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2003 Coastal Classic Ultra 12 Hour Track EventJanuary 4th & 5th 2003, near Gosford, NSW
Race Director's Report
Previous: 2001 and 2002
* (f) Indicates Female
The 6th Annual Coastal Classic was conducted at Adcock Park, West Gosford in the beautiful Central Coast district of N.S.W.
The Classic started at 7:30 pm, 22 athletes toed the starting line. Several competitors withdrew only days prior. One gentleman had an accident on his bicycle, fortunately he is on the road to recovery.
On a sombre note two previous competitors Peter Waddell and Franz Wanderer passed away during 2002 our heartfelt condolences go out to their families.
The race conditions were almost ideal, only the humidity was slightly elevated.
The mixture of old and new faces were facing the task ahead, how far they could travel in the 12 hour period. Distances achieved varied from over 118 km's to just over 24 km's., from a competitor who came out of retirement after over 25 years away.
The pace up the front was on from the outset. Throughout the field the intensity was just as prominent. Warren Holst and Michael Sullohern went through the half marathon at 1:47:26 and 1:48:28, also Kelvin Marshall and Chris Gamble went under 2 hours for the half marathon.
Kelvin Marshall made the trip from Victoria flying up on the morning of the race and returning the Sunday lunchtime. He stayed in touch with the leaders and was never worse than 4 th during the evening. Alan Staples hovered around 3 rd and 4 th and finally finishing just out of the placings.
Nick Drayton one of only 3 competitors who have done all Classics worked hard and huffed and puffed less and improved on last year's performance. His support crew's musically tastes are maturing.
The lapscorers were kept on their toes as positions changed and during the night when competitors changed their outfits. The board was updated throughout the evening as a game of chess was played out. Runners and walkers alike trying to get a lap or two up on their rivals.
In the walk division last year's winner Alex Crawford started at pace worthy of a Elite Racewalking Championship. Alex held this pace till 30 km's where he had to retire due to an ankle injury he brought into the Classic. Carol Baird was wondering if she needed to throw her game plan out the window or try and entice Robin Whyte to keep pace (our eventual men's winner). As she and Robin have the wisdom of a wealth of ultras they stuck to their own race plans. This is good information to the new and anxious ultra athlete make a sensible race plan and follow it.
At the 80 km mark there was only 11 minutes between Warren Holst and Michael Sullohern at the front, they reached that mark at 7:19:39 and 7:30:59 at the 100 km mark they reached it in 9:30:41 and 9:54:22. Finally finishing in that order.
In the ladies running division Felicity Joyce and Karina Ward kept each other in sight staying within 10 minutes of each other up to the marathon distance checkpoint. Felicity and Karina stayed positive for the duration offering encouragement to fellow competitors. They finished in that order. I am sure we will see them again. Felicity gave a lovely speech after the Classic thanking all involved and Frank & I really appreciated the kind thoughts.
Meanwhile Stan Miskin was coming through the walk section. He showed consistency is a key to performing well in ultras. He seemed to pick up speed as the time went by. His distance almost equalled his age of 77.
Support crews always endeavour to keep their athletes on track, Laurie Hennessey's crew organised his grandchildren to give him extra encouragement with signs which said "Go Poppy"!!! I am sure that enabled Laurie to go some extra kilometres.
As dawn broke, the final countdown was being played out on and off the track. Athletes who had been sleeping awoke from their slumber some had breakfast and went back on track for a few extra laps.
People who had been struggling suddenly picked up the pace. The final few seconds were counted down. Then the measurements took place, measuring to the metre
The presentation took place shortly after the conclusion of the Classic. Prior to this we had a lucky draw and everyone present managed to get a prize ranging from a Dinnerset to family entry passes to Reptile Park, T-Shirt, caps to water bottles.
We like to thank all our competitors, officials and sponsors for making the Coastal Classic a wonderful success.
Next year's Coastal Classic has been set for Saturday 10th January 2004 at 7:30 pm. People use the Classic to do their best, get ready for a 24 hour or longer event. Be part of the Coastal Classic. Entries are already available here or e-mail Paul at email@example.com or contact Frank on (02) 4323-1710 or Paul on (02) 9686-9200 for one or several.
Paul Thompson & Frank Overton