Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Runner Conquers Fears to Finish Gruelling 172km Race 34 HOURS OF HARD SLOG FOR KATHRYN; but She's Keen to Go through It All Again

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Runner Conquers Fears to Finish Gruelling 172km Race 34 HOURS OF HARD SLOG FOR KATHRYN; but She's Keen to Go through It All Again

Article excerpt

Byline: Pam McKay Pam.McKay@capnews.com.au

ULTRA MARATHON: Kathryn Austin has always subscribed to the theory that you never run the same race twice.

But that thinking has changed since she completed the Great North Walk 100, a gruelling 172km race that pushed her to the absolute limit both mentally and physically.

One of 85 starters in the event, Austin was one of just 46 who finished, completing the course in 34 hours and five minutes.

She was the eighth female home and was placed equal 33rd overall.

Given it was so incredibly hard it would be easy to understand if Austin was satisfied with adding the GNW100 to her running resume and moving on but, amazingly, she is determined to go through it all again.

"I've always said that given there are so many different races out there, I would never do a race twice but this one has got me," she said.

"When I got to the finishing line I just remember thinking I could do so much better with this race.

"I definitely have my sights on this one again and knowing what to expect I think I could do so much more.

"Having said that, though, I would never take back what I got from this event."

Austin said she had been warned about just how hard the race was and how so many runners had been defeated by the rugged terrain and the demanding ascents and descents.

But experiencing it first-hand was something else.

"It's one of those races you go into with no expectations other than survival," she said.

"It's considered one of Australia's toughest trail ultra races and it certainly lived up to its reputation. You're not climbing a 2000m high mountain; it's more like climbing a lot of really tough and testing Mt Archers.

"You have a lot of highs and lows in this race. It was the first time I'd experienced what I did and seen so much carnage in the early parts of a race.

"Before checkpoint two, which would have been 52km in, just under 30 people had pulled out and we had six checkpoints to get through."

Austin said given the race wasn't marshalled and was run from point A to point B rather than on a circuit, she went for hours without seeing any other competitors. …

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