Running Wild Race Report

Event: Kedumba short course (10km / 21km)
Date: 23 October 16

The second short course race of the season, Kedumba is billed as arguably the toughest half marathon in Australia. Runners in the half-marathon are confronted with approximately 800 metres elevation whilst the 10km racers get no respite with some of the steepest parts of the Kedumba track featuring in the shorter race.

The 10km race was a showcase of the talent and speed of young runners competing in (and winning) races. Max Johnson led the men’s field in 49.02, followed by Alex Wilkinson and Jack Murray. Kate Nelson ran superbly to place second overall winning the ladies 10km race only just ahead of Melanie Shields in second and Alicia Ross in third place.

As the 10km racers turn to retrace their steps and start the climb back to the old Queen Victoria Hospital and the finish line, the half-marathon competitors continue to plunge down into the Kedumba Valley. Approaching the halfway mark, the course briefly flattens out offering momentary relief from the relentless, quad-busting downhill. Once in the valley, runners are treated to spectacular views of Mt. Solitary and Kings Tableland plateau. After a short creek crossing at the turnaround point, competitors are then confronted with the gruelling climb that makes this event so special.

Eric Holt was enjoying a slight lead ahead of Mark Green as both runners embarked on the second-half of the 21km event. As usual, Marnie Ponton was in the thick of the action turning with the first handful of male runners. Given the variables that the distance and gradient of the climb out of the valley presents to competitors, this year’s race was wide open as several frontrunners turned for home well within striking distance of one another.

Ultimately, Mark Green was able to do enough to edge ahead of Eric Holt for the win. Finishing one and two ahead of Loughlinn Kennedy (third place) is no mean feat given Loughlinn’s rapidly growing reputation within skyrunning circles and winning this year’s Hounslow Classic.

Marnie Ponton successfully defended her Kedumba ladies crown, smashing her own race record in the process by nearly five minutes. Marnie’s new record is a blistering 1:39:40. Second place in the ladies half-marathon was Julia Daehne, with third going to Natalie Goodwin.

Congratulations to all of the winners and place getters. Furthermore, a huge congratulations is extended to all who participate in the Kedumba event. This is a genuinely tough course and just having a go is a worthy and serious undertaking. Well done everyone!

Not to be outdone by the senior runners, the Trail Kids braved the frosty morning to give it their all for the final Trail Kids race of the year. The enthusiasm that the kids bring to every 1km and 3km race never waivers and Kedumba proved no different on Sunday.

In the girl’s 3km race, Molly Peake matched it with the boys coming in third overall and first amongst the girls ahead of Neena Harrison in second and Meeka Grierson close behind for third place.

The boy’s 3km event saw some familiar names feature at the front. Benjamin Witney won another race, ahead of fast finishing Lachlan Ross and Rowan Brischetto in second and third place respectively.

Great effort again this year Trail Kids. Enjoy the summer break ready to run hard again in the new year.

The Kedumba event presents the race organiser’s with unique logistical challenges – most notably parking. A special mention of gratitude must go again to our volunteers for helping this year’s event proceed without incident. RW also appreciates everyone’s effort to car pool where possible and for working with volunteers to help things flow smoothly.

Behind the scenes, there are many more who work to make Running Wild events the welcoming, fun and safe races for which they’ve become renowned – specifically:

  • Lucas Trihey and his team from Event Safety Services who offer tremendous support with their first aid service, knowledge and experience;
  • Peter and Simona from Snax on Trax are amongst the first to arrive and last to leave to ensure everyone gets their fill of pre-race coffee and post-race nutrition;
  • Chris and the team at XThomas photography for capturing all the action; and
  • The team at Tempus Sports Timing for accurate race times and results.

As always, RW appreciates the ongoing support of the Blue Mountains City Council and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Finally, just a reminder that the remaining Season 7 races are now open for entry. Our next race is always one of the most popular on the RW calendar and offers a couple of different perspectives for runners. Firstly, it’s worth noting that the Narrowneck race is held on a Saturday (19th November) and secondly, this is a night race starting at 7pm!

Race registration is conducted at the Katoomba Sports and Aquatic Centre (between 5 – 6.20pm), and runners will be transported to the starting area by shuttle buses. Please note that there is NO PARKING available at the start line for the Narrowneck race.

See you all on 19th November for the Narrowneck event.

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