Taurus 200 Race Recap by Michelle Lennon

Australian Obstacle Racing News   |   Sep 10, 2017

Over the weekend of September 1-3 I ran the Taurus 200 obstacle course race, well the 100km version of it. The event caught my attention last year, a 200km race completed in laps of 20km's (each lap being the equivalent of a Spartan Beast course), but the catch was there would be no penalty. Each obstacle had to be completed before continuing. I went into the event feeling great, despite running the Spartan combo in Adelaide the weekend beforehand.

Photo by Scott Sheppeard

The Briefing

The briefing for the 100 km runners was held at 11am. Here we were informed that the course was a series of on and off trails, which were marked as well as possible. Any issues we had navigating would be fixed by Dan Andrikis (the event director).

There was a dam crossing twice in the course, and due to the heat and dry ground, the 30,000 litres of water for the mud pit had dried up, so there would be no mud. Each lap was measuring 16-17km shorter than the initially planned 20 km lap, meaning we would be completing 6 laps rather than the initial 5. Pit lane was along the course just before the timing mat, meaning that our pit time would be included in the lap, rather than the next lap (as in True Grit Enduro).

The Course:

The first obstacle was a nice length dam crossing, with a few submerged logs to provide an additional challenge. It wasn't too deep, but did reach chest height in sections. After this it was up a hill, navigating a maze under a cargo net to make it a little more difficult. After this it was through some trail and off trail sections featuring a range of natural obstacles such as fallen trees, logs, creek beds and rocks before reaching the first water stop. Each water stop has water, tailwind and a variety of fruit. This was proceeded with an over under wall progression before more off trail running.

The trail section lead us to the only section of mud in a nearly dried out creek bed, before sending us back to near the pits to jump a few walls and tackle the barbed wire sections. The barbed wire was a challenge due to the prickly grass, and it was an uphill crawl the whole way. After going through the dry mud pit, it was down the hill to a pit with bricks and tyres, then another run to Tania's tunnel. Tania's tunnel was a tight crawl with ropes and tyres scattered through the tunnel, just to make it that little bit tougher. After surviving the tunnel, it was a kettlebell carry 9,12 or 20 kg) up a nice steep hill and over some scaffolding stairs at the top. After this it was more logs and trees to crawl under or jump over before arriving at the second drink station at the A frames. After the two A frames it was a run along a BMX track to the entanglement, followed shortly by the dreaded cargo nets. I think it is accurate in saying that this was the worst obstacle in the entire course. After crawling 20 m under a rough and heavy cargo net it was a climb up and over another net, with ropes across it just to make it harder. This was followed by the next dam crossing and then a crawl under a lighter net through a creek. After this it was more of a run followed by a medicine ball carry (10,14 or 20 kg from what I saw). However, it wasn't as simple as a carry, there were handing steps between two trees we had to carry the ball through as well (it's simple in daylight but at night fatigued it was a challenge). This was the last man made obstacle with a nice run before returning to the pits.

One of the most challenging things was navigating the off-trail sections at night without going around in circles! But that's part of the fun.

The Race:

I hadn't planned too much for the event. The goal was to finish, I had never run 100 km before with my longest being 6 laps at Enduro in 21.5 hours. I had three goals for the event, with their own plans of when to have a break and how long for. The quickest goal I had was sub 35 hours.

I left most of the food planning to my wonderful fiancé and his mum who were pit crewing for me. They knew what food I'd be most likely wanting and what to put in my hydration pack. Having their help made the whole event easier.

Lap one went quite quickly (2 and a half hours), although I'm sure I came in almost last due to my plan to not go out hard and run at a slower pace. I had a half hour pit stop to fix up a few hotspots on my feet, change shoes, grab gloves for the grass and refuel, with the plan of a short run through the next lap. I didn't bother looking at placings when I went out for lap two, which ended up being much quicker, and I passed quite a few runners this lap. In lap three I must have ended up being first female on the course, because I was passed by Tania just after the kettlebell obstacle. She was the last runner to pass me. At the end of lap 3 I had my first gear change, and swapped shoes again. After a longer pit stop I headed back out, hoping to not get lost in the dark again. Lap 4 passed quickly and at the A frames on lap 5 I was told I was half an hour behind first place. This and the sun rising picked up my spirits and I was able to run most of the lap, returning in just over 3 ¼ hours for the lap. My only mistake of the race was this pit stop. After changing into day running gear I didn't check my feet well enough and went back out the course. The first half of the lap was painful as I could feel blisters forming, but a pep talk running by the pits got me back going again and I finished the lap, and the 100 km in 22 hours and 24 minutes. I was absolutely stoked to come 4th and 2nd female, especially as it was the longest evet I had ever attempted. Huge congratulations to anyone who finished, it wasn't an easy course.

Photo by Scott Sheppeard

Reflection on the event:

The event wasn't perfect, there were little hiccups along the way. But being the first big event Dan and Ilka had organised it went quite well. There were some obstacles that weren't 100% completed to what they had planned. One example is the barbed wire wasn't as long as they had wanted (I'm not complaining there, it was long enough as it was), and there were hardly any volunteers out on the course. Everything considered it was a great course, and a great weekend. I hope to be back next year to see the improvements Dan and Ilca were talking about put into action.


Taurus 200 - Solo

  • #1 Danny Sleswick (200km) 41 hours 23 mins
  • #2 Jase Lydom (200km) 43 hours 24 mins
  • #3 Andrew Conroy (200km) 45 hours 13mins
  • Chris Lawler (150km) 35 hours 22 mins
  • Corey Lum (150km) 41 hours 46 mins
  • Melanie Currey (150km) 50 hours 39 mins
  • Michelle Walker (133km) 27 hours 37 mins
  • Matt Duncan (100km) 38 hours 25 mins
  • Sandra McGuinnis (100km) 38 hours 25 mins
  • David Syme (66km) 14 hours 10 mins
  • Graeme Bridle (33km) 5 hours 47 mins

Taurus 200 - Team of 2

  • #1 Team Scrub (200km) 29 hours 2 mins
  • #2 Mud Puddle Pops (200km) 33 hours 6 mins
  • #3 The Mad Dogs (200km) 37 hours 9 mins
  • #4 Team Of 2 (200km) 39 hours 47 mins

Taurus 200 - Team of 4

  • #1 The Rabble (200km) 38 hours 51 mins

Taurus 100

  • #1 Brenden Mitchell (100km) 16 hours 49 mins
  • #2 Peter Silver (100km) 21 hours 3 mins
  • #3 Tania Bates (100km) 21 hours 43 mins
  • Michelle Lennon (100km) 22 hours 24 mins
  • Cam Norton (100km) 24 hours 43 mins
  • Nicci Mathews (100km) 25 hours 9 mins
  • Josie Cubitt (100km) 27 hours 18 mins
  • Lisa Manson (100km) 27 hours 18 mins
  • Coenraad Dreyer (100km) 28 hours 46 mins
  • David Holleran (100km) 29 hours 41 mins
  • Laura Te Whetu (100km) 34 hours 14 mins

Taurus 60

  • #1 Jake Townsend (60km) 7 hours
  • #2 Dan Ribu (60km) 7 hours 57 mins
  • #3 Nick Ortlipp (60km) 8 hours 47 mins
  • Steven Teepa (60km) 9 hours 18 mins
  • Bryan Galliford (60km) 9 hours 35 mins
  • Brodie Newton (60km) 9 hours 49 mins
  • Benjamin Imber (60km) 11 hours 56 mins
  • Donna Vearing (60km) 14 hours 44 mins
  • Carrie Silver (60km) 14 hours 44 mins
  • Steve Bates (60km) 16 hours 45 mins
  • Trina Atley (60km) 24 hours 51 mins

Big congratulations to everyone who achieved what they set out to achieve. Amazing performances and some serious km's.

Congratulations to Dan Andrikis, Ilka Andrikis and Team for putting on an amazing event. Hopefully it was a success and look forward to the next Taurus 200!