North Face 100 Trail Running Shona Stephenson

North Face 100

by Shona Stephenson on June 24, 2013

The North Face 100 2013 Race Report by Shona Stephenson. I’ve had a massive year 50km Aura Australian Ultra Runner Trail Champs VIC Feb 2013, Coastrek 50km NSW March 2013, Tarawera 85km (retired sick at 85km) NZ March 2013, Northburn 100M 160km NZ (my debut 100M) March 2013, UTMF 160km Japan April 2013 my 2nd 100M only a month later, plus 4 Sydney Trail Series speedy 10km and now I was about to run the premier Australian Event of the calendar The North Face 100km May 2013. In a way it is the last BIG Ultra Race in NSW Calendar before we all get a bit of a rest over winter then head to Europe for the Skyrunning Series.
It was 2 Wednesdays before The North Face 100 after a 10km time trial on road that I felt my Achilles go. It was only one and a 1/2 weeks after UTMF so I was probably still in recovery mode. I thought nothing of it as I have had Achilles tendonitis before and I’ve had so many other tendonitis before.

So I was not too bothered. I just kept my stretching and exercises going. I could run around Newnes, Wollomi National Park in preparation for my Ultra Training Australia GWTM Camp just fine the weekend afterwards and I ran and win the STS 10km on Mother’s Day the week before North Face 100 (TNF100) without it playing up too much. Yet it just would not heal. I knew the 10km was not the best preparation but I wanted to support Mountain Sports and STS as I had missed the other two of the series. I tried to stay off my feet as much as possible, riding a bike in the gym instead of running to let my Achilles heal.
But on the Friday before TNF100 at about 10am during my 4th Pt session that day that I knew I was in real trouble with my Achilles. It was really, really painful and I was not able to run on it. Far out man this is less than 24 hours before the TNF100 and you know your stuffed. I rang Mikey crying and told him what was happening. I was extremely stressed by it. I then decided that there was not enough time to go to my physiotherapist in Sydney. I was finishing work at about 11:45am and I still had to get back to my house to get the kids and run errands and still make it to the Blue Mountains in time for registration.
I called up my friend who is a massage therapist in the Blue Mountains and asked her if she would not mind giving me a massage that night. I just wanted to make sure I was as supple as I could be before the 100km event. I finished my last session of the day a Mum’s and Bub’s Session really worried. I also wanted a stress release, I was freaking out about my injury. I also needed an excuse to leave the TNF100 registration area at 5:45pm so I would not be chit chatting like I always do. I love catching with all my mates, but sometimes I need to be by myself, relax and look after myself. I was injured and I needed a massage. I could not even stretch it my Achilles tendon without having sharp stabbing pain when I released the stretch. This was a bad sign. I had a tear. It was hot to touch and throbbing a bit. Bugger. No point going to my physio anyway they’d say don’t run The North Face 100.
I drove home to Camperdown, picked up Mikey and the kids, drove to the screen printers in Artarmon, picked up Brendan’s and my race kit, drove to my Mum’s house at Turramurra where my girls would be staying over the weekend. I grabbed some hot chips for my lunch and I took 2 nurofen. I was not going to take any more pain killers before or during the event. These 2 nurofen on the Friday with my lunch the day before the event was all the pain relief I was going to take over the course of the weekend.
I then drove to the Blue Mountains. I jumped in the shower and then quickly made my way to rego of the TNF100. I was booked into taping 7 pairs of Ultra Training Australia Clients Ankles, Shins that night before the event and I was meeting a few of them at the registration area.
I loved catching with my mates at the rego and chatting to the Ultra Training Australia Clients. I love the social aspect of Trail Running. Everyone are such great ultra running mates. Something about sharing a common goal and hardship that brings people closer together. There is no room for negative energy at Ultra’s. It just does not work.
My mate Marc and I had a ball in the line together. Chatting away. I chatted to Varjin too. I love talking to him. He is such a nice bloke. We always have a great laugh together. After registration I taped 2 pairs of ankles then I had to leave so I could make it to my massage in time.
What was great about my massage was that my body was in awesome shape. “V” my massage therapist could not find one knot in my body. This was just what I needed to hear before my race. There was nothing wrong with me it’s all in my head.( My injury as so fresh it had not formed scare tissue yet. But I chose to believe that there was nothing wrong with me ;-)
I then taped another 5 pairs of ankles and shins of my Ultra Training Australia Clients then headed to bed. I was just so happy to be able to help out my clients who had pre-race nerves the night before their first 100km event.
The morning of the TNF100 I woke up had some Hammer Heed (I’m sponsored by Hammer Sports Nutrition) as my breaky as I don’t eat solid food before racing as I have had gut issues in the past. I took 4 imodims too just to make sure my guts were going to be okay for the event. I also put 2 more gastro stops in each of my Check Point Bags just in case. I was going to have a gastro free race!

My Race Kit for The North Face 100 from my Sponsors was as follows;

  • Hammer Head Sweats Visor
  • Hammer Singlet
  • inov8 Race Elite Base Layer Thermal Top
  • inov8 Wrag
  • inov8 Raceshell Water Proof Jacket
  • inov8 Race Elite Thermoshell
  • Spi Belt Race Bib Holder and an extra pocket for Endurolyte’s and gastro stops
  • Skirt Sports Fitness Shorts
  • Zenzah Compression Calf Guards
  • Zenzah Gloves
  • injinji 2.0 Trail Socks Mid Weight Crew
  • inov8 Gaiters
  • inov8 X-Talons 190 (I chose to wear these because my Achilles was too injured to wear the inov8 Trailroc’s 245, I needed absolute flex to get me through the 100km. inov8 Trailroc’s 245 would be my preferred choice is I was not injured they are more suited to the fire trails and the road running that features in TNF100)
  • UltrAspire Omega Pack
  • Ay-Up Ultra Lite All Rounder 2013 New Prototype

My Nutrition Plan for the North Face 100 was as Follows;

  • Hammer Perpetuem Drink every 10min
  • Hammer Tropical Gel every 30min ( 4 serves in a 5 serve bottle or 1/2 gel/1/2 Pop Top Bottle)
  • Endurolyte 1 cap every 30 min
  • Potatoes 200 grams boiled with salt and water eat after every climb or when I felt crap
  • Hammer Choc Chip Bars 1/2 at every check point. Just in case, I can choose not to pick this up.

I taped my ankles and put a few extra rows of tape on the back of my heal to protect me Achilles tendon from over stretching and I was off and ready to go. It’s awful going into a race knowing that you have an injury or your injury might pop up later in the event. I just hoped that those 2 nurofen that I took with my lunch the day before will get me over the first 50km of the event the rest to me is mental.
I never take anti inflammatories while racing, the studies show that is is just too risky for your kidney’s. There are too many negative side effects. I also wanted to be able to feel what was going on with my calf muscle. I was going to have to nurse my injury the entire North Face 100km. I have the Mt Blanc Marathon and the Ice Trail 60km coming up in 6 weeks time which I was representing inov8. I have to look after my injuries so I could race uninjured in the French Alps. If I took pain killers whilst racing I could increase the tear that I had in my Achilles tendon.I did my warm up as usual and my calf/Achilles held up nicely.
I was called to the start line and given my GPS unit from Tom Landon Smith the ACRO Sports Race Director who I think is a great guy and lined up on the start line. TNF100 I think is one of the reasons why Australian Trail Runners have grown to become a true force in International Trail Running.
With a countdown we were off and running in The North Face 100. I kicked off with Ultra Training Australia client Michelle McAdam, who is an accomplished road marathon runner in her own right. We ran together for the first 1km for so then I hit the single man track. I ran past a whole heap of guys here, using my strength, my agility and stayed ahead of them until the first set of stairs of the day. At the top of the climb I was past by a few of them. We then rolled through the streets of Leura I spotted Mel and Sean from Mountains Sports. Mel always gives me the best cheer and she pulled her scarf over her face to mimic me wearing my inov8 wrag over my face to protect my airways from the cold dry air. I was going to potentially have to race the entire 100km with my face covered with this wrag to prevent an asthma attack or my lungs filling with mucus and then contracting a chest infection after the event (which I did anyway). Wearing the wrag meant that I was just reducing the mucus entering my lungs.
I passed the crowd and I was happy to still hold 1st place in The North Face 100 heading into the Leura Forrest. I had to nurse my calf injury all through the first 18km of the technical single man track. I took it really easy. Played it nice and safe. I was surprise to spot Beth Cardelli on my tail. This meant I had to kick it a bit to gain a some distance between us.
I did my best to fly through the Leura Falls area and towards the bottom of the stairs I caught up with a group of guys with Shane in the group and they were all so kind to move to the side and allow me to pass them. I ran behind Jacob another Ultra Training Australia Client for a few kilometers enjoying the ride of the Federal Pass.
Wearing the Wrag has it’s disadvantages, my vision was impaired close to my feet, and at about the 15km mark I tripped and fell flat on my face, smashing my knee on a rock. I jumped up and it was swelling immediately. Bugger. “You can fall over once Shona”. I said to myself. Maybe this is a good sign I thought as I fell over at Northburn 100M and still had a good race.
I brushed myself off and kicked it on The North Face 100. I eased myself over the landslide, kicked it a bit on the flat and headed up the Golden Stairs. These stairs always hurt. At the top of the stairs I pushed on up the hill of Narrow Neck towards the first Check Point 1 hour 55 minutes.

 

Shona Stephenson
I ran along Narrow Neck enjoying the ride and new strength that I have on the climbs I zoomed past Sally my sponsor from Barefoot Inc and I gave her the biggest wave. At about the 25km Mark I was caught and soon past by Tasmanian runner Hanny Allston. We said a few kind words to each other and wish each other luck. She was working her heart out and I was just trying to stay nice and cool. I kept her in sight but lost her on the single man track, however at the bottom of Tarros Ladders I was back on her tail again and I soon flew past her on the steep descent.
She caught me on the next North Face 100 climb and we both decided that it was a good time to re-fuel. We shared a few more words of encouragement before I took off down the next descent, out onto the fire trail and running towards Medlow Gap. At about the 34km mark on the wide fire trail ascent she caught me and passed me working extremely hard. I was starting to feel the effects of my calf muscle on the climbs and I was not going to push my injured body beyond it’s limits so soon in a 100km event. After about 2km I was soon caught and passed by my mate and Ultra Running Legend Beth Cardelli. We exchanged a few kind words of encouragement. Beth is the master of the climbs. She is just so good at it.
I decided to look after my nutrition and I walked for 10 steps to regain my thoughts and kick it on again. I was actually feeling really good. Nice and fresh. Way better than in 2012, 2011 but this long boring fire trail always did my head in (this is something I will have to work on). Before long I was up and over the final climb and I was descending into Medlow Gap Dunphy’s Camp 3 Hours 48 Minutes 38km.
I rolled into the check point, quickly did my bag check filled up with water and I was out of there running out with Beth. I ran past another mate of mine Damian Smith who was having some cramping issues and was getting a massage at the check point.
I kicked it with Beth up the next climb and Beth likes to mess with my head a bit. This is cool. I’m use to it now, I’m always ready and kind of wondering what she will say to me. At GWTM Trail Marathon in 2012 she planted the seed of snakes attacking me, this year it was the word “Fatigue” I was ready for her. Instead of feeling tired I said that she may need more food not me as I was not feeling tired I was feeling fresh. Hehehe. This is all part of it. This is racing. But Beth is Beth and she is a way better climber than me and she soon moved onwards and upwards up Iron Pot Ridge.
Again I chilled, enjoyed myself and looked after my calf muscle. I was really out there to enjoy myself and have a great North Face 100 race. I was not in any condition to push my boundaries that day and I was cool with that. I had to race smart so I could be racing in the French Alps. Before long I was at the top of the climb and racing along the top of Iron Pot Ridge. Again I had to be careful of my calf muscle on the technical single man track. I could not leap or bound like I normally could. I was happy with my pace and how fresh I was feeling. I love Iron Pot Ridge. It is a special place and worth the pain to make it to the top. We are always greeted by the traditional Aboriginal Land Owners playing a didgeridoo on the rocky out crop with Narrow Neck and the Megalong Valley Behind them. It is just a magic part of The North Face 100.
I soon spotted Hanny and then Beth on the out and back and I was stoked that I was less than 1 km behind Hanny. I took off my wrag hoping I could just breath like a “normal ultra runner”. The temperature had risen and I was hoping the wind would not give me asthma. On the out and back I spotted Michael another Ultra Training Australia Client, Marc, then Jo Brischetto (Kanangra Ultra Winner), Julie Quinn (TNF100 2011 Winner), Gill Fowler (2012 GNW Winner). I then freaked out because I could not find my potatoes that I had boiled up the night before in my bag. I stopped and checked my bag and soon found them I was feeling a bit green and I needed them. There is something about them. They just settle my stomach after a big climb. (They are high in starch and potassium).
I soon rolled down the ruggered side of Iron Pot, again trying to look after my calf muscle. I soon realized that I was having an asthma attack. I put my wrag back on. The cold dry air was upsetting my lungs. I stopped and took my ventolin. I was having real problems getting the air in and out of my lungs. I was in so much pain I started to groan, gasp and cry as I ran along. “Come on Shona Calm Down” I said to myself. Just breathe. I tried to relax my lungs by blowing all the air out of them and trying to take breathe back in. “Come on Shona this is your bread and butter this descent”. When you have asthma you get extremely tight in your thoracic area. It feels like I had someone stabbing me in my back every time I tried to breathe in or with every descending step I took. I rolled past a few guys crying and gasping for air and crying out in pain.
Again I looked into the long grass and wished that a snake would come out out bite me so I could pull out of this ultra marathon with dignity. Yet I did not wish it as much in the past years of The North Face 100. Iron Pot always has that effect on me. I tried to compose myself and kicked it on using the descent to my advantage even though the pounding descent was giving me such grief. I did not have my trusty calf muscle in my right leg to cushion my descent, my Achilles was really starting to play up.
I ran past the Green Gully Farm and past the horses and I was soon caught by my mate Damian Smith or Damo. We chatted about how we were both going. He was having a tough race too. Other than my injury and my asthma attack that I seemed to have back under control I actually felt pretty good. Mt Pre-race diet Quinoa for breaky and a Hammer choc chip bar, Banana, hot chips for lunch and boiled spuds the day before the event, and just liquids for race day breakfast and some imodims was doing the trick. My energy levels felt great.
I climbed up out of Green Gully and I was past by my former Oxfam Team Mate Jono Worswick. He has the longest legs you’ll ever see and he uses them so well on open fire trails.
Towards the top of the climb I soon caught up with most of the trail running blokes and I found a runner badly cramping. I soon found out he was a client of Brendan’s and I felt compelled to help him out. I told him to take 2 Endurolyte’s every 30min. He was a big guy about 6 foot tall and he was obviously in need of more electrolytes.
We ran on together over the climb chatting. He was funny though. There was no way he was letting me past him. The track soon flattened and became a descent again and I soon took off down the descent in so much pain in my thoracic with every foot step, gasping for air, and in much pain in my back and in my calf muscle. I was much slower on the descents than I would normally be because of this pain I was experiencing. I past Jono, Damian and a few more guys on the Megalong Valley Road and before long I arrived at Check Point 3 6 Foot Track 5 Hours 42 minutes 54km.
I was told I was looking fresher than the girls ahead of me, and I grew with confidence. I was in pain, but I was there to race to the end of The North Face 100. I quickly swapped over my perpetuem bottle, grabbed my food bag swapped my Hydrapak Bladder in my UltrAspire Omega and I was off and running up the 6 Foot Track. I soon spotted Mikey my husband taking photos. He informed me that he thought Hanny was going to pull out with “Sore Feet” at the next North Face 100 check point. I totally did not believe him. Who’d pull out of the premier Australian Event with “Sore Feet”? I did not believe Mikey. I thought he was joking. Maybe the 50km was a better choice after all for Hanny. What a shame. I really wanted Hanny to finish the event. I think she is a true power house and I only wanted the best for her. Still I did not believe she would pull out. But I guess you never know what injury an athlete was carrying into an event and what her personal goals were for The North Face 100. It is always best to play it safe and avoid turning a 3 week injury into a 6 or 12 week injury. It was going to be her first attempt of a 100km and carrying an injury is never the best way to enter into an ultra when your pushing your own boundaries. I felt for her. Deciding to pulling out of such a big event would not have been easy decision to make.
I powered on up the 6 Foot Track and I was passed by some of my mates again, Jono, Shane, Damian. I was limping now. I worked out that I could still run on particular edges of the fire trail. I did my best to pick out the best path that was not going to hurt my calf and Achilles tendon. It hurt like hell but I knew I was tough enough and experienced enough to make it to the end. I was really happy with my pace and my time and I was enjoying racing. I was having a ball out there I felt really relaxed.
I ran all the way to the single man track of Nellies Glen then ran and walked my way to the stairs. I felt pretty good. I then power walked to the top of the stairs, power walked to the top of the fire trail then started to run when I hit the single man track. Again I had to look after my Achilles and calf muscle. I eased my way over the rocks and steps. I soon came out on the road and found my mate Damian again. We had a bit of giggle together. I was clearly injured, stuffed really. Running on one leg only now. Damo always makes me feel better. “You one tough lady Shona”. He said to me. I usually can’t talk back at the top of climbs because I need my airway for breathing.
I hooned through the North Face 100 check point 7 Hours 11 Minutes 65km and I was off and running next to Jono again. We chatted for a bit but those long legs just took off along the track and I fixed up my fuel bag. I still felt really good and I was on track for a nice Personal Best.
I headed out through Katoomba through the sacred Aboriginal Land with Damo again. I felt so honored to run through. It is a special place. Beautiful mosses, lovely and spongy after 65km of running. I just loved it. I was soon passing the 50km runners from the other race TNF 50km. I wished them all good luck. I love events with chances to run past other runners from different events, it always lifts my spirits. I feed off positive human contact. So giving them a cheer and a well done was a lovely experience for me.
I ran past Katoomba Oval, along the single man track of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk and I was passed by a couple of fresh guys who informed me that there was no one chasing me down. I eased off the pace a bit and nursed my injury. At the visitors center I was informed that I was in 2nd place. Again I refused to believe him. I thought he had it wrong. I did not think Hanny pulled out, he must have miss counted.I always run without support crew wherever possible. This can have it’s advantages or disadvantages. It meant I was not getting any information on where the female runners were behind me.
I soon descended the single man track of the Giant Stairs, rolled along Dardanelles Pass, through the Leura Forrest, turning left at Leura Falls and out onto the Fire Trail. Here I spotted the first aid officers and I asked them what position I was in. They informed me I was in 2nd Place. Cool Shona all you have to do it hold your position until you get to the single man track.
I was soon joined by Brendan’s Client again. We chit chatted together. He was hurting and really down. I just tried to keep him positive. The descent soon came and I took off down Sublime Ridge, again I was in soon much pain in the back of my chest, my calf was killing me and I was having another asthma attack. I gasped, groaned my way down the descent. I tried to calm myself down and tell myself that it is not as bad as Mt Fuji UTMF so I was going to be okay.
He soon caught me on the next climb while I tried to get some ventolin in. We ran and walked together, again he would not let me pass him which I thought was funny. I soon took off groaning down the next descent and he caught me on the climb. We were partners in crime. We hit Jamison Creek Together and I was starting to feel like crap. I had run out of gels and perpetuem. This leg was taking me longer than estimated. I should have known better it always does.
I was hurting in my Achilles and I just wanted Kedumba to be over. I’d been running on one leg for the last 30km. My right calf was stuffed. Knowing that there was a massive 9km climb ahead of you never helps. I hate Kedumba. It hurts like hell and takes every ounce of energy from you. I can run it in training, but I never been able to run it after 80km of running. I check behind me and I could not see anyone. At least this year I was not loosing places hand over fist like last year. Come on Shona stay positive. Your doing really well. You just have to make it to the top of the climb then you can eat again. I rummaged though my bag and found a Hammer Bar. I took small bites from it and drank water with every mouthful to help me swallow it.
I made it to the turn off at Mt Sol and I turned around and spotted Jo Brischetto. NOOOOOOO. The one and only person you did not want to see. One she is a local, I really like her,we are mates, I respect her as a runner, she is an awesome flat marathon runner, she has power and strength and did I say she is a local! Oh no! This is her training ground! Her stomping ground. I’m a sitting duck here on one leg. I had no kick, no get out of jail free card that I used last year that the same point to beat Bernadette Benson and Hitomi Ogawa at the UTMF. I always have a 10km-25km sprint left up my sleeve at the finish of an event, but this year I was too injured. Shit. Bugger you got complacent and you lost a position because of it. Damn and Jo can sprint too. Oh No. She is such a classy runner.
Jo being beautiful Jo came up next to me. She asked me if I was okay, she was looking so fresh and I felt like real cramp. “Don’t worry it will all be over soon”, Jo wisely said to me.
We passed Jono on the climb, and made sure he was okay. We chatted a bit, and Jo offered him some food.
“Don’t worry you might feel better at the top”, she assured him so kindly.
“You always feel better at the top”. I called out as I tried to make a “get away” from Jo.
I limped my way up Kedumba increasing my cadence, running and walking 20 on 20 off or running to 100 steps. I did my best to just try and get out of sight of Jo. I turned the corner under the cliff ahead of her. I then cruised up the hill, trying my best to run as much as possible. I was low on fuel, but I was giving it my all. I hugged the corners of the fire trail and before long I was at the top of the climb and rolling into the 5th North Face 100 Checkpoint Queen Victoria Hospital 89km 10 hours 12 minutes with Jo still hot on my tail.
I grabbed my perpetuem, swapped my food bag and swapped my head torch over to my trusty Ay-Up and I was off and limping up the Kings Tableland Rd. The lovely Gretel Fortman came running up next to me. She look as fresh as a gazelle and I was limping and feeling the effects of 90km on an injured body. She asked me how I was running and I told her I was injured and I felt sick. I also have real problem breathing, the temperature had dropped and I find it really hard to talk when I am working hard. I have asthma and I need my airway for breathing at the top of climbs not talking. Her being so fresh just made me feel even worse. She wanted to help me but I just wanted to be on my own knowing that I was probably going to lose 2nd spot any minute. I was injured and there was nothing I could do to get away from Jo.
I was soon caught by Jo and Paul on the road. I said “Hi, good luck” and they cruised past me like I was standing still. Bugger. Don’t worry you tried your best. You did everything you could to get away from her and keep 2nd spot without damaging your injury more. I soon ran onto the North Face 100 single man track and I stopped and had a bit of a cry. Your emotions run wild when you are low on glucose. I put on my inov8 thermal top and regrouped. I was happy to not be chased. Just chill out and look after yourself for the next 8km.
I ran along again nursing my injury. Mt Blanc, Ice Trail, UTMB were all in my mind. I just had to look after myself. I ate some food and then started to kick it on. I ran along the single man track with my awesome new Prototype Ay-Up on. Man that torch was great. It made running through that technical single man track so easy, if only my calf would too. Before long I came across Mick Donges. He was having not such a good day too. We were both having one of those days we explained to each other. I soon past him and I was then passed by another male runner. I asked him were there any females following me.
“Julie Quinn is about 5min behind you”. He cautioned.
This was enough to put absolute fear in me. No I will not lose another position in The North Face 100. I was off and limping at full speed again. Running with fear is one of my main motivations. It’s what gets me really running. I pushed and wheezed with all I had. With my asthma I can only push so hard when the temperature drops, but at the end of an event I know I can dig deeper into my lungs and give a bit more and I will just have to suffer a lung infection ofter the event.
I hit Lillian’s Bridge and I knew I had only 2ks to go. Come on Shona. I looked back checking for head torches asking them if they were male or female as I was passed by another guy. Come on. I pushed up the stairs of the North Face 100. Drawing on my last ounce of energy and lung capacity. I was starting to have another attack. The mucus builds up especially when I dig deeper. Over time during 100km and as the temperature drops my lungs get filled with crap. I really started gasping for air.
I pushed on my quads.I did not have a hop or bounce, my Achilles would not allow be to attempt to run up any set of stairs. I was left to power walk. With about 1km to go I spotted Jo. I could not believe it. Far out. What luck. But I did not feel right running up behind her in the dark. I know some runners turn their head torch off in the dark an try to sneak up on the runner ahead. It is my fear to be caught by a female in the dark and I just did not feel right running up behind my mate under darkness, it just did not feel right. I respect her too much. So when I was 50m behind her I called out. “Jo, it’s Shona. Run now, I’m coming”.
With this knowledge she took off in front of the guy just ahead of her. I was happy she was gone. There was one thing catching her, another was trying to pass her. I did not want to risk my injury trying to catch and pass her. I did however try my hardest to try and stay as close to her as possible. I hit the grass and tried to muster a run but could only limp.That final climb up to the Fairmont Resort just kills you. I crossed the North Face 100 line in a time of 11 hours 45 minutes with a 15 minute Personal Best.I was really stoked with my effort.
I ran across the North Face 100 line and I fell to the ground. I needed to lie down and cough my lungs out have some food and recovery. I gave it my all trying to keep 2nd then 3rd position and I was mentally, physically exhausted. My lungs took a beating too. I was coughing uncontrollably and my tendon was swollen 10 times the size of the other one. I wanted to go back out to Queen Victoria Hospital and help my Ultra Training Australia Clients out but I was advised by my mates to stay inside because I was really not well.
I was so happy that Jo Brischetto came 2nd in the North Face 100 Ultra running Marathon. She is such a lovely lady and 2nd spot was what she deserves. What is more outstanding is that it was Jo’s 1st ever 100km. Beth Cardelli won with a Record Breaking time of 11 hours and 1 minute. She is in fantastic form for Italy. I think she will be know as one of the best Female Ultra Runners in Australian History. I can’t wait to see how well she will do in Europe.
My inov8 International and Barefoot Inc Teammate Brendan Davies broke Kilian Jornet’s Record with a blistering time of 9 hours 16 minutes, Varjin Armstrong also a Barefoot Inc UltrAspire Team Mate from New Zealand Came 2nd 9 hours 42 minutes a PB and Australian Andrew Tuckey came 3rd with a PB of 9 hours 44 minutes.
It was an awesome day for Ultra Trail Running in Australia and I just can’t wait to see how all the athletes improve over the next 12 months.

 

Race Report By Shona Stephenson