Germany’s Fabian Rahn and Canberra’s Helena Michael have claimed the top step of the podium in the men’s and women’s races in the inaugural Kosci50 race at Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko by UTMB in the Snowy Mountains.
Rahn and Michael impressed across the 50km course on Thursday, with both runners taking the lead early and pushing on to be first to take the finish tape.
Runners were faced with cold temperatures and even snow at the start line in Thredbo, resulting in some changes being made to the courses, but all took it in their stride as they made their way along the 50km course.
Fabian Rahn was first across the finish line in Bullock’s Flat, taking the win in 4:02:48, more than five minutes clear of Canberra’s Michael Daly with Morgan Payne a further 10 minutes back in third.
Rahn, a former professional IRONMAN triathlete turned trail runner, is spending three months in Australia and New Zealand training and racing and is making the most of his time in the southern hemisphere.
“It’s an awesome feeling because I never thought I could win today, I had a little bit of hope for the top three and the direct ticket for the UTMB finals but when I was Cairns two days ago and it was 35 degrees and humid, I didn’t know what to expect but today the air was clean, soft and smooth to breathe, it worked,” said Rahn.
“I think in the end the changes to the course were better for me, and to be honest it was much harder than I expected, because you push so hard for the first uphill metres and then push from kilometre 20 to 30 and then I had so much cramping in the last 20kms, all the way up and down, it was a real challenge, only 900 metres uphill but it was tough, overall it was really smooth and a great race,” he said.
The 36-year-old is enjoying his recent switch from long-distance triathlon to trail running.
“To be honest I’m enjoying it very much, I have two little kids now, eight months and three and a half years, and there was a lot of stress in the last years, a lot of baggage when travelling, the need for a big car and all the travel stuff with bicycles but now it is so easy to enjoy the sport and the life in the mountains so I’m really thankful that I’m now in trail running,” he said.
Canberra’s Helena Michael stormed home to claim victory in the Kosci50 women’s race, finishing more than 10 minutes clear of Jessica Haro Ramos, with Chantal Minchin third.
It was Michael’s first major trail running win, as she’s a recent convert to the sport.
“I’m very tired but feeling really good, I definitely did not expect snow but it’s an alpine area so it can change pretty quickly. It was a tough course but it was beautiful, I just took it step by step,” said Michael. “I’m loving being in trail running, I come from Canberra where we have lots of beautiful trails, I just get to appreciate all the nature and I love that aspect.
“It was amazing out on course, all the support crew, all of the other runners, all just passing each other, taking the time to say good job, keep going, it was incredible and they keep pushing you on,” she said. “I didn’t come out to win to be honest, I just came out to have fun, I’m really thrilled but I’m just here to support everyone in our running group, to get out and support them as well.”
On Friday the race distances at Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko by UTMB® ramp up with the Kosci100 and KosciMiler starting at 6am from Perisher Valley. Both races will finish at Bullock’s Flat, with KosciMiler runners having 36 hours to make their way along the 100-mile course.
Ultra-Trail Kosciusko by UTMB® is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
For more information on Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko by UTMB® visit www.ultratrailkosciuszko.com.au
Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko by UTMB® – Kosci50 – Men’s Results
- Fabian Rahn – 4:02:48
- Michael Daly – 4:08:00
- Morgan Payne – 4:18:02
- Corey Arkins – 4:19:01
- Jack Gill – 4:19:06
- Lachlan Jamieson – 4:19:14
- Rowan Lewis – 4:19:33
- Marc Rawlings – 4:23:54
- Iain Best – 4:26:12
- Mark Langley – 4:30:09
Ultra-Trail Kosciuszko by UTMB® – Kosci50 – Women’s Results
- Helena Michael – 4:44:44
- Jessica Haro Ramos – 4:55:02
- Chantal Minchin – 5:03:49
- Ellen Bradley – 5:06:09
- Amelia Kerr – 5:09:32
- Tania Mulvey – 5:11:03
- Beatrice Telling – 5:15:27
- Kate Cush – 5:28:45
- Amy Payne – 5:33:58
- Ellen Wildey – 5:34:34
Header image: Fabian Rahn heading towards the Kosci50 finish line. Credit: Calumn Hockey