Race Report

Racers find their ‘chi’ on trails

Qi-Gong-TanTrail runners tackle the hills at the weekend’s Qi Gong race, hosted by the Perth Trail Series. Image – Dennis Tan/Paparazzi on the Run.

By Kate Dzienis

The Perth Trail Series is taking the WA trail running scene with gusto, putting on yet another perfectly attuned event at the weekend and catering to adventurers who want that extra bit of kick in a challenging environment. 

Wungong Regional Park in Bedfordale (WA) was the host of Sundays Qi Gong race, and welcomed 96 short course (10.7kms) runners and a whopping 141 long course (14.1kms) participants. 

And of course, Perth put on a perfect autumn day, cool and overcast without a hint of humidity in sight.

At this rate, can Perth ever put on bad conditions for a trail race?

The Qi (or ‘chi), which is defined as the circulating life force whose existence and properties are the basis of Chinese philosophy and medicine, allowed participants to get into the mental zone before taking off – and regular PTS runners will notice the whimsical play on words for each trail event.

The track itself was rocky and technical, with a descent to a flowing brook after the first kilometre, and soon after leading to the first hefty climb; runners took on breathtaking views at the top only to find themselves having to tackle an undulating downhill, a short single track descent, and then another climb.

Runners put on an impressive performance, and saw recurring names come through the top podium finishes – Nicolas Wencel blitzed the long course for the men in a time of 1:05:10, and hot on his tail were Stephen Stockwell (1:05:41) and Richard Bason (1:06:53).

Phil Gore, who is known in the community for running a minimum of five kilometres a day since December 2014, not only took fourth (1:08:57) but got awarded the Blood Award for his impressive ‘stack on one of the descents.

Emma Landsdown was also awarded a Blood Award for her skinned knee.

Hill-TanA clear indication of the steep inclines at the Qi Gong trail race, around the three kilometre mark. Image – Dennis Tan/Paparazzi on the Run.

Rachel Brooks, winner of Wallygrunta back in January, won the womens long course category in 1:10:16 just ahead of Snakes n Ladders winner Katherine Stockwell (1:12:13). Kate Bray claimed third with an impressive time of 1:22:02.

Mason Zappavigna won the short course in 47:02, making it two wins in row after his gold trophy take in last months Snakes n Ladders. In second place it was Robert Mcmanus (47:48) while Rafael Kimberley-Bowen claimed third (48:52).

For the women, Jo Anna Maynard took the crown (54:19) with silver going to Rose Schuddinh (59:32) and bronze handed to Eva Gibson (1:00:59).

Race director Melina Mellino said this year the summer series was on a roll with the way it was gaining popularity.

“Its really exciting to see the community growing, the amount of first time trail runners and the events continue to fill up to max capacity,” she said.

“Its such an awesome community from our runners on course collecting rubbish, to the connections and friendships that are forming through carpooling.”

The next PTS event, Swissmurdie, will be on March 20 at Lesmurdie Falls Regional Park.

To register, visit here but be quick, because registrations sell out quickly these days!

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