Event:        Glenbrook Marathon (25 / 34 / 42 km)

Date:        20 August 2017


There aren’t too many better ways to get a new race season underway than with the Glenbrook marathon. Comprising of 3 distances – 25km, 34km and 42km – the Glenbrook race day is consistently one of the most popular Running Wild events.

We were privileged to have Kelsie King offer a welcome to country message before the racing got under way. And if the results in each race are anything to go by, Season 8 is shaping up to be very competitive……and very fast.

All three races at Glenbrook offer many terrain variations for runners to contend with.

Everything from technical, steep single track and grinding climbs to never ending fire trail ascents and back again for fast fire trail descents.

Runners in all three races are greeted by the short and technical goat track out of the Euroka clearing before gruelling it up to the Mt Portal lookout. The long single-track incline up to the Red Hands Cave awaits before the never-ending up-hill fire trail to the junction at the Oaks fire trail. The 25km racers part ways here with the rest of the field, turning left to start the long, quad-busting fast fire trail running down the Oaks and onto Bennett’s Ridge fire trail.

The 34km and 42km participants continue down the Nepean Lookout Track and turnaround at the lookout. With no time to admire the view, the 34km runners continue up the way they just came, whereas the marathoners add in a few more kilometres out (and back) along the Pisgah Ridge fire trail before re-joining the Nepean Lookout fire trail to grind it all the way back to the Oaks fire trail.

Both the longer races follow the same way back to the start/finish hub as the 25km event after turning right off the Nepean Lookout track onto the Oaks fire trail. There may not be any really steep climbs in these races, but the long inclines and long fast declines make for a heart pounding, bone jarring affair.

In the men’s 25km event, the first five finishers all recorded times inside of two hours. Declan King-Smith (1:52:02) won ahead of Kalle Kortelainen (1:57:39) who claimed second spot holding out Marc Fitzpatrick by only two seconds for third.

The ladies 25km race was a similar theme to the guys. Georgia Nesbitt, in a very quick 2:02:42 (only three minutes away from the course record), secured a comfortable win in front of Jenny Morris and Emma Gosby – both ladies crossing the finish line at exactly the same time (2:14:49) – for second and third place respectively. For those that may not know, Georgia is currently a member of the Australian rowing team and is also becoming a regular sight on the trails around the Blue Mountains.

The first three men to finish the 34 km race crossed the line only 7 minutes apart. Nic Bailey (2:40:37) won ahead of James Sweeney (2:45:12) who held on for second place ahead of a fast finishing Stephen Richardson in 2:47:52.

Melanie McDonald mixed it up with the blokes finishing fourth overall and first in the ladies 34 km event in a lightning 2:50:33. Kate Pendergast (3:06:31) claimed second place and Jo Barton (3:13:13) had a huge fight on her hands to hold onto third place finishing only 13 seconds ahead of fourth.

The marathon was likely to be a speedy affair with Dave Byrne lining up in the men’s race. And as it turned out, speedy is an understatement with Dave winning, and smashing the course record by nearly ten minutes, in a time of 2:48:26. Nic Fisher also nearly cracked 3 hours to finish second in 3:04:29. Jonathan Worswick is becoming a regular on the podium, claiming third place in 3:22:24.

Louise Clifton’s incredible form (and year) continued at Glenbrook. It’s little surprise to see Lou on the podium at RW events – again in first place and by over half-an-hour on this occasion in 3:31:24. Sarah Hately (4:05:52) had to call on every ounce of energy she had left to claim second spot only 12 seconds ahead of Deborah Turner in 4:06:04.

Congratulations to all of the podium finishers. Well done.

All podium finishers receive a RW gift voucher that can be redeemed at either Summit Gear in Katoomba or Blue Mountains Running Company in Glenbrook. Thanks to both stores for being such wonderful supporters of RW.

A special mention goes the way of Can Too for continued support of the Glenbrook marathon. Can Too works to raise funds and support the research, prevention, care and control of cancer. Through cancer prevention, their mission is to engage and inspire individuals and the community to achieve personal health, wellbeing and altruistic goals. There were a large number of Can Too athletes entered into different races this year. The colour, energy and support that accompany the Can Too athletes adds a wonderful element to the day. Thanks for your support Can Too!!

The Glenbrook Marathon has also enjoyed wonderful support over the years from Glenn (Horrie) Lockwood. For those who may not realise, Horrie has run every Glenbrook marathon since the very beginning – running again this year with his wife Belinda. Horrie was allocated bib number 99, for his 99th marathon. His 100th marathon was at Sydney only one month after Glenbrook. Great having you run with us again this year Horrie. We look forward to seeing you next year.

RW is very excited about the season ahead and as always is appreciative and humbled by the response and ongoing support of everyone that enters our races. Thank you.

Similarly, every race on the calendar is only made possible by scores of people that volunteer their time and energy to make each race run as smoothly as possible. Thank you to all of our volunteers at Glenbrook. Deserving of further thanks and appreciation are the services that make Running Wild races the best value for money on the globe….namely:

  • 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;
  • The Glenbrook Greengrocer for supplying fruit for every event;
  • Chris and the team at XThomas photography for capturing all the action;
  • Murray and the team at Tempus Sports Timing for accurate race times and results;
  • Blue Mountains City Council;
  • NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service;
  • WaterNSW; and
  • Department of Lands.

Our next event is the first short course race for Season 8 – Lawson – held on 24 September. There are two distance options (9.2 km and 17.4 km) and only a few spots to register remain for both.

Lawson is also another opportunity for the Trail Kids to get involved. Registrations are now open for the Trail Kids races as well.


Running Wild Membership

Don’t forget that you can become a Running Wild member, and by doing so you could potentially save more than $100 on race registrations in one season alone!

It’s worth remembering that RW is a not-for-profit organisation whose objective is to organise excellent trail-running events that cater for all levels of runner. Our events are the best way to meet a wonderful group of like-minded people, as well as enjoy some of the most stunning trails in the Blue Mountains. Annual membership is only $40 and you can register online.

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