Newcastle’s Stephanie Auston claimed a first place finish in the women’s Kosci100 race in the Snowy Mountains on Friday.
She hit the front early in the climb up to Charlotte’s Pass and didn’t look back, eventually taking the win by almost 12 minutes.
Unseasonably cold weather and snowfall resulted in a course change for the event, with the start moved to Perisher Valley and the early part of the course looking more like a winter wonderland than a summer’s day.
Auston said it was an incredible experience.
“Just to run in snow in December in Australia is epic. It’s been over 30 degrees where I live, I wasn’t prepared for the snow but it was such a cool thing to be a part of,” she said.
Despite the challenging conditions Auston endured, making do on the fly.
“I layered well, I had a wet weather jacket and my arm warmers, the wind was cold on your face but once you’re moving it was okay, running through snow was like running through weird sand.”
Auston’s race plan played out to perfection as she put the hammer down early to open up a strong lead in front of the chasing runners.
“I just wanted to get through the cold part as quickly as possible and then just try to hold a good pace, I knew that the other girls wouldn’t be too far away,” she said.
After a grueling 100km course Auston crossed the line with a 9:44:42.
“I felt strong the last bit, not that I’d want to go further,” Auston laughed.
“I’m obviously tired but I feel good and the energy out there was awesome.”
For the Novocastrian there was no better way to cap off 2022.
“To be at the inaugural in such epic conditions and to have a good run I couldn’t finish the year any better.”