Participants tackle the last few kilometres of Sunday’s Swissmurdie trail run in Forrestfield. Image – Dennis Tan/Paparazzi on the Run.
By Kate Dzienis
The last of the Perth Trail Series summer races came to an end at the weekend (March 20) with the Swissmurdie race capping off what has been a lively and impressive season of trail runs in the hills of Perth.
Held at Lesmurdie Mundy Regional Park in Forrestfield (WA), 249 runners were given an opportunity to enter either the short course (10.3kms) or the long course (17.3kms) and provided more chances of scenic views.
Race director Melina Mellino said the week leading up to the event was cool so runners were surprised with the impending heat as they slowly started to show up for bib collection the morning of.
“We went through about 80 litres of fluids at the aid station,” she said.
“The rain the day before compacted the trail a bit, but the humidity affected everyone.”
Much of the run was single track, interspersed with some wide track for easy passing opportunities and while both courses started at the same point, they were divided at the 4.5kms mark.
Winners in the men’s long course were Nicolas Wencel (1:25:39) first, Richard Bason (1:27:02) second and recurring entrant Stephen Stockwell (1:28:31) third.
The women were hot on their heels and the finish line saw multiple PTS first placer Rachel Brooks (1:30:18) take the crown, followed by Katherine Stockwell (1:35:54) and Martine Nield (1:47:52).
The short course was extremely popular, with 116 entrants but it was Mason Zappavigna who took gold for the men in a speedy time of 50:26 and Jo Anna Maynard (53:29) for the ladies.
To finish off the summer series, Runglobal spoke to PTS official photographer Dennis Tan from Paparazzi on the Run, who said Swissmurdie was a scenic track in comparison to the other races.
Sports photographer Dennis Tan enjoys capturing moments like this on camera, which show the spirit of trail running and volunteer work. Image – Dennis Tan/Paparazzi on the Run.
Tan is known to take incredible action shots of runners and has developed a rapport amongst them, seemingly knowing most by name and cheering them on as he takes his shots.
“I was at the M8 water station this time, which was about 5kms from the finish line of the long course,” he revealed.
“I picked this spot mainly because this section has fallen tree logs, is downhill and there is a shady trail path, which makes the photos look incredibly interesting.
“PTS runners have different backgrounds – some are very serious and they aim to win or PB, while others just want to enjoy the day and comrade with others, it’s great seeing how different they all are.”
One of Tan’s most admirable traits is wanting to make every participant happy, and this is what makes him a sports photographer that sets him apart from the crowd.
“I love making them happy,” he smiles.
“Sometimes I encourage them and cry out, ‘This is the last hill section, I promise!’ (but in fact, there may be more).
“There’s a lot of love for the crazy runners who love performing for me, like a high jump in front of my camera – but I’ve also witnessed a few high jump fail moments too (laughs).”
Although the Summer Series has come to an end, trail runners will definitely have a taste of more amazing races throughout the year.
The next adventure is set for April 9 at Yanchep National Park (WA) and is a night race, Mystery Mayhem, set with a Scooby Doo theme.
For more details on all PTS events and to register for future (or all!) events, click here.