UTA22 Michael Milton

18 May 2018

Tags: Test
By Dan Lewis

Less than 24 hours after the world premiere of a stirring documentary
that captured his first epic trail running race across the Blue
Mountains in 2017, Winter Paralympian Michael Milton completed his
second such race today.

In the Ultra-Trail Australia 22km race from Wentworth Falls to
Katoomba, the one-legged alpine skiing gold medallist came in 1715th
out of a field of more than 2000 runners.

He completed the race in 4 hours 58 minutes 55 seconds with plenty of
daylight left. It was a different story to last year when he completed
the 50km UTA race in darkness with a time of more than 12 hours.
Milton was philosophical of his UTA22 effort after racing across the
rugged terrain at an average speed of 4.31km/h using prototype
light-weight carbon racing crutches he has helped develop and
ultimately hopes to commercialise to make it easier for other disabled
athletes to go trail running.

The 45-year-old said his experience had taught him some fresh UTA
wisdom: “Don’t be an idiot in the first half [of the race], don’t be a
wimp in the second half, and if you are an idiot in the first half
then grow balls of steel.”

Milton said he was “naturally an idiot” who had to grow balls of steel
after going out too hard on the steep downhill of the first half. He
also admitted to “a little bit of underprepared idiotness” that
contributed to “a little bit of suffering at the end”.
“My performance was not about my performance, it was about finishing
and about having fun and helping create a good atmosphere,” Milton

He certainly contributed to the atmosphere with the massive roar the
crowd gave as he crossed the finish line at Scenic World. The
documentary is aptly titled Best Foot Forward.