Ultra Trail Mt Fuji UTMF

Shona Stephenson Ultra Runner

The Ultra Trail Mt Fuji (UTMF) and Japan lived up to it’s reputation on all fronts. Apart from the opportunity to run around Mt Fuji and experience this perfect mountain in all it’s glory, the UTMF course was so tough, ruggered and really technical. Some of the climbs were so steep they were un runnable, with a few of them needing ropes for safety and to just be able to scale the rock face on the mountain. At the gear check in we were made to show our travel insurance policy. WTF? Are you serious? What on earth would I need accident cover for? How hard could the UTMF be? It can’t be that hard, people had finished it in… Read More →

Northburn 100 Mile Ultra Marathon

Northburn 100

Tarawera Ultra March 2013 was a total disaster. I just had the most public withdrawal from Tarawera 100km due to me pissing and shitting blood only 1 week before attempting Lisa Tamati’s, Northburn 100 mile. A week before Northburn 100 Miles, I was made to stay in hospital over night to re-hydrate and for monitoring and testing at Rotarura Hospital. I was guttered because I also withdrew from Great North Walk 100 Mile in November 2012. Withdrawing from the 2 biggest and longest events in a row on my running calendar was not the way I wanted to start my 2013 Ultra Running Campaign. My head told me to pull out of Northburn 100 Mile and just race the 50km… Read More →

Vibram Tarawera Ultra Marathon

Tarawera Ultra

Wow what a line up to be part of at the Vibram Tarawera Ultra Marathon. I was so fortunate to be invite to race against the best athletes in the oceanic region. In Australia there is no better athlete than Beth Cardelli (Salomon) and in New Zealand Ruby Muir (Five Fingers UltrAspire and Barefoot Inc) is the young gun powering though the trails in her five fingers. I was so please to be named amongst these class athletes running for the 100km title. Niki Wynd (Hokka) and emerging athlete Steph Gasset were lining up for the 60km event and Canadian 100 Miler runner Candice Burt (Salomon) were also amongst the individual line up. This was a great race. The competition… Read More →

AURA Australian Ultra Runners Trail National Championships

AURA Australian Ultra Runners Trail National Championships Maroondah Dam

I was asked by my sponsors Inov8 and Barefoot Inc to race in the Tarawera Ultramarathon Rotarura in New Zealand just 12 days before AURA Australian Ultra Runners National Trail Championships, Maroondah Dam. Being asked to race for your sponsor is a great honour and I did not want to let them down. It also meant that I had to pull out of the iconic 6 Foot Track 45km Trail Event scheduled the week before Tarawera Ultramarathon. I was bummed that I was not going to get a tough race in before Northburn and Tarawera. I then spotted the Maroondah Dam AURA Australian Ultra Trail Running Championships and I thought that it would serve as the perfect lead up to… Read More →

Sydney Trail Series Manly Dam 2012

Trail Running Shona Stephenson Manly Dam

I was knackered. I had been diagnosed with haemophilus influenza only 12 days earlier. 5 Days after my diagnosis I ran the 30/50 Challenge with my good friend and No Roads Team Mate Beth Cardelli in the 50km event. We won the female division and we came 3rd overall. I was still really sick and lethargic. My goal for the Sydney Trail Series was to just win nothing more. Just do what you have to to win. There is always a doubt in your head. Is there going to be an amazing local 10k specialist who will turn up and blitz the field? This is always my thoughts when I enter an event. After the safety brief we were off… Read More →

Namadgi National Park

Namadgi National Park Bryony

I headed to Namadgi National Park. Bogong2Hotham was cancelled due to heat wave conditions in Bright, with predicted temperatures reaching over 42 Degrees. The chance of a bush fire in the area was extreme and the Parks VIC had closed that park for commercial businesses. I’d booked accommodation, organized child minders in my parents and I was stripped down to race weight after the Christmas Break. I wanted to train that weekend but I did not feel like driving for 8 hours for a training run. When I saw my good friend Bryony post on Facebook that she was going to train in the Namadgi National Park that weekend I jumped at the chance to explore the mountains around Canberra… Read More →

Goodbye 2012

Shona Stephenson Trail Running Ultra Runner 002

I finished up work for 2012, and decided that I was going to start up http://ultratrainingaustralia.com Ultra Training Australia with my good mate Brendan Davies. To help Ultra Runners properly prepare for their next up coming event. There is so much I’d love to share, so many mistakes that I’ve made and I’ve learnt from I’d love to help out other runners. I love trail running and I get so much enjoyment watching other runners find pleasure in Trail Running. There nothing like a new challenge to add to my already hectic life. I was off and driving to South West Rocks for a much needed holiday. I was planing on doing the exact training program that Brendan and I… Read More →

Ultra Running Melbourne 30/50 Challenge 2012

3050-Challange-Shona-Stephenson-and-Beth-Cardelli

I jumped at the chance to race for No Roads Expeditions Trail Running Team. I was even more excited when my training partner Beth Cardelli said she’d travel down to the Mornington Peninsular to race the 30/50 Challenge too. Beth and I had unfinished business. Beth sadly had to pull out of our No Roads Expeditions Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney team with an injury. We both trained hard together and we were busting to race together rather than race against each other. We were both keen to run together and give each other a real push. I’m a great starter she is a great finisher. Together we will make a great team. There was only problem. 6 days before the event… Read More →

GNW 100s Race Report

Shona Stephenson GNW100s ultra runner trail running Australia

GNW 100s Lead up My lead up to my first 100 mile event the Great North Walk 100s (GNW 100s) was perfect. My body was feeling great. I finally felt like my body was finally able to handle the kilometers of training and racing I was putting into it. I won three 100km events in 3 months I was in great form. The only problem was that I was not fully recovered in my chest form Great Ocean Walk (GOW 100). During GOW I was having problems breathing from the 30km mark. I felt like I was only able to preform at about 80%. I should have seen this as a warning sign with my asthma, but I was busy… Read More →

GOW 100K Trail Race 2012

Isobel Bespalov Trail Running nearly-there

The GOW 100k was my second 100k trail race, after my first, The North Face 100 in the Blue Mountains. I still felt like I didn’t know what I was doing! I expected the course to be much flatter and with a lot less stairs. Also, the mandatory gear requirements were less stringent, which, thankfully, meant I was carrying less. This race was run along the Great Ocean Walk coastal trail, which is located along the Great Ocean Road on the Victorian coast. The course itself was a mixture of fire trails, beaches and single track. The commonality of all of those was the beautiful scenery. The race started in Apollo Bay and wound its way around to Port Campbell…. Read More →

Surf Coast Century CP2 to Finish

Surf Coast Century Winner Shona Stephenson

Torquay CP2 to The Finish 100km Anglesea and Winning the Concrete Shoe! At the the Surf Coast Century Torquay CP2 I quickly switched over my gels and water bottles in my pack. Up to 49kms I was running on Tropical Hammer Gels for my energy and Fizz for my Hydration. I also added in a small bottle of Perpetuem to add in around the 30km mark. I’d pre-made my water bottles, and my gel baggy’s so all I had to do was swap over my CP bags and water bottles. I then headed out of the check point. The next section was made up of mainly rolling hills on a single man track or dirt path. We had been warned… Read More →

Surf Coast Century 2012 – Start to CP2

Surf Coast Century Shona Stephenson

Getting to the Start to Check Point 2 Torquay Point Danger.   A sick feeling of dread flowed through my entire body while I was standing in the Virgin Australia Que at Sydney Airport. I thought I was totally organized for the inaugural Surf Coast Century 2012. It was my first time I was traveling inter-state for a race and I was so pumped. I was flying from Sydney to Melbourne, then hiring a car from Melbourne Airport and driving to Anglesea on the Great Ocean Road. I’d packed my inov8 x-talon 190,UltrAspire Surge Back pack, 2XU Inov8 and barefoot Inc Branded elite compression shorts, bra and presentation jacket (all thanks to my awesome sponsors Barefoot Inc), socks, calf guards, … Read More →