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ULTRAMAG Editorial - June 2001

ULTRAMAG Editorial - June 2001

Written by Kev Cassidy

At the AURA Annual General Meeting on March 26th 2001, we became a truly national body with the election of Queenslander Gary Parsons as President. Gary was elected via a telephone hook up organised by Nigel Aylott. The mood amongst the meeting was one of great enthusiasm.

A big congratulations must be given to the organisers of two new events. Those events being the Trans Australia Race of Fire and the Lest we Forget ultra. The Race of Fire was an amazing stage race of approximately 4,300 kilometres contested by a world class international field, an event 5 times bigger than the old Sydney to Melbourne races and with only one fifth of the budget!! Organiser, Bernie Farmer, pulled off the "almost impossible". A special mention must be made to the three Aussies who finished this gruelling event, they are Paul Every, Mick Francis and long time stalwart George Audley.

Meanwhile in Brisbane, an ultramarathon option was offered along with the regular marathon and shorter events at the annual River Run. Based on the concept of the Comrades Marathon in South Africa, the 84.4km "Lest we Forget" event was run in memory of our fallen soldiers. The course covers the highway from the Gold Coast to Brisbane and was very successful with 78 finishers, many of whom are new faces to ultrarunning. Organiser, Don Griffin, has high hopes of this event attracting large numbers of runners in future years.

With the tragic loss of Bryan Smith still fresh in the ultra world, we have included more tributes and reports of his achievements. Bryan was a three time winner of the Coburg 24 hour event and there were emotional scenes at this years event when runners were presented with their certificates by Bryan's widow, Janet. Janet, of course, is well known and respected in the ultra community.

The International Association of Ultrarunners recently inducted the first 5 names into the "Hall of Fame". The 5 runners and a brief story about their careers appears in this issue. Also of interest is an article by Ted Corbitt. Ted, now in his eighties, is widely recognised as the grandfather of modern day ultrarunning and he outlines his career and some of his amazing high mileage training workouts while multi day walker, Sandra Brown, has written an absorbing article on planning and strategy.

I have taken the liberty to include some history, The annual Frankston to Portsea race has now been run 29 times and a complete wrap up of its history going right back to 1973 is included, many thanks to Max Gibbs for his research which is still ongoing. Speaking of history, Phil Essam has an excellent web site that has a history link. Phil has managed to dig out a collection of race results from 1986 to 1992. Phil's history site can be found at http://ultraoz.50megs.com/history.htm . It is also well worth checking Aura's web site which has taken on a new format at http://coolrunning.com.au/ultra

As per usual, there are race results and reports from the last three months along with a variety of articles, weird and wonderful photos and international news. Contributions for future magazines are welcome and can be sent to "The Editor" p.o. box 2786, Fitzroy, 3065, Vic

Just to finish with Secretary, Phil Essam, is still in the process of putting the membership data on computer and if you are unfinancial then this will be the last magazine you receive. In the near future, we will be able to send separate reminders to unfinacial members and those who may have lapsed in the past few years

Kevin Cassidy
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