It is 75km into a 100km race, the sun is about to set and I am 7 minutes behind schedule in breaking the 14-hour mark.
The Goal: Receiving my silver buckle at the North Face 100 Ultra Marathon held in the Blue Mountains.
25 km later I cross the line in 13Hrs 53 minutes.
Why? Because I believed.
Let me take you back 12 months.
I am 90km into my first 100 Km race – The Surf Coast Century , right on schedule to get sub 12 hrs – the body is failing and I have never been here before.
I want to punch on but my body is screaming out to walk.
I listen and walk a bit. I walk too much and I cross the line in 12hrs and 5 mins.
I trained really hard for both races, I put in the hours and invested in the gear.
So what was different?
One was experience and the other was my mentor.
For the first ultra I trained myself but for the second I got a coach.
I was lucky enough to be coached by Nikki Wynd – A wonderful person and an amazing long-distance runner.
Not only did she set out a plan of training that would address every aspect of the specific race but she gave me the belief that when times got tough ( and they will ) you can get through it.
She inspired me to be able to push past the voice in my head saying to walk for a while or to slow down.
She passed on inspiration by telling me about her races and her struggles and that was the difference between the two races.
Getting below 12hrs in my first ultra would have been a bonus for me.
I was ecstatic when I finished and it is still one of my greatest achievements.
But finishing under 14hrs at The North Face 100 was a goal I set myself.
It was something I wanted badly and when times got tough and I needed to lift or see my goal slip away, I remembered my mentor’s words and inspiration.
This pushed me past the barriers and this got me my silver buckle.