Mt Richon runner Tania Mercado takes a breather while competing at the Snakes ‘n’ Ladders long course, which has been recognised as one of the toughest of the Perth Trail Series. Image – Dennis Tan/Paparazzi on the Run.
The toughest trail run yet was run at the weekend for the Perth Trail Series, with a total of 244 runners taking on the tracks at Serpentine National Park for the annual Snakes ‘n’ Ladders race (February 21).
Temperatures were yet again near perfect with a cool breeze providing relief to participants, who took on the undulating hills with sheer gusto.
Snakes ‘n’ Ladders was the third race in the PTS Summer Series, and gave a clear indication of just how tough, yet beautiful, the Perth bushscape can be.
Long course participants (14.9kms), of which there were 137, took off just after 7am and were closely followed by the short coursers (11.8kms) who had one less uphill climb at the end.
Snakes ‘n’ Ladders had everyone playing a life-size version of the game, where according to PTS, runners found their performance helped or hindered by the naturally-formed chutes and ladders embedded in the topography.
Within 400m of the start, the first big climb began.
First to cross the finish from first to third in the longer distance men’s category were Zachary Thomas (1:11:01), Stephen Stockwell (1:18:28) and Nicolas Wencel (1:19:17).
In the women’s, recurring ‘winner’s circle’ names Katherine Stockwell (1:22:34), Rachel Brooks (1:26:04) and Alice Mcgushin (1:33:37) took the titles.
For the short, first for the lads was Mason Zappavigna (1:05:57) who was followed quickly by regular trail runners Oliver Martin (1:07:32) and Rafael Kimberley-Bowen (1:08:45) while in the women’s division, it was Carol Newell (1:23:24), Suvi Honkanen (1:24:29) and Rose Schuddinh (1:27:02).
Last to cross the finish in the 14.9kms was Tania Mercado from Mt Richon, who made it through with a smile on her face the entire way (2:56:18).
The mother of two, who has competed in trails before, including the arduous 6 Inch, considered Snakes ‘n’ Ladders extremely difficult with its rocky terrain, but pushed through and was not phased with her last place podium finish.
“It was really tough, the hills were almost like you were climbing them and then you had to get straight back down again,” she told Runglobal.
“I didn’t enjoy it all the time and wanted to cry heaps (laughs) but I’m absolutely loving now that I did it.
“I’m so sore now, and I think I will be even more sore later this week!”
Mercado made mention the atmosphere was electric and gave a big thumbs up to all the volunteers, especially those who had marked the course.
“It seriously was an amazingly well organised event,” she said.
For a full list of results visit here.