you have a 24 hour record holder toeing the line. The flat and fast start to the 100 mile course suited Camille Herron like hand in glove and she went off like fire leaving not only her sisters but also the entire field of men in her dust. With Zac Marion battling cramps and Jeff Browning taking a wrong turn leading to a 30 minute detour it looked like she was on to an outright victory but as the trail turned technical during the last quarter of the race Camille's wheels started to come off and she could not hold off the by now ferociously chasing Hard Rock champion any longer. Herron still managed to bag 2nd OA behind Jeff Browning and obliterated the female course record with a 17:50:22 finish. To think that I doubted she'd be at the start-line in my preview last week … Second lady was Katie Wright in 23:43:26 and 25 minutes behind in third was Lesley Park.
Impressive season debuts from both Courtney and Camille, fingers crossed for an injury free spring for Americas two big C's so we get to see them in proper battle mode at WS100 in June!
1. Courtney Dauwalter (8OA) 09:28:03
2. Stephanie Auston (11 OA) 09:49:22
3. Angelique Plaire 10:39:47
1. Camille Herron (2 OA) 17:20:52
2. Katie Wright 23:43:26
3. Lesley Park 24:07:38
Full Results Here;
Right back to those step infested trails over in Hong to the Kong for the next round up section;
HONG KONG FOUR TRAILS ULTRA CHALLENGE 298 km / 14500 m