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Olsen wins epic six day race

By ANDREW THOMSONNovember 29, 2004

ROUND-THE-WORLD runner Jesper Olsen took out an epic Cliff Young Colac Six Day race at the weekend.

The Denmark athlete covered 756.38km to hold off a pack of runners.

Last year's winner Graeme Watts of Queensland was second on 702.12km, followed by Tasmanians Vlastik Skvaril (692.35) and Peter Hoskinson (690.43).

Melbourne's Dawn Parris covered 648.84km to finish fifth and be the leading woman.

Run committee president Bill Sutcliffe said Hoskinson was running at a slick marathon pace in the last couple of hours trying to reel in Skvaril.

``It was a sensational race for the placings. To have three runners that close at the end of six days was remarkable,'' he said.

``Olsen's total of 756.38km was incredible considering he had already covered 14,000km getting here and today he headed off for Adelaide." Sutcliffe said the standard of this year's race was positive for the future.

He said renaming the event after Colac ultra-marathon runner Cliff Young was well received.

``People wanted to be involved in Australia's premier ultra-marathon this year. Colac is considered a Mecca for ultra-marathon running in the world,'' Sutcliffe said. The organiser said the race was now booming after looking like 1999 was going to be its last event.

"Last year was the first in a number of years that we ran the event in the black and we will be in the black again this year," he said.

``Locking in a major sponsor for next year is our primary aim.

"That will allow us to offer more prizemoney and further boost the profile and attraction of the race to overseas runners.''

Sutcliffe said legendary ultra-marathon runner Yiannos Kouros could compete in Colac again next year.

``If we can get Kouros and Olsen back we will have a couple of the best runners in the world and that will help attract other leading competitors,'' he said.

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