UTA100

Shona Stephenson climbing up Narrow Neck at TNF100 Australia

UTA100   It was to be my 5th UTA100 Aus in a row. It would be the first TNF100 Aus where I was not going to be asked for a divorce before hand. In 2011, just 2 days before my first ever solo 100km, my ex asked me for a divorce. It was hard enough just trying to run UTA100 Aus, but I also had to deal with a marriage crisis on the sideline too. He continued to ask me for a divorce before every 100km event I ever did. On average I was asked for a divorce 5 times a year for the next 4 years. My running was always an issue for him. The anxiety that went with… Read More →

Up The Buff

Up The Buff Podium. It's like winning a trip to NZ bought out a few elites to the event.

Up The Buff SEQ Trail Running Festival.   Up The Buff SEQ Trail Running Festival Event of 25km just had way too much on offer to miss it. A trip to Queenstown Moonlight Shot Over Marathon was the winning prize for BOTH male and female! If I win I could have a chance to head back to NZ for another trail running adventure in Wanaka and Queenstown in the South Island of NZ. A trip to beautiful Queenstown was enough motivation for me to get up and racing again. Up The Buff is the South East Queensland Trail Running Champs (SEQ Trail Running Championships) and the crew from “Those Guys” Events was putting on an entire weekend of trail running… Read More →

Blackall 100

Blackall 100   The Blackall 100 was always going to be a race to test how smart a racer you are. How adaptable you can be in your lead up training sessions. The conditions were never going to be favourable. This is November in Queensland with temperatures regularly reaching plus 35 degrees. In some sections of the course the chance of the temperatures reaching higher is possible.   Heat Acclimatisation training consisted of the following;   Train PT Clients from 6am-11am. If it was a hot day, meaning over 32C I especially made sure I ran hill repeats in the heat of the day for about 1 hour. Completed long runs in the heat of the day. I would run… Read More →

Lamington Classic

  Stephenson Inov-8 Trail Runner Winning the Lamington Classic Lamington Classic For about 15 years I’ve wanted to visit the Lamington World Heritage Listed National Park. It took a  back to back event with 42km Saturday and a 21km Sunday race to give me enough motivation to finally get there. The Lamington Classic has a historic South East Queensland trail running event that has been around since 1970. It is said to be the oldest trail running event in Australia. The Lamington Classic has an amazing history of great runners who have run the 21km distance from Binna Burra to O’Reily’s for over the 30 years. Initally the event ran one way only for example from O’Reilys to Binna Burra… Read More →

Ultra Trail du Mt Blanc

The Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc I was given a 2nd chance to race and try to finish the extremely difficult Ultra Trail du Mt Blanc 168km with over 9600m of elevation gain and loss hopefully finishing on my 36 year old birthday. I DNF (Did not finish) the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in 2013, this year there was no bloody way I was not finishing the Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc. In fact I DNF 5 Ultra’s in 2013 and I was keen to maintain my perfect finishing record in 2014. I was coming down with a cold the week out from Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc I did not let it play on my mind, I fought… Read More →

Tarawera Ultra 2014

Shona Stephenson Tarawera Ultra 2014 World Trail Ultra Tour

Tarawera Ultra 2014 World Trail Ultra Tour WTUT I had unfinished business at Tarawera Ultra 2014 part of the World Trail Ultra Tour. I DNF’d the event in 2013 due to a heamatura so I was keen to cross the finish line of the 100km 2014. I arrived in Rotarura at the buzzing Holiday Inn where the Tarawera Trail Expo. I spotted My Inov8 Team Mate Brendan and we were soon whisked away in a van to the amazing Red Wood forest by my mate and BreafootInc Team Mate James Kuegler (AKA Kugs) the Director of Cadence Coaching. He has set up a really cool running coaching group and about 10 of his clients who were racing part of Tarawera… Read More →

Tarawera Ultra The Build Up

Trail-Runner-With-Dog

Tarawera Ultra The Build Up   I have unfinished business at Tarawera Ultra 100km. In 2013 I had to pull out of the event in the most gory circumstance. I was shitting blood from about 30km and after working myself back into the event at about 60-75km I then was pissing blood. It was extremely scary experience for me. I decided to pull out of the 100km event at the 85km check point. No one wants to damage their organs whilst racing or training for a an ultra. It’s just not worth it. I’m a mum, a wife, a daughter, a sister and I have a family to care and provide for. I have to return home safe for them…. Read More →

Hakuba International Trail 2013

Hakuba-International-Trails-2013-Feature-Image

Hakuba International Trail 2013 After the UTMB (Ultra Trail Mount Blanc 2013) withdrawal I was physically, mentally and emotionally broken. I questioned why I was running. I was absolutely exhausted from my 2013 Trail Running season. I missed my family and kids dearly. What hurt more was that I was to have less than two weeks on the ground in Sydney with my family and beautiful girls before I was back on another plane to Tokyo. At the start of 2013 I thought I was totally invincible. At the end of 2013 I had a suspected stress fracture in my Medial Malleolus and a tendonitis in my Tibialis Posterior. I’d made a commitment to Inov8 x Descente Japan to race… Read More →

Skyrunning – Ice Trail Tarentaise

Shona-Stephenson-Ice-Trail-Tarentaise

Photo By Ian Corless Two days before Skyrunning Ice Trail Tarentaise 65km I realize I had run out of my preventive asthma medication. I started to freak out. I was sent into absolute panic. It was the end of my European Adventure and I had planed out my spending to the last Euro. I also later found out the Hotel Double Charged my credit card by mistake. The Aussie dollar was plummeting whilst I was on holiday’s. The little Aussie battler had lost 13% Shit! I have 2 kids back in Sydney and a Sydney mortgage to go with it. I run my own business’s if I don’t work I don’t get paid and I have almost been away for… Read More →

Skyrunning – The Mt Blanc Marathon

Shona-Stephenson-Trail-Running-Swiss-Alps

It was a chance of a life time to represent inov8 in the Skyrunning 2013 Series in Mt Blanc Marathon, Europe. Who would have thought that anyone would want an Australian who has never run through snow before to represent them at a Skyrunning 2013 event? The Skyrunning 2013 Series is notorious for being extremely tough and technical events with massive elevation gains and sometime losses. The Skyrunning 2013 Races are located all over the world first starting in Spain Zegama 42km, France Mt Blanc Marathon 42km, USA Pikes Peak 42km, Switzerland Matterhorn Ultra’s 46km, Italy Lissome Extreme Sky Race 23km. There is an Ultra Series including Transvulcania Ultramarathon 83km Spain, Andorra Ronda dels Cims 170km, Ice Trail Tarentaise 65km… Read More →

Mt Solitary Blue Mountains

Mt Solitary Walking Route Blue Mountains Shona Stephenson

Monday June Public Holiday was the perfect time to hit the tracks on my own. My achilles tendon was still a bit iffy after I tore it the day before The North Face 100km. I wanted to run on my own so I did not feel any pressure to keep up with a training partner. I also wanted to use the opportunity to build my own mental strength, gain some confidence in my body again and try a few new things. It was only 3 weeks after tearing it and one week after a 20km Saturday, 20km Sunday Glow Worm Tunnel Ultra Training Australia Camp weekend. It was my last chance I could put in some big kilometers before I… Read More →

North Face 100

North Face 100 Trail Running Shona Stephenson

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… Read More →

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 →

Surf Coast Century 2012

Surf-Coast-Century-Ultra-Trail-Running-Australia

I’m pretty excited. I’m heading interstate for the first time to the Surf Coast Century 2012 for a running holiday. No kids but sadly no husband. I spotted the Surf Coast Century at the beginning of the year. I thought it looked like an awesome way to clock up 100km. This year I have already 2 race records for coastal events in 2012. Coastrek 50km Team Race Record of 6 hours 14 minutes from Palm Beach to Balmoral Beach and Coastal Classic 2:49 from Otford to Bundeena. Oxfam Trail Walker Sydney can be said to be similar terrain to a coastal event, as it is located along the Hawksbury River, Jerusalem Bay, Cowan Creek and Sydney Harbour. I again broke a… Read More →

Inov8 Coastal Classic 2012

Coastal Classic 2012 Start

Inov8 Coastal Classic 2012 It was a big ask to back up for Inov8 Coastal Classic 2012 only one week after Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2012. I would not normally enter a race so soon after an Ultra. My sponsors Barefoot Inc with Inov8 shoes were the featured sponsors for the event so I felt compelled to show my support for the brand. Last year I had an extra week to recover and relish my energy stores, so I was not sure how my body was going to react. I am the current female record holder for the course and last years winner with a time of 2 Hours 57 minutes. I had to give it a go. You just never… Read More →

Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2012 Davidson reserve to the Finish

Oxfam Trail Walker 2012 No Roads Expeditions Team Winner Finish

Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2012 toward the Finish. 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… Read More →

Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2012 St Ives to Davidson Reserve

Oxfam Trail Walker 2012 No Roads Expeditions Andrew Lee

Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2012 We ran into St Ives Showground Check Point 4 hot and bothered. I was feeling relaxed knowing that that hard effort we put in on the climb has paid off. I spotted my hubby Mikey taking photos and I waved to my mates Michael, Gordi and Tom at the checkpoint. As a team we quickly checked in and out and I ran over to Beth who had my gear organized for me. I quickly swopped over my Hammer Gels and my Hammer Fizz water bottles over and I was ready to run. Mikey informed me that the Gu Nathan Team was only 2 minutes behind us at the 50km mark. I started to get antsy. Andy… Read More →

Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2012 Berowra to St Ives

Oxfam Trail Walker 2012 No Roads Expeditions Paul Robertson & Andrew Lee at Bobbin Head

We ran into the Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2012 Berowra Community Center 28.5km at 10:14am after 3 hours and 14 minutes of running and quickly checked in and out out the check point. We all turned around and found our support crew Garry and Beth Cardelli waiting for us. Beth was awesome, she had all my gear ready and waiting. I quickly had some more serotide hoping that the long lasting ventolin would help with my asthma. I was having to use my ventolin almost every 2 hours with not much relief. I would just have to see if the serotide would make a difference or otherwise at the end of this event I will collapse like at Glow Worm Tunnel Marathon… Read More →

Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2012 Start to CP2

Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2012 start of the race Shona Stephenson

Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2012 Start to CP2 Berowra 28.5km With a cheer we were off and running in the Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2012. I could not help myself I had to be at the front. I like to get rid of nervous energy. I’m like a horse at the gates, I just love to race. I ran out quick but well under my anaerobic threshold and I just was happy to stretch my legs along the road and have a clean run to up the first fire trail. In 2012 there were some really strong teams competing in Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2012. Our main rival for the mixed category was to be the Gu Nathan team featuring the Wellington Marathon 2012… Read More →

Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2012 – Forming a Winning Team.

Oxfam Trail Walker 2012 No Roads Expeditions Checkpoint

Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2012 is a team event first and foremost. To win the event you need an amazing team that is willing to work together through everyones strengths and weaknesses…… This story started way back in December when I emailed Brendan Davies about the possibility of forming a strong female No Roads Team for Oxfam 2012. No Roads Expeditions already had a cracking male team, there was no way I’d be able to keep up with the likes of Andrew Lee, Ben Artup, Brendan Davies, Mike Donges. But if there was a female team with Beth Cardelli and Angela Bateup, I felt like I could maybe just hold my own. No Roads Expeditions could only managed to obtain one… Read More →

City2Surf 2012

City2Surf 2012 Bib Shona Stephenson

I did not expect much from my performance for the City2Surf 2012. I’ve been injured for about a month with numerous ankle sprains. The last sprain was just over a week ago. My preparation for the event was definitely disrupted. I did what I could do. Cross trained and just watched my diet to keep the weight off. I heated and massaged and rehabbed my ankle daily. I’ve gone through about 4 rolls of strapping tape in 2 weeks. Running a personal best at the City2Surf 2012 was going to be a struggle. It is the only road race I compete in every year so I just wanted to enjoy the day, have fun, catch up with mates and hurt… Read More →

Sprained Ankle

Sprained Ankle Trail running Trail running injuries ultra run Australia Shona Stephenson

Sprained ankle, I am totally gutted. I’ve sprained my anklefor the 4th time in as many weeks and I have to use common sense and pull out of Mt Solitary that is on in two days. This is the chain of events that have lead to pulling out of Mt Solitary. 16th of July, after successfully running 55kms on the Saturday from Berowra to Brooklyn Return and then backing up and running the Footpoint Trail series on the 15th of July. I sprained my ankle badly jumping over a fence at Camperdown Oval at the arrival of a PT session. I had my PT bag on my shoulder adding an extra 10 kilos to my body weight on my right… Read More →

Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney Training and Footpoint Trail Series

Shona Stephenson and Beth Cardelli Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney Trail Running Australia

Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney Training session for my No Roads Expeditions team consisted of Beth Cardelli. Our 3rd team mate, Andrew Lee was running in the Kokoda Challenge with Brendan Davies, Ewan Horsbrough and Clarke McCoughan up in Brisbane. Paul Robertson was resting before his adventure race in the following week. It was up to the girls, Beth and I to put in some tough kilometers in prep for the Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 100km event in only 6 weeks. I decided that to toughen myself up and to prepare my body for the onslaught of the Kuringai National Park, I needed to run from Berowra to Brooklyn and return. This would be our longest and most brutal training session for Oxfam Trailwalker… Read More →

Oxfam Trailwalker 2012 Sydney Training

Oxfam Trailwalker 2012 Sydney Training Run

Oxfam Trailwalker 2012 Sydney Training Session Brooklyn to Turramurra, my parents house. I woke up on Saturday and I knew I could not run. I had gastro. Either it was the end of the flu. Or it was my stomach reacting form the antibiotics that I was prescribed from the doctor for my tonsillitis and chest infection that the flu developed into. On Thursday my asthma was still shocking. I’ve never heard my chest gurgle so much. I was having problem breathing and I was just having ventolin just to get through the day. I went to the doctors and got my asthma and what ever sickness I had sorted out. I called Beth, and postponed my session for an… Read More →

Woodford To Glenbrook Classic 2012

Trail Running Australia Woodford To Glenbrook 2012

Again I decided late to enter the Woodford To Glenbrook Classic 2012. I have 3 clients running in the Blue Mountains for the first time and I really wanted to be there for them. I’d run 42km around Mt Solitary the Saturday before. I was without a car for Tuesday and Thursday, so I had to bike between Personal Training Sessions (PT) on those days and I am helping out the local hospital RPA with an exercise induced asthma trial. I had a huge week, and I was feeling knackered. The Woodford To Glenbrook Classic 2012 in the past use to just kill my feet and I would always end up with a few “Hot Spots” in my feet after… Read More →

Mt Solitary Ultra Circuit Training

Trail Running Australia Mount Solitary Sign

I only decided on Thursday that I was going to head up to the mountains to train on the following Saturday. I have had a few massive weeks The North Face 100 (TNF100), then two weeks later The Glow Worm Tunnel Marathon (GWTM). After GWTM I really thought I was broken. I rested for 3 days in a row over the long weekend. I can’t remember the last time I had three days in a row off from any exercise. I just did not feel like training. I’m a personal trainer so I spend all day on my legs with over 30 Face Time sessions a week plus my own training. To get three days in a row that was… Read More →