Ultra-Trail Australia 100 km (UTA) is soon approaching and I thought I would write down what this race really means to me; maybe more for my own benefit than anyone else’s but still I thought it would be nice to share it with you all.
In 2012 UTA100 km (Formally the North Face 100 km) was my dad’s first big 100 km challenge. I trained by his side for this training and throughout these footsteps wished that I was old enough to compete as well.
On the weekend of the race I went along as his supporter and ran to see him at various checkpoints. Along these runs I saw the front of the field moving swiftly, focused, fit and determined but I also saw the middle and back end. I saw the fight, the struggle, the true meaning of endurance and the same determination that flowed from the 1st place to the last place.
It was here on May 19th 2012 that I knew I would do this race, I knew I would stay in this sport and pursue it. I wanted to experience these feelings, I wanted to share the journey. I watched first place finish, I watched my dad finish, we returned to see the final runners cross that finish line. Dad finished just before midnight and the next day was my birthday, I would be 16 years old. This was the present I wanted to give myself. It was special. It was a life changing day for them, and it was a life changing day for me.
In 2014, 2 days before my 18th Birthday I was lucky enough to be accepted to run the race. I was trying to juggle my final year at high school and training, I knew it was not a balanced scale but this was my way of de-stressing.
I started the race with a positivity and I wanted to enjoy the experience; I knew it wouldn’t be the only time I stood on this start line and I just needed this freedom then more than ever. I finished 13th female in 13:02:31. I was content but I wasn’t http://premier-pharmacy.com/product-category/weight-loss/ finished.
In 2016, I again joined the UTA party. Recognising my fitness was not ready for 100 km I entered the Pace 22 km. What I dropped in distance I gained in intensity. Blowing up with a smile and suffering into 2nd place. I was happy and ready to sit back and be there for other runners that day. The next day I crewed some of the international Salomon team runners in the 100 km event. I did social media updating for the 100 km/50 km and was there to watch my dad complete another 100 km in a personal best time and also there to take him straight to the medical tent leaving nothing left in the tank, I was so proud of him.
Now we are here 2017, the date of the event falls on my big 21st birthday. The 20th May will always be a celebration for me but to share this day with thousands of other runners, joined by my dad and brother (first time runner) I feel an overwhelming sense of pride in where I have found myself 21 years on. I have grown with this community, with this event and I feel an emotional attachment to this race more than any other. With the help of Majell Backhausen coaching me to race fitness—I feel happy and proud to stand on the start line and sharing this journey with everyone from 1st to last. My brother and his girlfriend will participate in the 22 km on the Friday and then will crew me for the 100 km with my dad running for his 3rd UTA and a hope for another PB.
I wouldn’t change a step I have taken for 21 years, the highs the lows, the wins the losses, the people, the places, the training but most importantly the support. It’s not the typical 21st birthday party but it’s better than any other I could ever dream of and I will dare to dream for this day.
See you out there, follow along, celebrate with me.