Held 20th June 2004

My first introduction to the Bellarine Rail Trail (BRT) was last year when I rode the BRT and thought “What a Great place for an Ultra”. Subsequently the BRT Fat Ass 32/64km was conceived and today saw the inaugural running of this hopefully New Annual Event on the Victorian and Ultra running calendar.

Originally it was going to be held on the 4th July, but due to other commitments (that I can’t get out of) and the clash with the Gold Coast and Pitchi Richi Marathon, it was moved forward 2 weeks to the 20th June! A quick publicity campaign followed to make sure that everyone knew!( but I still had one poor soul ring me up 2 nights before the run who didn’t know about the date change!) Hopefully 4th July doesn’t bring any phone calls wandering where I am!

I was also quite wrapped in the weeks leading up to the event to get an email from Lee Troop wanting to participate in the event! At first I thought someone in the Ultra world was having a lend, but a reply email soon confirmed that it was Lee and he was happy to compete in a Fat Ass event. Thanks Lee for turning up today and taking part. Much appreciated.

Race Day: Alarm went off at 5am and I got dressed, made a coffee and headed down the Highway. What a cold morning! Turned out I could have had another half hour sleep as I was at the start by 6am. People started turning up by 10 to 7 and by 7.30am we had thirteen people lined up for the Maiden BRT Run! This included 11 for the 32km option and 2 for the 64km option. The two runners lined up for the 64km option were Peter Gray and David Jones. Both experienced Ultra Runners. After a few words from myself and Lee the runners were on there way!

I then walked back to my car and who should turn up but my Helper for the day, Kevin Cassidy (only 3 minutes late). Kev C is a regular at all Ultra events either competing or helping and should be thanked for his contribution over the years.

We then headed down the Highway to guide the runners across the highway whilst it was getting light and so that Kev C could get some pictures! That done, I headed back to the start and Kev headed down to Queenscliff to do a couple of hours running and be a face at the turn around point down there!

By lunchtime all the 32km runners had finished.

– All should be congratulated for their runs

– Note that some runners chose the Geelong-Queenscliff option and other runners ran to Drysdale and back again!

I then adjourned to Drysdale Train Station for a couple of hours where myself and Kev C learnt a lot about rail history in Victoria.(and even some old Tassie train photos). We also went for a half hour walk along the rail trail and nattered about the Ultras of the past! Very interesting on both counts!

We then saw Peter Gray and David Jones come through the 48km mark at 6h 20m, with Peter five minutes in front. Peter and Dave are going to contact me tonight via telephone with final results. I hope they find the 2 frogs on their dashboard’s!

David Jones ended up winning the 64km Ultra with a time of 8hrs and 41 minutes. Peter Gray was second with a time of 9hrs and 9 minutes.

It was very tough conditions for them today, especially in the return leg when they were running uphill and into a very stiff tail wind! Both are seasoned campaigners and did well to finish.

Thanks to Everyone for competing. I think we can build on it for future years. I will instigate a complete “report your time by phone” system next year, AKA the Sydney Fat Ass Mob. This will enable me to compete myself instead of being completely bored sitting in the car! We may alter the date slightly next year, but that will be decided by the end of the Year!!! I would also like to collect donations for a cancer charity in future years from this race.

“If you build it, they shall come”

By Phil Essam

Run Times


  1. Rob Gray 5:33
  2. Michelle Thompson 7:20


  1. Lee Troop 2h 15m
  2. David Wynn 2h21m
  3. Rohan Perrot 2h21m
  4. Robyn Fletcher 3h
  5. Horacio Periera 3h 12m
  6. Wanda Kelly 3h 12m
  7. Jennifer Kelly 3h 12m
  8. Paul Egan 3h 12m
  9. John Caulfield 3h 23m
  10. Andrew Herman 3h 39m
  11. Brett Coleman (Did 28km)