A word from Camelbak athlete Scott Hawker

12 Oct 2017

Trail running began for me around the same time I started high school. Where we lived in Christchurch, New Zealand was really close to a place called Bottle Lake Forest which has an endless number of trails for hiking, mountain biking and trail running. I remember as a kid heading there to go running to get fit for soccer. I’d run 5km in the morning at about 6:30am before I got ready for school. Sometimes my Dad would come along and other times I’d head out with our Border Collie.

Fast forward 11 years and I was lining up at the most famous multisport race in New Zealand - the Coast to Coast, a 243km event starting on the West Coast and finishing on the East Coast. The Coast to Coast is to multisport as UTMB is to ultra running! I’d thought about entering the race several times in my late teens and early 20’s but beer and fast food seemed to take preference.

It wasn’t until my wife and I decided that we were going to move to Australia after I completed my Outdoor Education Degree that I said to Liz ‘If I don’t do it now, I might never do it’. The thought of looking back 10 years later and wondering what might have been was enough to get me out training on the road, trails and river.

It was through training for this two-day event that I really found my passion for mountain running. The run leg of the race itself is incredible, with 33km of pure trails/boulder hopping in the backcountry of New Zealand. During my training sessions I found myself looking up at the mountains around me and thinking about whether it was possible to run up them.

Upon arriving in Australia my first run was 46km on the world famous Bibbulmun Track. This was incredible for me as #1 it was the longest run I had ever done and #2 I did it all on a bag of Natural Confectionary Snakes and some water!

From here I took a pretty similar transition to ultras as a lot of other people do by ticking off a 50km, 75km, 100km and then onwards and upwards from there.

It’s crazy for me to think back to how it all began on the trails of Bottle Lake Forest and then how things progressed upon arriving in Australia. To think that just last month I did a 160km race through three different countries still seems crazy!

It’s exciting to think what’s going to be next!