CABOOLTURE DUSK TO DAWN – February 9th, 10th
By Robert Lofthouse
Since its humble beginnings back in 1994 the Caboolture Dusk to Dawn has grown to the stage where the event now has the recognition and sanctioning of the International Association of Ultra Runners (IAU).
The event is held annually at the Caboolture Historical Village and is conducted on a 500 metre circuit with the course itself made up of decomposed Granite which is easy underfoot and on the body as compared to the usual bike path, road surfaces.
This year’s event included a 12 hour and 6 hour race, 100km, 50km, Marathon and Half Marathon distances for the individual as well as Team Relays which were conducted over 12 and 6 hours. The person and Team logging up the highest mileage over the allocated 12 or 6 hours are declared the winners.
This year’s team events proved more popular than ever with 11 teams participating in the 12 hour event and 27 teams in the 6 hour event. The 12 hour event allows teams of up to 18 runners whilst the 6 hour event allows a maximum of three runners per team.
Race Director Geoff Williams and his crew were again at the helm and with an excellent timing system in place, times were continually being flashed up on the Television screen making it easy for spectators and officials to keep up with the number of laps completed by everyone. Gone are the days when lap scoring had to be done by hand and of course counting errors made as individuals struggled to stay awake in the early hours of the morning! Three cheers for modern technology and the effect it has had on this great sport of Distance Running.
12 hour Individual event and Team Relay:
With all events starting at 6.00pm on the Saturday evening it was quite crowded at the start as
individual and lead off Team runners started together.
A lot of interest in the 12 hour race centred around Australian representative John Pearson and whether or not he could make it five wins in a row on the Caboolture circuit. As well, it was going to be interesting to see if John could break the Race Record held by former New Zealand runner Deb Nicholl who was also competing on the night but in the 6 hour race.
There was plenty of atmosphere around the circuit with spectators and Relay runners everywhere yelling their encouragement and support in every way they could. There was plenty of tents as well around the course so there was no chance of any runner getting lost.
As the 12 hour race entered the last couple of hours it was obvious that it would be a matter of how close John Pearson would go to breaking Deb’s 2010 record. A good performance was also being put in by the ever improving Laurie Laine who has emerged as a contender after top 10 placings at the Glasshouse and Gold Coast 100km races in the last two years.
As the sun rose on a clear Sunday morning the clock ticked around to 6.00 am and it was over with 47 weary runners having survived the 12 hour journey and of course the mind battles which no doubt many had at various stages of the night.
In the final wash up, John Pearson won after logging a distance of 131.55km. He missed the course record by just .191km (191 metres)! However, his time still broke the Male course record. Laurie Laine finished less than 6km behind in second place with Gavin Bendall third.
Raelene Bendall capped off a great weekend for the Bendall family (who made the trip down from Rockhampton) by taking the honours in the ladies event clocking up a distance of 102.118km. It was close at the end with Mullumbimby’s Marina Brun-Smits less than 300 metres behind in second place as the 6.00am finish brought everyone to a stand still. Cheryl Symons was third.
Special mention to BRRC members Katrina Crook and Cassie Smith who battled it out to the finish with Cassie having to walk for much of the event. They ended up in 5th and 6th place respectively in the ladies section.
Team Relay – 11 teams took part in the 12 hour Team Relay with special mention to Ipswich Grammar School who fielded 5 teams including a team of Ipswich Grammar coaches and teachers.
The Coaches team proved to be front runners all night and ended up winning with an overall distance of 138.5kms covered in the 12 hours.
The second placed team (and first mixed team) consisted of 10 runners from BRRC and The Run Inn clubs. BRRC members in the team contributed strongly throughout the night with Lucy Carvalho, Michael Schultz, Joanne Taylor, Rob Lofthouse and the Tomlins sisters Katie and Belinda
, managing a total distance of 131.5kms.
6 hour Individual event and Team Relay:
The 6 hour event proved hugely popular with 62 individuals finishing the event and 27 teams doing battle until the midnight finish.
The course record for this event had been held by Toowoomba’s Graham Medill since the year 2000
but with 12 hour course record holder Deb Nicholl electing to run this event the possibility of her claiming another Course Record was on the cards.
As the race wore on, Deb continued to surge past runners continually on the 500 metre circuit and in the process managed to keep up a km average of under 5min/km for the entire six hours. At the finish Deb Nicholl logged up an amazing 74.793km to break Graham’s 13 year record by two and a half kms. Second and third respectively in the ladies event were well known Ultra Runners Mallani Moloney and Kerrie Williamson.
The men’s 6 hour race proved to be the closest of the night with Greg Ponych (62.884 km) just edging out Nic Phipps (62.004) and Wayne Spies (61.54).
Team Relay – Teams involved in the Six Hour Relay were allowed a maximum of three runners and with 27 teams entered in this event it was quite crowded in the change over area near the Timing Mat at various stages of the night.
The winning team consisted of Ben Geldart, Andrew Douglas and Matt Cooper from the Brisbane Run Squad (BRS) who clocked up the outstanding result of 86km in the six hours. That’s an hourly average of over 14km/hour! Well done guys!
Conditions on the night were as perfect as you could hope for given that it was February which is usually the most humid month of the year in Queensland. The lack of the usual summer storms or any hint of rain made the surface ideal to run on and the atmosphere generated by the spectators was much appreciated by everyone.
Congratulations once again to Geoff Williams and his crew for putting on such a great event year after year. It must be so gratifying for Geoff to see how this event has grown since its beginning 19 years ago. With so many different distances and Team Events on offer the opportunity for everyone to take part is the reason why this has grown into the event it is today.
*Don’t forget next year is the 20th Anniversary of this unique event held in a very interesting part of the world – Caboolture Historical Village*.
12 Hour Men/Women Results
12 Hour Individual
1– John Pearson 131.55km NEW MEN’S RECORD
1 – Raelene Bendall 102.118km
2 – Laurie Laine 125.723km
2 – Marina-Brun-Smits 101.831km
3 – Gavin Bendall 116.455km
3 – Cheryl Symons 98.927km
12 Hour Teams Relay
1– Ipswich Grammar Coaching 138.50km 1st Open Team
1– Four Guys & Four Angels 131.50km 1st Mixed Team
6 Hour Men/Women Results
6 Hour Individual
1– Greg Ponych 62.884km
1 – Deb Nicholl 74.793km COURSE RECORD
2 – Nic Phipps 62.004km
2 – Mallani Moloney 62.078km
3 – Wayne Spies 61.54km
3 – Kerrie Williamson 56.813km
6 Hour Teams Relay
1– Brisbane Run Squad (3 person team) 86km
1– Brad Kruger 4: 07.33
1 – Caroline Brousseau 6:15.21
1– Stephen Courtney 3: 06.59
1 – Carol Wingreen 3:54.15
Marathon Team Relay
1 – Brisbane Run Squad (4 person team) 3:21.77
1– Aodhan Griffin 1:45.50
1 – Irma Dulnuan 1:59.54
For all the individual results and lap timing check the Timing Plus website.