Ultra Trail Mt Fuji UTMF

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 2012. If they could do it so could I. My goal for the UTMF was first to finish the course in one piece, finish the course un injured and hope that my effort would be good enough to give me a top 5 finish. This was my first true international event and I wanted to make sure I was representing inov-8+Descente, Barefoot Inc, Hammer, injinji, Skirt Sports, and Zenzah to my fullest capabilities. With these goals in mind I prepared for my 2nd 100M only 1 month after completing my 1st Northburn 100M in March.

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Northburn 100 Mile Ultra Marathon

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 and run some hill re-peats and look at it like well deserved training holiday. My heart said that I should race the 100 miler. I did not want to let race organizer of Northburn 100 Lisa Tamati down. Lisa is one of my heroes. She is one of the main reasons why I run ultras. I like most Ultra runners out there read “Running Hot”, and I was motivated to run Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney my first 100k in 2010. I wanted to support her event. Especially because she is a fellow female. “I support women in sport”. As the slogan goes. Continue reading “Northburn 100 Mile Ultra Marathon”

Vibram Tarawera Ultra Marathon

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.

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AURA Australian Ultra Runners Trail National Championships

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 Tarawera Ultra Marathon and Northburn 100. I am to race Northburn 100 the week after Tarawera Ultramarathon. I am going to fly back to Australia in between the two events to see my husband and kids before racing in New Zealand again.

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Sydney Trail Series Manly Dam 2012

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 an running. My race plan was just to make it to the to the pipe line first at the 5km mark. If I could make it there then I could hold anyone off for another 5ks. I had to do this and not use up too much energy.

We all took off in Sydney Trail Series as a group. I was running fine. I tried to run without puffing, staying under my anaerobic threshold.

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Namadgi National Park

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 and the draw card for Namadgi National Park over Bogong was that it was only a 3 hour drive away from Sydney. I was able to work the Friday and the Monday if I trained in the Namadgi National Park, but this would not be possible if I drove all the way to Bogong. I was so lucky that Bryony offered for me to sleep at her house for the weekend and to have her as a training buddy.

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Goodbye 2012

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 have written for our Ultra Training Australia Clients. If not the same eating plan….tough over Christmas. I always like to know what they my clients are going through. (The eating plan is happening NOW though!!!!)

Sunday Long Run 24km…..

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Ultra Running Melbourne 30/50 Challenge 2012

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 I was diagnosed with haemophilus influenza. 9 days before 30/50 or 6 days after my GNW DNF I was still having problems with my breathing. I was getting worse. My strengthened asthma drugs were not working at all. I felt like I was only breathing out of one lung. I could feel something blocking my bronchioles on my right side. I was worried. It felt like I had a growth of some sort. I actually thought the worst, I was thinking cancer I felt so sick. I decided that I would go back to the doctor and get a referral for a specialist.

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GNW 100s Race Report

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 (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.

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GOW 100K Trail Race 2012

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.

Of course, being on the coast, we were subject to some tough weather conditions. We were faced with rain that came in sideways, and then warm sun that made me feel very hot! These two conditions kept swapping all day, but part of the challenge of an ultra race is dealing with different and difficult conditions. Such changes in weather also make a race more memorable, the coast is even more beautiful when the weather is blustery and wet.

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Surf Coast Century CP2 to Finish

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 that the trail could be confusing through this section of the track. I ran back towards the beautiful Anglesea across the cliff tops, past Jan Jac Beach, Bells Beach where I was lead astray by a misplaced pink marker but I was lucky that I found another runner who was also turning back up the climb who had found his mistake. We pushed on together, chatted and were happy that we spotted another marker only 50m later. We then told two spectators to swap the pink marker to this trail and hopefully we helped any runners coming behind us. I then headed inland towards the check point 3 at Iron Bark Basin.

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Surf Coast Century 2012 – Start to CP2

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
.
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