On Sunday over 60 runners will compete in a 30km Trail Run across Albury's Mountain Range - Nail Can Hill. The Borders longest and toughest running event makes up the 3rd and final race of the Riverina Endurance Trail Running Series. The series is in its second year since being revitalised from its original version run by the AWMA.
The event is a big jump in endurance from Race 2's 18.5km at McFarlnances Hill Wodonga.
The 30km will have competitors cover the entire Nail Can Hill Range starting from West Albury Running all the way across the northern trail to Jindera Gap before returning on a slightly different route in which they venture out.
7 climbs feature in the run making it a brutal encounter.
About 30 of the runners will complete Race 3 to complete the Series trio. Overall Series Champions will be honoured with the Clive Vogel Champions Trophy. Clive Vogel is the godfather of Trail Running in Albury Wodonga having numerous Ultra Marathons to his claim. Most importantly the honour is to Clive's tireless work in Coaching Trail Runners which has cultivated the sport on the border. Fittingly the Series Finale is held in Clive's backyard - nail Can Hill where Clive has been running almost every day since the 70's. Clive will be running the 30km race on Sunday.
There are many great tussles expected to take place as competitors challenge for the series wins in their age group categories
In the open standings the field has been stellar with talent coming from local sources as well as Wagga and the alpine regions. So far we have seen course records fall in both genders at both Race 1 & 2
Beechworth's Calleum Crowe leads the series with 2 dominating wins. Its a step up in distance for Crowe who says its the lure of a new challenge that has motivated him to compete in the series.. 30km of racing is certainly a test unknown to the 1hr specialist, but his course record in Race 2 was a good sign that the longer distance won't be a problem. Well seasoned ultra runners to Luke Preston (Wodonga) and Mick Donges (Wagga) will be hoping their endurance experience might work in favour against Crowe's speed.
In the womens event we have Tara Smith from Canada who has a win and a 2nd to have her in charge of the series. Tara leads talent from local Zoe O’Meara and Wagga ultra specialist Roylene Stanley. Series honours is looking promising for Tara but she will be challenged for the 30km title by Sara Donges of Wagga who made her first Appearance in the series at Race 2 smashing the Course record.
Conditions look to be perfect for running Sunday which should see many accomplish the endurance feat and be respected as one of the regions toughest runners