Perth Ultrafest & Park World Tour 2010

Well what a surprising and pleasant start to September we have had. The weather has been sunny and warm (with the ubiquitous odd shower) and I have learned so much information on two relatively new sports, it almost puts me to shame how fit some of my guests have been. On Saturday 4th September Perth’s North Inch Park held the PERTH ULTRAFEST 2010 , a variety of endurance races (Six Nations 24 hour Race, National 100K Race, 12 hour mixed night time relay). Now prior to this weekend I had thought the longest track race was a 26 mile marathon but no, the winner of the 24 hour race managed to complete a mammoth 148miles (238km). The race had started at 10am and in the evening I went down to cheer on my guests to try and give them some encouragement and motivation because I knew it was going to be a long night. They were tired, after all they had been running for 10hrs, but were in good spirits and looking forward to the night ahead. Luckily I was also in time to witness the finish of the 100km race; I couldn’t believe the runners were still able to sprint across the line.

Then on the weekend 10th & 11th Sept Perth hosted an extravaganza of orienteering with a difference. The Friday saw a qualification race through the parkland, open forest and outbuildings surrounding the magnificent Scone Palace. At stake was a place in Saturday’s final. Saturday’s final was Park World Tour 2010 it is an event of street orienteering!!! Yet another discipline I hadn’t heard of! As you may know Perth is an old medieval city with plenty of narrow closes and back alleyways which presented the runners a really fast and exciting race, with short street and many quick changes of direction. Competing for the prizes were some of the World’s best orienteers, with over 17 nationalities racing through the streets of Perth city centre all hoping to scoop up the cash prize of 5,000euros. The winning times were quick with each race only taking 15-20mins but due to the number of categories and staggered starts it may have seemed to any one out for a quiet day’s shopping that the orienteers were racing around Perth all afternoon. No one seemed to mind though it put a real buzz and thrill to what may have been a normal Saturday shop.

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