Margaret River Ultra Marathon sets new course records in wildly successful weekend

Taylar AmoniniBusselton Dunsborough Times
Anna McKenna, winner of the 2022 Margaret River Ultra Marathon - women's division.
Camera IconAnna McKenna, winner of the 2022 Margaret River Ultra Marathon - women's division. Credit: Supplied

Two Australian athletes have etched their names into the history book thanks to their world-class displays at the 2022 Margaret River Ultra Marathon at the weekend.

Joshua Chugg and Anna McKenna set course records along the fifth edition of the run between Hamelin Bay and Wilyabrup.

The pair set impressive times of 06:40:32 and 07:09:55, respectively, to receive gold medals in the men and women’s divisions of the Cape to Cape coastline marathon.

Hailing from the East Coast, McKenna becomes the third fastest ever over the 80km course and finished well ahead of rivals Sarah Ludowici of Victoria (07:47:07) and Lisa Mannix from Esperance WA (08:08:08).

McKenna said she was “chuffed” at her performance, especially being her first shot at her bucket-list race.

“I wanted to go out and run my own race, so I started pretty conservatively, and my plan was to build from there,” she said.

“I managed to do that pretty well I think.

“I don’t really like to look at my watch in a race as I prefer to gauge it with how I’m feeling and run to that.”

“However, one thing I kept reminding myself was just to look up, to look at the surroundings and how beautiful it is out there, especially across those challenging sand sections . . . I just kept moving and taking it all in.”

McKenna was not the only female to set records in the 2022 race with 11 of the top 20 runners being female and female athletes making up 50 per cent of the field across both solo and relay team categories.

Among the men’s division, Chugg was on a mission from the starting gun to one-up his second-place finish in 2020 to dual winner and this year’s second placed Justin Scarvaci (07:08:07).

Chugg’s outstanding course breaking time was an easy 35 minutes on the previous record held by Scarvaci.

In the relay division, Offing Squad finished in a swift 6:09:17 and included team members Nick Thompson, Sam Lade, Reece Harris, Jonathan Sammut and Agostino Zurzolo.

Preparations for the 2023 Margaret River Ultra Marathon event has already begun following the wildly successful weekend, with May 6 already penned in. Entries will open September 2022 and is expected to once again sell out.

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