American Dylan Bowman and China’s Dong Li prevailed as men’s and women’s champions at the 2015 edition of The North Face 100k-Australia. Read on to find out how the race unfolded for Dylan and Dong, as well as the other top runners.
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2015 The North Face 100k-Australia Men’s Race
The lead 10-ish men–a healthy mix of local and international talent–stayed as a tight pack, rolling through the first two checkpoints all within a minute of each other. Somewhere between Checkpoints 2 and 3, however, international runners France’s François D’Haene (pre-race interview), the U.S.’s Dylan Bowman (pre-race and post-race interviews), China’s Yan Long-Fei, and France’s Julien Chorier took a wrong turn and missed 1.5 kilometers of the course. Thus, at Checkpoint 3, 46 kilometers into the race, they were issued a 15-minute ‘stand-out’ penalty, where they were all required to stand and wait 15 minutes before continuing. This meant that the Aussie-New Zealand crowd of Scott Hawker (a Kiwi living in Australia) (post-race interview), Andrew Tuckey (Australia), and Jono O’Laughlin (Australia) were the first three out of the 46k aid station.
The next time our team saw the lead men, a bit after 53k, the penalized group had overtaken everyone but Scott, who was still two minutes out in front and pushing with a big smile on his face. At 66k, our next leaders’ sighting, François, Dylan, and Yan had caught and were running with Scott. But, after 75k, the lead group had fully splintered with Dylan and Yan off the front. The pair continued to lead together for the next almost 20k.
At around 93k, on the long, tough climb back to town and the finish line, Dylan made a move and didn’t look back. He later explained that he redlined it to the finish, pushing himself to the point of cramps in the finish chute. At the finish, he called his day his best race ever. This marks Dylan’s second win of an Ultra-Trail World Tour race, after his win of the Tarawera Ultramathon (post-race interview) earlier this year. While Dylan forged head, Yan dropped back, from second to fourth position, explaining later at the finish that he didn’t eat enough after 85k and slowed significantly.
Scott, on the other hand, ran in stalking position for the race’s final quarter, lingering a couple minutes behind the leader, and then passing Yan when he faltered. China’s Yun Yan-Qiao, who ran around the fifth or sixth position for much of the race, came on strong in the race’s final quarter to capture the final spot on the podium and passing countrymate Yan in the process. A pre-race favorite and one of the guys who shared the lead for much of the race, François D’Haene, finished fifth, saying at the finish that the pace was just too fast for him today.
Vajin Armstrong (New Zealand), Mark Green (a Kiwi living in Australia), Julien Chorier, Pau Bartoló (Spain), and Jono O’Loughlin finished fifth through 10th, respectively. Andrew Tuckey, an early leader who finished second last year, dropped from the race.
2015 The North Face 100k-Australia Men’s Results
- Dylan Bowman (The North Face) — 8:50:13 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
- Scott Hawker (Hoka One One) — 8:56:19 (post-race interview)
- Yun Yan-Qiao — 9:01:29
- Yan Long-Fei (Salomon) — 9:08:50
- François D’Haene (Salomon) — 9:11:51 (pre-race interview)
- Vajin Armstrong (MacPac)– 9:22:13
- Mark Green — 9:23:43
- Julien Chorier (Hoka One One) — 9:40:25
- Pau Bartoló (Buff) — 9:42:57
- Jono O’Laughlin — 9:51:53
2015 The North Face 100k-Australia Women’s Race
After some very early-position shifting, the U.S.’s Cassie Scallon settled into the women’s lead by the 10-kilometer point. China’s Dong Li (post-race interview) ran in a close second, even sharing the lead with Cassie at times, such as when they came into the 46k checkpoint together. However, at 60k, Cassie had built a five-minute lead over Dong again, and we began to think the scales were starting to lean in Cassie’s favor. Except that when we next saw the women at 72k, there was no Cassie to be seen. New women’s leader Dong carried her leadership position to the finish line. Dong is certainly making a strong showing of the 2015 Ultra-Trail World Tour with a second place at the Vibram Hong Kong 100k (post-race interview) and a third place at Transgrancanaria (post-race interview).
American Amy Sproston (pre-race interview) ran in third place for over half of the race, setting a steady-as-she-goes pace between five and 10 minutes off the lead and taking over second place by 72k.
Australia’s Shona Stephenson, after leading a bit in the race’s first couple kilometers, ran most of the first three quarters of the race in fourth position, moving up to third after Cassie dropped off the pace and out of the women’s top five. Shona faced late-race pressure from but managed to hold off fourth-place countrymate Melissa Robinson. Australia’s Jennifer Boocock finished fifth.
Filling out the women’s fifth through 10th spots were Katherine MacMillan (Australia), Robyn Bruins (Australia), Cassie Scallon (pre-race interview)–who suffered stomach problems but still finished–Cheryl Young (New Zealand), and Wyan Chow (Hong Kong).
2015 The North Face 100k-Australia Women’s Results
- Dong Li (Salomon) — 11:05:22 (post-race interview)
- Amy Sproston (Montrail) — 11:27:50 (pre-race interview)
- Shona Stephenson (Inov-8) — 11:47:02
- Melissa Robertson — 11:50:58
- Jennifer Boocock — 11:59:10
- Katherine MacMillan — 12:11:39
- Robyn Bruins — 12:27:43
- Cassie Scallon (Salomon) — 12:39:40 (pre-race interview)
- Cheryl Young — 13:08:13
- Wyan Chow — 13:19:28
2015 The North Face 100k-Australia Articles, Race Reports, and More
Articles and Photo Galleries
- Dylan Bowman, 1st male
Thank you to our field team of Paul Charteris, Kerry Suter, Jo and Joe Brischetto, Tim Day, Stu Lovejoy, and Megan Grierson who brought you the race from the Australian bush! Wow!