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Four for 50 at Ultra trail australia

WHAT: Ultra Trail Australia 50

Participants compete in Ultra Trail Australia in the Blue Mountains. Photo: Tim Bardsley-Smith WHERE: Start and finish line: Scenic World - Violet St and Cliff Dr, Katoomba NSW WHEN: TOMORROW - Saturday, May 13 Start time: 8am Expected finish time: 4.30pm or later

A group of Katoomba High School alumni will prove that 50 is the prime of life when they reunite to compete in the Ultra Trail Australia (UTA) 50 race in the Blue Mountains this week. Mountains local Jason Cronshaw, who turned 50 recently, Paul Mingay from Grasmere who will be 50 on May 12 a day before the race and Michael Hookham of Goulburn (was 50 in January) were in the same Year 7 class at Katoomba High in 1984. Darren Rochford of Brisbane, who was 50 in November, joined the school in Year 11. The four sat the HSC together in 1990. ``I asked Paul one day what he was doing for his 50th and he said he was running in the UTA 50 - you coming?'' Cronshaw says. ``I said yes. Then we got Darren and Mick to join us.'' About UTA

Ultra Trail Australia (UTA) is the largest trail run in the Southern Hemisphere and second largest globally. Over its 14-year history, it has developed into an inclusive and iconic trail running festival across four days, with distances to suit every ability, from experienced trail runners to first timers.

UTA is part of the UTMB World Series, with all distances carrying the opportunity to earn Running Stones, the pathway to qualification for UTMB Mont Blanc. UTA100 is also a qualification race for the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. Cronshaw, Mingay, Hookham and Rochford will compete in the UTA50 on Saturday, May 13. The UTA50 course traces the second half of the UTA100 course.

Starting at Scenic World in Katoomba, runners will head along the cliff tops with views to Mt Solitary, escarpments and Wentworth Falls. The course descends into the Kedumba Pass and up 951 steps to the finish line back at Scenic World.

First timers take an average of 4 hours 19 minutes to cross the finish line, with an allowed time of 14 hours 30 minutes.

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