Whitney Dagg: Interview with the winner of the Surf Coast Century

Whitney Dagg Trail Running

Shona: You have a few memorable wins under your belt – what was the hardest
(and why) and do you have a favourite win?

Whitney Dagg: My recent win at the Surf Coast Century was by far the toughest.
Mainly because it was 100km but also because I got a sore IT band at
half way and had to run with the pain in the side of my knee for 50km.
Pain relief helped but it required mental toughness. I was determined for
a good result and thats what I got.

Shona: What’s a favourite training session or run (that most advances your
fitness or abilities)?

Whitney Dagg: I love getting up in the hills above Dunedin, away from the city. A
good long run with a few tough climbs and some technical descents
always feels like your getting somewhere with both your fitness and

Whitney Dagg Ultra Runner

Shona: What’s your biggest goal, competition-wise, in 2014?

Whitney Dagg: I want to get to the North Face 100 in May again and give it a proper
good crack. I wasn’t very satisfied with my attempt this year and have
some experience under my belt now so will go into the race with a much
stronger mindset.

Shona: What made you step up to running Trail Running Ultra’s?

Whitney Dagg: I ran my first off road marathon in 2008 and loved it. As I started to
run a few more of them, I stepped up to the Kepler challenge (60km) in
2011. I am always looking for a good challenge so when the North Face
asked me if I wanted to race 100km in May 2013 I was pretty quick to
answer with a yes. I’m hooked now! Would love to tackle 100 miles one
day if my body will let me.

Shona: You just recently won and broke the record for the Surf Coast
Century. What’s your plan of attack for an off-road race of that

Whitney Dagg: The Surf Coast Century was only my second 100km race so I was still
fairly new at this length of racing. I decided to go out abit harder
and run the first half at a steady pace. I figure that everyone slows
down to some extent at a race of that length so it’s best to get ahead
when you are feeling good and push to the end. You go through good and
bad patches so I think it’s important to run hard when you are feeling
good and ease back when your not so good.

Shona: Who are your mentors or role models that have influenced you in
racing and training?

Whitney Dagg: My cousins Glen and Braden Currie are well known in the Multisport
scene and inspired me to get into racing. I have a natural competitive
personality so once I get started on something it’s pretty hard to
make me stop. I have recently got a coach, Geoff Williamson who is
also a massage therapist. He helped me out substantially leading into
the Surf Coast Century. A fellow runner who I look up to hear in New
Zealand is Ruby Muir. She is also new to the ultrarunning scene, but
is doing amazing.

Shona: What songs would get you up and dancing at a club? (I hope you like dancing).

Whitney Dagg: Drum and Bass or anything that I am familiar with and enjoy I guess. I
would also need to have a few wines to consider getting on the dance
floor as I am not the best dancer ha ha.

Whitney Dagg Runner

Shona: What was your hydration and nutrition plan for your win at Surf Coast Century?

Whitney Dagg: I am very lucky to have recently formed a relationship with Endura
Sports Nutrition who provided me with all my drink and gels for the
race. I make sure that I drink regularly (about every 15 mins) and eat
something or take a gel every 40mins. My partner fed me creamed rice
and custard at a couple of the checkpoints to keep me going.

Shona: Do you cross train? What other sports or training methods do you
incorporate into your training program?

Whitney Dagg: I have a mountain bike which I ride every now and then or if I have a
niggly injury that stops me from running. Mainly I just run because
that’s what I love to do.

Shona: Whats your favourite pre-race meal and post race meal?

Whitney Dagg:
Pre-race = Rice bubbles with oat milk and sliced banana
Post-race= Anything that tastes good at the time!

Shona: What was your gear set up for the Surf Coast Century?

Whitney Dagg:
Shoes: The North Face Ultra Guides
Socks: 2XU compression socks
Shorts: The North Face GTD capri tights
T-shirt: The North Face GTD short sleeve
Hydration Vest: The North Face hydration vest (a sample as still not
out on the market)
Drink bottles: Endura Sports Nutrition
Jacket: The North Face feather lite storm blocker jacket
GPS: Suunto Ambit 2S

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