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.
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 was deep for the females and I was oh so happy to be invited to join in the fun. The men’s competition was thick and fast. With young gun Sage Canaday (Scott), western States Winner Timothy Olson (The North Face) last years 2nd placed Vajin Armstrong (UltrAspire/Saccony), Australian Aura Ultra Runner of 2012 Brendan Davis (Inov8 and Barefoot Inc) last years winner Mick Donges (Salmon). The elite athletes at the Vibram Tarawera Ultra Marathon were treated to press conferences, athlete seminars, guided tours of the Rotorua Springs and Traditional Maori Villages.
The race director Paul Charteris thought of everything in regards to promoting New Zealand, Rotorua and Trail Running as a sport and I was so please to be part of this classy event. After a slight nutrition malfunction at the airport where my expresso and vanilla Hammer Jugs were confiscated from me by Airport Security at Sydney. “Doh! You idiot”. I thought. I’m blaming my Hubby Mikey for suggesting that I pack them in my carry on to get through quarantine. I met up with Brendan in the duty free area and hung out and tried to relax. I was on a different flight to Brendan, we were to meet up in Auckland to fly to Rotorura on the same plane.
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 (poor excuse). Too busy to go to the doctors and check out. Besides, who want to go to the doctors when you could be out running?
On the Wednesday before GNW 100s I was forced to go to the doctors. My asthma was now out of control. I felt like I could not inhale my preventive drug properly into my lungs past my swollen trachea. The doctor was not impressed with the state that I was in. She said I was rattling all over my chest and she prescribed me with some drugs to help get rid of the inflammation out of my lungs and a nasal spray for my nose to help me with my chronic hay fever. She then insisted that I come back for clearance on Friday before I raced because I clearly was not well enough to race in the state that I was in.
Brendan Davies, what can I say. You just broke the GNW record by over 2.5 hours in your first 100 mile event. Smashing through the 20 hours barrier convincingly with a blistering time of 19 hours 27 minutes. I heard from your pacer Joe Brischetto (Kanangra 50/50 winner) that you just got faster and faster. You’ve proven that you can go fast over any terrain and distance. I think we can safely call you a living legend.
Shona; Brendan Davies What was your race plan for your first 100 mile event?
Queensland may have beaten us New South Welshmen in the origin but the boys from the Blue Mountains in NSW in the No Roads Expeditions have won the only sport that counts in my eyes, Ultra Trail Racing.
For the second time in a row the No Roads Expeditions Team have won the toughest 100km with over 5000m of vertical elevation in a time on 11 hours 43 minutes 50 seconds. The No Roads Expeditions Team members Andrew Lee, Brendan Davies, Clarke Clarke McClymont and Ewan Horsburgh, have taken out the top place yet again. You can hold your heads high and you have made us so proud. (Sorry Queensland we have to beat you in something.)
In 2nd position was the Swift Running Team with a time of 13:37:15, followed by the Rocksolid Raiders 15:36:25.
In the women’s’ competition the Adventure Angels won the female category in a time of 19:28:31. In second place came the Charlie’s’ Fallen Angels their time was 21:59:03 and taking out the final spot on the podium was the Trination Angels making it under 24 hours with a time of 23:20:22.
The mixed category the Pollyanna’s was first 14:05:46, followed by the Off-road Ostriches 16:01:37 and nabbing the final spot on the podium was the Storm Cycles/Multi-Sport Magazine team with a time of 16:55:01.
A huge congratulations goes out from Trail Running Australia to everyone who entered the event and raised money for the Kokoda Challenge. It is a great cause and deserves our support. If you would like to donate to the Kokoda Challenge please visit their website