The seventh edition of the Margaret River Ultra Marathon will take place next weekend on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May 2024 in south-west Western Australia with a sold-out field of ultra runners to hit the trails.

 

350 competitors will run the traditional 80km ultra marathon as solo competitors; whilst 1,150 will be running as part of a relay team of 2 to 5 members covering 10-20km each. The NEW 42km trail marathon introduced this year will be held on the Sunday is also at capacity with 400 solo runners.

Photo: © Rapid Ascent and Photos4Sale

As one of Australia’s most in-demand races, competitors will be taken on a magnificent trail running journey along the breathtaking Cape to Cape coastline and has built an attractive reputation nation-wide.

The 80km point-to-point ultra course held on Saturday sees competitors starting at Hamelin Bay and heading north along the coastline, passing through the incredible scenery of Boranup, Redgate and Gracetown. Runners then head inland to the finish line at Howard Park Winery in Cowaramup.

Photo: © Rapid Ascent and Photos4Sale

The 42km trail marathon (Sunday) course promises a new adventure to compliment the 80km race, starting at Yallingup Beach and heading south along the Cape to Cape track to the same finish at Howard Park Winery.

Reigning 80km female champion Jayme Bergman of Esperance WA is one to watch, coming off another win at Rapid Ascent’s Surf Coast Century 100km race held in Victoria last September. The in-form ultra runner is looking to go back-to-back all whilst enjoying the journey of ultra running;

“Last year I went into the race just to see if I could do it. This year I’m back because I loved it!” said Bergman. “I’ll be taking the same approach where I’ll pace myself for the first three stages so I can power up to the finish and reach my limit at the end!”

Jayme Bergman of Esperance WA. Photo: © Rapid Ascent and Photos4Sale

“Participating in the ultra again is a real privilege; my family will be coming along this time and I’m excited for them to be part of the atmosphere,” continued Bergman.

Bergman will be joined on course by 2023’s second-place Petra Jerejian (WA) who finished just over 5 minutes behind. Unfortunately due to recent injury, Jerejian will race with no expectations this year;

“Due to my injury I have not been running for the last few weeks,” said Jerejian. “But I am still going to do the race because I love the atmosphere of the event and the wonderful community. I have no expectations – I just want to enjoy the run, enjoy the scenery and finish without any further injuries.”

 

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 In the absence of 2022 and 2023 champion Josh Chugg, the 80km solo mens field is open for the taking, with Sjoerd Algera (Mosman Park, WA) one to watch after finishing 3rd behind Chugg at last years’ race.

Josh Chugg, 2023 winner. Photo: © Rapid Ascent and Photos4Sale

Joining the more serious solo runners on course is the huge contingent of 80km relay teams who elude enthusiasm for the course and event overall, many returning year after year.

Courtney Furzer from Tuart Hill in WA heads in to her fourth year as part of team ‘The Girls’ which is made up of her best friends who all want to have fun and push themselves.

“The event is a way for our group to push ourselves and tackle something difficult together as a team,” said Furzer. “It makes it so much easier doing it with friends and we love being able to support each other through this.”

 

Rapid Ascent have a self-imposed entry limit to preserve the competitor experience on each race day, with the event consistently reaching participant capacity months out from race day. Rapid Ascent’s General Manager Sam Maffett credits the entrants themselves for making the event what it is today;

““We feel truly honoured by runners’ enthusiasm to be part of this landmark event year after year,” said Maffett. “The fervour, camaraderie and scenery along the course are no doubt all part of the allure; but more importantly, credit goes to to the entrants themselves for continually showing their willingness to challenge themselves and help make the event so special.”

Photo: © Rapid Ascent and Photos4Sale

The unique landscape will keep runners buzzing from start to finish, as the courses wind their way through tall karri tree forests, coastal trails, beaches and bluffs with sweeping views across the magical Margaret River region.

80km competitors will finish well into the night at Howard Park Wines, the official event venue, with presentations held on Sunday morning from 9am. A 2km Kids Run is also held on Sunday, complimenting the 42km race day and overall presentations.

Photo: © Rapid Ascent and Photos4Sale

Part of the event’s allure is providing an opportunity for runners to combine their love of running with a visit to one of Australia’s most spectacular regions. The course is accessible for spectators and a stone’s throw from world class wineries, cafes and surf beaches.

Local media and south-west locals are invited to come down for a look and cheer on the competitors.

Further event information can be found on the Margaret River Ultra Marathon website or Facebook Page.

EVENT DETAILS:

When: Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May 2024
Where: Margaret River, South-West Western Australia
What:  An 80-kilometre ultra-marathon and NEW 42km marathon

  • Solo 80km (Saturday, 6:15am Race Start)
  • Relay team of 2-5 runners doing one (or more) legs each (Saturday 8:00am Race Start)
  • Solo 42km (Sunday, 8:00am Race Start)

80km Ultra – Leg Breakdown

  • Start: Hamelin Bay
    • Leg 1: 11.5km Hamelin Bay to Boranup Campsite
    • Leg 2: 16km Boranup Campsite to Contos Campground. Total: 27.5km
    • Leg 3: 19.5km Contos Campground to Riflebutts Reserve, Total: 47km
    • Leg 4: 18.5km Riflebutts Reserve to Gracetown. Total: 65.5km
    • Leg 5: 13km Gracetown to Howard Park Wines. Total: 78.5km
  • Finish: Howard Park Wines

42km Trail Marathon:

  • Start: on the beach at Yallingup
  • Finish: Howard Park Wines

FIRST FINISHERS

First SOLO 80km competitor expected to Finish at Howard Park Wines at 1:20pm on Saturday.
First RELAY TEAM expected to Finish at Howard Park Wines at 2:00pm on Saturday.
First SOLO 42km competitor expected to Finish at Howard Park Wines at 11:00am on Sunday.

LIVE RESULTS

Athlete tracking and live event results will be available HERE