The Yurrebilla Ultra trail race is arguably the jewel in South Australia’s trail running crown. It’s always challenging, but this year dished up some of the biggest challenges yet in the form of major trail flooding less than two weeks out from the event. Even the iconic starting line at the Belair National Park was missing in action after being demolished by a fallen gum tree. Major re-routes were also required to steer runners clear of washed out and dangerous trails along the way. A slightly ominous start to the race’s tenth year, but thankfully, everything went pretty smoothly on the day for what was unofficially dubbed ‘The Flood Run’.
The weather on the day was also a bit of a mixed bag, starting in fog and light rain and moving through four seasons in a day with everything from single figure temperatures to sunny, warmer patches – basically exactly the kind of conditions ioMerino eats for breakfast! It was certainly a far cry from recent years when the early Spring temperatures were verging on brutally hot and made for a very challenging day out on the 56km course.
The spirit of this event encapsulates everything trail running is about, and although we weren’t there as an official sponsor, it was great to see so many members of the local trail running community out there in their ioMerino. We also had ioCrew member Sputnik out there cheering everyone along and taking some photos for us.Even with the reroutes, that involved skipping some of the more iconic trails on the course, the 450+ strong field had a great day out on the trails with some super strong results. Angelo Fazazalari took line honours in 5:01:59 with Lee Piantadosi putting in a powerhouse performance as first female finisher and second overall, less than three minutes behind! (full results are available here).
The race itself features ‘a reverse staggered start’ which allows slower runners to start earlier, and finish closer to the faster runners and elites who start up to 2.5 hours later. This gives regular, mortal runners the opportunity to see the elites make their way through the field and creates a great atmosphere along the way. Race Ambassadors Lucy Bartholomew and Majell Backhausen added some star power to the event by running the event, but not racing, and just supporting and cheering other runners along the way.
With such varying weather conditions, it wasn’t surprising to see so many people sporting their ioMerino t-shirts and tops knowing it would get them through a cold start, and still keep them comfortable when the temperatures finally lifted later in the day. And for those finishing towards the end of the day, it meant they were still warm and comfortable when the temperatures started dropping again – even if they were damp from rain or perspiration! Try doing that in cotton or synthetics! 🙂
Even those wanting to wear their own team colours were spotted wearing their ioMerino as a base layer so they could get all the natural high performance of our unique MicroMerino® fabrics, but still fly the flag for their own running club. Of course they’d get better performance by sticking with natural merino all the way, but as far as compromises go, it’s not a bad way to go.
If you’re out and about in this ‘in between’ weather, one of our Altitude (contact fit) or Keystone (sporty fit) Ts or tops is the perfect choice and will help keep you comfortable for longer, through all sorts of conditions. As testament to their performance and quality, the long sleeve tops are also approved mandatory thermals for Ultra Trail Australia – part of the Ultra Trail World Tour.