Margaret River Ultra Marathon

  • Australia (AUS)
  • Off-Road Running

Margaret River Ultra Marathon 2023 – One of the Greatest

Press Release / 07.05.2023See All Event Posts Follow Event
Fun times at the Margaret River Ultra Marathon
Fun times at the Margaret River Ultra Marathon / © Astrid Volzke and Photos4Sale

In only it’s sixth year, the Margaret River Ultra Marathon has proven once again why it stands as one of the greatest ultra races in Australia as a capacity field of 1,500 participants completed the 80km course on Saturday 6 May, 2023.

In the words of Race Director Sam Maffett; “It’s an awe-inspiring event of endurance, determination, friendship and support. You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”

The point-to-point course was held along the breathtaking Cape to Cape coastline in south-west Western Australia from Hamelin Bay, through to the finish line at Howard Park Wines in Wilyabrup.

400 solo runners and 1,100 relay team members covering 10-20km each made up the capacity field which sold-out within three weeks of entries opening in October last year.

Part of the alure for participants is not just the welcoming event atmosphere, it’s the course itself that offers a magnificent journey along some of the greatest variety of trails the south-west has to offer.

The 2022 course champion Josh Chugg backed up his win, using all his ultra running mental strength and skills in the final stages to clock an outstanding time of 6 hours 36 minutes and 17 seconds – breaking his own course record by 4 minutes!

“This event is special to me because it is such a meaningful race being my first ultra trail last year and I thought that was the best race I had put together,” said Chugg. “But when I got to Leg 4, I thought the course record might be in reach so I started to push – it was on my mind – my original goal was just to get under 7 hours, but Richardt (Schwable) pulled me along early and suddenly the record was in reach!”

Despite breaking his own record, Chugg still pushed his limits.

“It’s such an interesting course being in a magic part of the world - the beaches and forests are stunning! But no matter how comfortable you feel half-way, hitting the beaches there’s a bit of suffering – the body was screaming towards the end!”

Richardt Schwalb came in second, and Sjoerd Algera was third in times of 7:24:00 and 7:44:15, respectively.

The women’s solo 80km field saw Jayme Berman of Esperance WA etch her name in the winner’s history book in an remarkable time of 7:49:01, which also placed her fourth overall.

Once again the women on course showed their ultra running strength and prowess with not just impressive times, but impressive placings overall with three females in the top 10! Petra Jerejian finished fifth overall, and placed as second female (7:55:29); Kirsten Buist was ninth overall and third female (8:12:52).

Bergman had a great lead up to the race and was ecstatic with her win.

“I’ve run as part of a relay team most years because it’s just magnificent; it really is such a great place to run so doing it as a solo this year was the next step for me.”

“After getting Covid just before the race last year, it’s actually been an amazing two-year lead up to get here and be here on the start line. And yeh, it’s been a perfect day and a perfect race, thank you so much!”

Team “Lori Family” was the first relay team to finish the 80km course in the second fastest team time ever on course (6:04:31), and included team members Andrea Kierath, Christie Godfrey, Michael Lori, Erika Lori and Mark Lori.

Another team in the spotlight was ‘always trailing’ with competitor Teague Czislowski running Leg 5 with the support of team-mates and spectators bringing him home to the tune of We are the Champions by Queen.

Teague was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last year – yet he still trained every day determined to make it to the Margaret River Ultra Marathon as part of our relay team… and he did!

Competitors continued to finish well into the night at Howard Park Wines after a spectacular journey that took them through tall karri forests, coastal trails, beaches and bluffs with sweeping views across the magical Margaret River region.

A 2km Kids Run was held on Sunday morning prior to presentations.

Rapid Ascent lavished in the enthusiasm that oozed from competitors and supporters throughout the race.

“This is what we love about the Margaret River Ultra – the enthusiasm, excitement, tears, high-fives and joy that eludes from the course and on the sidelines!” said Sam Maffett, General Manager of organisers Rapid Ascent.

“We are so proud of every athlete on course today – we understand your desire to run and love you being a part of this event,” continued Maffett. “The check-points and finish line really did come alive with celebrations and it was fantastic to see some incredible running – and cheering – throughout the entire day!”

The 2024 Margaret River Ultra Marathon is set to be held on Saturday 11 May (tentative date) with entries to open in late September. The event is expected to reach capacity. Rapid Ascent have a self-imposed entry limit to preserve the competitor experience for those running on the day.

For more information on the Margaret River Ultra Marathon head to www.MRUltramarathon.com.au or www.facebook.com/RapidAscentUltraRunningEvents

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