HE is an endurance race addict who has completed a dozen ultramarathons all over the globe this year, but Dudley’s Grant Maughan has never competed in Australia.
The 50-year-old sea captain will get his chance on December 5 when he sets off from Eden on the south coast of NSW bound for the summit of Mount Kosciuszko as part of the 240-kilometre Coast to Kosci.
Maughan has had a host of podium finishes this year after testing his body in some of the planet’s most gruelling races.
He started in January with a second overall finish in the Brazil 135-mile (217-kilometre) mountain race.
He competed in the demanding Marathon des Sables, which is a 165-mile (265km) race across the Sahara Desert in Morocco for six days, finishing 26th out of 1200competitors.
He also returned to Death Valley, California, for the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile (217-kilometre) race and finished runner-up for the second straight year.
But Maughan has since turned his attention to his first race on Australian soil and has started training on some of Newcastle’s steepest hills.
‘‘I am stoked to be competing in Australia for the first time,’’ Maughan said. ‘‘As I am a seafarer, I don’t get Down Under very often; it’s been years between visits so all my racing opportunities have been overseas so far, but happy to say, I have raised the Australian flag in the ultra running community in other countries.’’
The Coast to Kosci event starts at 5.30am on December 5. Competitors will first run the 148kilometres to Dalgety before heading up to Thredbo River and on to Charlotte Pass. The race is expected to finish about 3.30am on December 7.
‘‘I will be gunning hard for a podium spot and have been training a lot around Newcastle in the last couple of weeks,’’ Maughan said.
‘‘The Coast to Kosci is a cumulative uphill over the 240kilometres so hill running is necessary training.
‘‘I have been doing hill repeats up and down inclines all over town from King Edward Park to Wolfe Street and Madison Drive.
‘‘To some, it may seem like craziness, but there are worse things to be addicted to.’’
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