NEWCASTLE runner Dillon Rinn set a new national record at Mount Cairncross during last weekend's Elephant Trail Race.
The Novocastrian became the first Australian to run 100 kilometres while wearing a 15-kilogram weighted vest around the course.
Course organiser Kerry Williams said it was an outstanding effort.
"The first year he ran 160 kays, then last year he gave the 200 a crack and this year he wanted to set a new record," she said.
"It's an Australian record now and with the amount of elevation on the course, it's amazing."
Around 400 competitors took to the gruelling course and other than a few cut fingers here and there, Williams said the three-day event went off without a hitch.
"It was really great to get to race day because there was such a lead-up; it is the best feeling to jump through 1000 hoops and know it's going to happen," she said.
"Nothing major went wrong; everyone returned."
But once again there were numerous runners who couldn't quite tame the Cairncross State Forest.
"The mountain always spits a lot of people out; one girl has been here three years in a row and she'll be back again next year," Williams said.
"People underestimate how hard it is."
Most impressively was the way runners abided by the social distancing regulations that are now part of everyday life due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"We made it really clear that they had to help us help them and if they wanted racing to continue, then this is the new normal," Williams said.
"To see them social distancing out on the course was great to see; you can see it in all the photos."
"It's great for the town so hopefully that's cemented that we can do these races COVID-safe and still pull people into town and help businesses out."
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