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.
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, tri-belt, TNF visor (why don’t other race organizers make awesome caps like TNF cap?) running sunnies. That was just what I was racing in. I had the mandatory race kit including the most extensive first aid kit I’ve ever had to carry, wind proof jacket, whistle, mobile, all my nutrition that consisted of Hammer Electrolyte Fizz, Hammer Tropical Gel, Hammer Expresso Gel, Hammer Perpetuem, Hammer Recoverite
I emerged from the Port-a-loo’s feeling better but a bit shaky. My support crew gave a a 2 minute count down to get my gear together including my head torch and with in 2 minutes we took off as a group and I started to struggle. Brendan Davies joined the support crew at Davidson Reserve help out and to encourage us and I think this really spurred Andy on. Andy suddenly remembered how fast he could run. The guys were now on a roll and I was having problems keeping up with them. Far out man Andy is so fast and Jono can match it with him. I was happy that Paul was starting to feel tired.I was going to have to work my butt of to stay with them.
We ran up a set of stairs and I was dizzy. I’d had not eaten for about 45 minutes or more with my guts feeling a bit fragile.
“I’m dizzy guys”. I informed them.
“Eat something!” They all said as a group.