How to win an ultramarathon?

We posted earlier in the year about Caversham local, Shane Johnston undertaking the challenge of running 1000kms of the Bibbulmun Track in 10 days. Well now he has gone and won an ultramarathon in Europe.

It took Shane just 16 hours and 41 minutes to win the epic race, with steep elevations between some of Europe’s tallest mountains from Italy to Switzerland. He felt it took a determined mindset to run the 100km ultramarathon. Keeping a positive mindset and only focusing on the little things that he could control.

He entered because he wanted to complete a marathon in Europe with steep mountains, that would be an epic challenge. In the race the Europeans started strong, but soon waned with altitudes that went up to 3000 metres and minus 3 temperatures. At the 80km mark Shane pulled into a pit stop in first place and then went full pelt to the finish line.

The race ran overnight, and the runners used headlamps to see through the dark. He felt that this was difficult in gauging where he stood in the race. But more importantly he was very focused on keeping his energy levels up, so that he could keep digging deep. Shane relied on sugars, sports drinks and gels.

The scenery throughout the race was spectacular, with mountain ranges and glaciers. However, with the race starting at 3pm, there was only a few hours of daylight to see the awesome scenery. At night the stars where very bright and the sunrise in the morning was stunning.

His recovery was quite quick after the race and his body felt fine in comparison to some other marathons that he has run in the past. This surprised him as some of the mountain descents were quite brutal and extremely steep.

Shane followed up the ultramarathon with the Berlin marathon, as you do. His next big goal is the UTMB race in Europe, so in order to qualify for that he will need to do a hundred-mile race by the end of the year to gain points for that.

We are very impressed with his drive and determination, which Shane extends to his charity Be Inspired which we work together with here at yStop. Congratulations Shane and good luck for future races.

If you are interested in working with local charities, please get in touch with us in relation to our Community Connector program.


Image: The West Australian website – Claire Tyrrell
Reference: 6PR, What does it take to be an ultramarathon winner? (2018, Sep 23) – Jane Marwick

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