Ultra-marathon champ looking to break records at Burnett event
ONE OF Australia's leading ultra-marathon runners will be joining a talented list of athletes taking on the Dead Cow Gully circuit in Nanango next year.
Cameron Munro is currently one of the top ultra runners in the country, falling short of the Australian backyard ultra record by one loop in 2019 when he completed 40 loops at the Clint Eastwood Backyard Ultra.
In his second attempt in 2020, Munro completed an incredible 36 loops, which equates to 36 hours of running.
He is currently training for an international virtual backyard ultra-marathon with some of the world's top runners.
Munro said the quality of runners in Australia is starting to get up there with those in America.
"There is a good chance the Australian backyard ultra record will go next weekend during the international virtual backyard ultra, where we have a team of 15 of the country's best ultra runners" Munro said.
"If it doesn't go next weekend then weather permitting I reckon runners will be pushing for 50-60 hours at Dead Cow next year.
"With the calibre of runners like Kevin Muller and John Pearson who have been running at this level for ten to twenty years I think we will get up there with the times the Americans are putting up in the 50 hour range."
Munro comes from a triathlon background and didn't get into ultras until later in life.
It wasn't until 2010 when he caught the running bug and only recently has enjoyed the last man standing concept.
Munro said the backyard ultra format really allows a different type of runner to win.
"It's always the fittest and fastest that wins, however in backyard ultras it's about who is the strongest mentally," he said.
"It doesn't matter how slow you are, anyone can do it and everyone is equal starting together every hour.
"I think the Dead Cow Gully event is great, bringing running back to country Queensland."
In 2014 Munro won the Glass House Mountain 100 mile race, the oldest ultra-marathon race in Australia.
He then qualified for the Eden Coast to Kosciuszko, which is a 240km road race from sea level to the top of Mt Kosciuszko.
In 2018 he won the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail 100 mile race before getting into backyard ultras in 2019 at the Clint Eastwood race.
Munro said the training for a backyard event doesn't really change compared to normal ultras, however a big challenge is sleep depravation.
"Sleep deprivation isn't really something you can train for and it was something I really struggled with last year in events," he said.
"A lot of factors also come into play like heat, dehydration, nutrition and when you are awake for so long fatigue really sets in and that's why these style of events come down to mental strength.
"The thing that stands out for me about Dead Cow Gully is the community vibe, good atmosphere and it bring the South Burnett running community together."
The South Burnett's First backyard ultra-marathon will take place at Dead Cow Gully in Nanango on April 3, 2020.