Saturday 11 January 2014
Course: 2km, 600m of climb
Weather: Fine, sunny, mid-20s.
Organiser: Phil Aungles and YMCA of Canberra Runners Club
For many years the Crackenback run was dubbed Australia’s toughest run. That title can be more properly claimed by some of the ultra trail runs with mega altitude gains. Runners can choose any route they like between the Thredbo Valley Chairlift Terminal at the start and the Crackenback Eagles Nest Terminal at the finish. In many past years this involved running up the stairs under the chairlift for the first extremely steep 400m then a track across the meadow under the chairlift for 200m before veering to the right and picking up a 4WD service road then branching off this onto a narrow goat track under the chair liftt for the final 500m. In recent years the grass has been quite long in places where there was a bit of a track to follow and this affects times more than anything else.
The best performers on the course have all been outstanding international stair racers: Paul Crake, David Osmond and Mark Bourne. This year 2013 World Stair Racing champion Mark Bourne dominated the race from the start and had a 4 minute victory in 19.29 from Chad Armstrong (23.34) and Gerard Borodzicz (24.20). Former Australian mountain running champion Anthony Scott, now 51 years of age, was 4th in 26.01.
The female winner was Alicia Bell in 29.41, from Allisaon Mitchell in 30.30 and Leanne Laajoki in 31.34. Former Australian mountain running champion Vanessa Haverd walked up the mountain carrying baby Erica in 34.39.