Ultramarathon to take in scenic south coast

The Coast to Kosci will take in the surrounds of the Far South Coast, when it starts at Boydtown Beach early on November 26. Picture: Instagram.
The Coast to Kosci will take in the surrounds of the Far South Coast, when it starts at Boydtown Beach early on November 26. Picture: Instagram.

Australia's most resilient ultra-marathon runners will rise with the sun on November 26 for the start of the Coast to Kosci, a 240km run from Boydtown Beach to Mount Kosciuszko.

"Mostly it's about the experience," says race director Greg Wallace. He and Mickey Campbell revived the annual event last year after it hadn't been run in 2018 and 2019.

"As new race directors we had a lot on, but we're just continuing to build the race," the pair said in preparation for this year's run, which will tip off at 5.30am on Friday morning.

The pair said the Coast to Kosci is normally open to the top 50 ultra-marathon runners, but COVID-19 travel restrictions had meant just 31 will launch off the sand with an aim to finish at the summit of Mount Kosciuszko early on Saturday morning.

"The first runner normally finishes around 6-to-7am the following morning around 25 or 26 hours," Mr Wallace said.

"Depending on what happens - the further the race goes - the more things can go wrong so the last person has up to 45 hours to finish."

Mr Wallace said ultra-marathon runners are gritty, determined and resilient people that can push through the aches and pains, but said the 240km layout soaked in the magnificence of the Far South Coast and inland.

"Even though it had been burned out, it was incredible the number of people coming out of Towamba and Pericoe saying how lucky they felt to see it and just how beautiful the area was.

"The shop in Cathcart stays open longer for us when we're coming through and the service crews giving runners an ice cream or a snack as they soak in the area is part of it.

"For those people it's the experience of doing something and seeing the countryside."

While it doesn't follow the route of the Bundian Way, Mr Wallace said the Coast to Kosci somewhat paid homage to those historic treks and said organisers were grateful for the wonderful support from the Eden Aboriginal Land Council and others during their visits.

BJ Cruse will perform a Welcome to Country before the start, while local musician and artist Nathan Lygon will be playing the didgeridoo.

Mr Wallace said the Towamba Public School also held a barbecue fundraiser for the run each year and runners look forward to stopping in for breakfast on their long slog.

"We feel really honoured to give back where we can to the people who support us so greatly," he said.

Heat management is a big part of the task, which Mr Wallace said could include gloves or hats to maintain or expel heat, while runners also soaked in the cool of the night or afternoon warmth.

"Our job as race directors is to make sure they're safe and prepared and done right," the pair said.

"But it's a beautiful part of the world and they [runners] just love it."

He said they appreciated local support, which meant even more to have the race start in the Valley.

"It's fantastic that it starts in the Bega Valley and we appreciate the heritage and ties to walks like the Bundian Way, it's very special to go from Twofold to the summit."

This story Ultramarathon to take in scenic south coast first appeared on Bega District News.