First time trail runner Michelle Lyndon takes on Stay Puft’s sandy course. Image – Dennis Tan, Paparazzi on the Run.
It was a chilly start to Sunday’s (January 17) Stay Puft trail race, run by the Perth Trail Series at Yanchep National Park, but the cool air didn’t last long as runners took to the sandy trails for the first event of the 2016 Summer Series.
An amazing 145 competitors took off just after 7am for the long course (18.7kms) while short course (11.9kms) participants, of which there were 144, hung around the start line a little longer, hitting the trails at 7:25am, all whistling and cheering as they officially began the summer trail race season.
Within 500-metres, however, the cool air suddenly abandoned all hope of a refreshing run as humidity quick sunk in, and the heat began to play on the minds of participants.
Stay Puft was mainly a sandy track with randomly placed deep pockets of dark soft sand through superb green bushland, followed by small undulating hill combinations of loose rock and dirt.
In the long course, Tod Ingram took first place with an amazing time of 1:16:44 but hot on his heels was Stephen Stockwell, closing in with just one minute 90 seconds between them.
Experienced trail runner Phil Gore secured third place easily in just 1:23:02.
In the women’s division, first place was won by Rachel Brooks (1:26:27) while Katherine Stockwell took second (1:27:24) and Leah Queit confidently ran through the finish line for third (1:31:42).
It was an exciting short course race with speedy runners kicking up the sand in all directions, but in the end it was Jason Duryea who took the highest podium finish with a time of 54:53.
In the women’s event, Keira Chorley secured first place in 1:06:23.
The humidity had affected a number of participants’ speed, but each kept their mental strength on the prowl, and took in with delight an ice cold water sponge station by three volunteers, the Treasure family, close to the finish.
There were also plenty of first time trail runners at Stay Puft too, and avid runner Michelle Lyndon from Pearsall was one of them.
Despite completing the short course in 2:00:22, Lyndon revealed she was certainly now addicted to trail running and was looking forward to learning more about the sport.
“I didn’t know what to expect when I rocked up at Yanchep, though I love adventures and running through unknown areas,” she said.
“The atmosphere was really awesome as participants passed me or ran with me, there was so much encouragement.
“I wasn’t 100 per cent happy with how I ran the race, though I now know I need to train a lot more as I got a cramp in my leg and want to make sure that I run better next time.
“I will definitely be back for trail runs!”
Lyndon joked she enjoyed every dirty minute of Stay Puft after being introduced to it by a friend, and even though her new running shoes were now christened as ‘trail runners’, she would be signing up for more trail runs in 2016.