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Pace Athletic UTA22 Race Report - Emma Burnet

6 Aug 2018

Leading up to the Ultra Trail Australia event I was tossing up between running in the 50km or the 22km. My mum and I had planned on entering the 50 together but only weeks out from the race she found out that she had a stress fracture. I was so upset not only because she had to take a long break from running but also because I did not think I would be able to do the whole 50km by myself, and being only 19 I think I would really have needed her encouragement and motivation to get through the race mentally.

After hearing the news of her stress fracture, I was left with no training buddy. We are best friends, so running training without my best friend was tough.
I had then settled into doing the 22km, and kept on with my training. The week before UTA by mum was admitted into hospital for emergency spinal surgery. My dad who was running the 50 and myself wanted to run for her as she couldn’t run and won’t be able to for a while.

On the day of the 22km race, only 3 days out of hospital my mum came all the way up to Katoomba in the freezing cold to come and support me. This meant everything to me as she is the most amazing and inspiring person in my life.At the start line i was excited and a little nervous, but was ready to conquer those hills. The race started and I was running down Kedumba at the pace i had planned and was really enjoying myself.

As soon as I hit Jamison Creek, I had felt like i had been hit by a bus. I had an overwhelming feeling of fatigue and tiredness and seriously considered pulling out of the race when i saw the first aid guys on the course. I had to remind myself of why i was running and what i was going to accomplish by finishing the race. I pushed and pushed up those hills dragging my legs behind me for what seemed like forever. I got to the helipad checkpoint, refilled my water, ate some watermelon and lollies and got on my way. Surprisingly, my pace then picked up. I was marching up those hills feeling so much more confident that i would be able to make it to the end.

When i got into Leura Forrest, there were lines of people walking. I tried not to get caught up in their conversations and politely asked to pass on their right as I knew if I stopped and walked with them, I would be walking all the way until the end. In Leura Forrest, I passed 92 people! I was so excited to finally see Furber stairs because I knew I was near the finish but on the other hand was dyeing inside because I knew how tough they are to climb. I got half way up and I asked the lady behind me if she wanted to pass me as I felt like I was holding her up. Her reply was “keep going, your setting a good pace, your getting me up these stairs”. This kept me going up the stairs of death as I kept climbing.

FINALLY we were nearing the board walk and in the distance I could see my little 5 year old sister jumping up and down waiting for me to grab her hand and take her across the finish line with me. I grabbed her hand and was surprised by how fast she ran with me to the finish line. We crossed that finish line with our arms in the air and it is a memory that will stay with me forever. I was so pleased to see my mum and dad at the finish line, they bought me chips and OMG COKE! I was dying for a can of coke!!!