Number 1.

No matter all the sacrifices, dedication and single-mindedness it takes to get you ready and prepared for the TNF100 you are completely humbled by the extraordinary achievements of the other competitors.

From the first finishers taking on the 100km course with over 4200m elevation gain and loss in 8 hrs 50m is breathtaking and after running the same course it still amazes me how it was even possible.

I ran as fast as I could and just managed under 14 hours!

Oh, that’s right, they are some of the best in the world at what they do, but still, it amazes me.

Similar to this, as we started the presentations, the following day the last competitors finished in around 28 hours. Covering at least half the course in darkness and awake throughout the night.

To me, both sides of this ultra community showed amazing endurance, mental strength and determination. I salute you all!

Number 2.

You are not alone in wanting to test yourself doing something most people think is ridiculous. The number of people that said I was crazy to do this and the majority of the people I spoke to either said your nuts or just could not believe that you would even attempt 100km in one day.

But 2000 people stood at the start line on May the 16th 2015 and tested themselves in the magnificence that is the Blue Mountains.  And at least the same again supported us along the way. It shows the great camaraderie that is the heartbeat of ultra running.

It is the biggest event of its kind in Australia and I can see why. Amazing place with amazing people.

Number 3.

This is not an easy race: Out of the  1042 runners that started, there was a total number of  201 withdrawals.

That’s nearly one out of every 5 runners that started did not finish. That is not a low number in the greater scheme of things.

So you can train for 4 months, 5 days a week have a perfect preparation, injury free, Buy all the right gear, pre-prepare all the correct nutrition get loads of sleep, stretch every day before and after your training runs and then on the day one wrong move can end that dream.

Now that’s a bitter pill to take and for one in five this year that was the reality.

But you speak to most and they will tell you they will be back the next year to face the challenge again and so to me that courage and desire will grow for another year and all they do from this day to the next time they  reach the start line of the North Face 100 will bring a positive experience into their lives.

Number 4.

Life is bigger than the worries of one. I stood and listened to the impact of Nepalese runner Purna Tamang whose home had been destroyed in the earthquake this April in Nepal.

He came over and ran the event with the knowledge that he had to rebuild his life when he returned to his homeland.

We take so much for granted and only when we have that taken away do we understand how precious life is.

Let’s hope if anything positive can come out of this natural disaster it would be to have a greater appreciation for what we have and to try and support other less fortunate than ourselves if we can.

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Douglas Fullcoursetrails