Vlad Shatrov Ready for the Challenge

10 May 2021

Newcastle-based runner Vlad Shatrov heads to this weekend’s Ultra-Trail Australia as one of the favourites to claim the win across the 100km event, but he knows the first challenge is to make it to the finish line.

Shatrov will line up against Australia’s top trail runners in Saturday’s UTA100, with runners set to be tested as they make their way around the scenic Blue Mountains.

“I haven’t finished the 100km, the last time it was on I was leading until 60km and I almost broke my ankle so I just had to stop, that was difficult and really disappointing,” said Shatrov. “I was lucky that I didn’t keep running and I stopped when I did because I think that it would have broken if I had kept on going.

“That’s a reason that I want to go back so I can finish it, if I can finish on the podium that would be great, I think I’ve put myself in the position to do that in terms of my training and I’ve got the ability,” he said.

While Shatrov hasn’t stood on the top step of the podium at Ultra-Trail Australia has had tasted victory on the other side of the ditch, winning New Zealand’s Tarawera Ultramarathon 100-Mile race in 2020.

“Even though Ultra-Trail Australia a really difficult Ultra in some ways it’s similar to Tarawera which suits me, you’ve got long running sections so I definitely see it as a runners race and someone who has that leg speed and ability to run after they’ve gone up those steep sections will do really well,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of friends going there, it’s going to be a great atmosphere, because it wasn’t on last year everyone is looking forward to it so much.”

Shatrov is based in the Newcastle region, with a host of great running trails close to home providing ample opportunities to test himself ahead of the event.

“I had a very stable year last year because I didn’t get to do any races but then towards the end of the year and the start of this year I took on a couple of challenges that I’ve never done before,” he said. “I entered Coast to Kosciusko and ended up doing 90% of the race before my body gave way so that was about 200kms in December and only 10 weeks later I decided to run an Everest at Mount Tomaree at Nelson Bay.

“It was 59 laps up there to get the 8,500m of elevation in 120km, so that was brutal. I started at 3.30am in the morning and finished at 11.30pm at night so it took a while, that’s a brutal climb,” said Shatrov. “It took me a little while to recover from that and I couldn’t go into the normal training that I would do but I’m pretty sure that it’s going to keep me in good stead in terms of strength. Over the last 10 weeks I’ve just tried to be really consistent with my training and it’s going well.”

As well as preparing for his own event Shatrov will have one eye on a number of other participants, as the full-time running coach has clients heading to the Blue Mountains for Ultra-Trail Australia.

“Over the last 10 years trail running has accelerated in its growth but especially in the last year,” said Shatrov. “There were times when people had more time, or they were restricted from traveling a long way, so they started running from home or in areas in bush near home and doing things they hadn’t done before and going that this is great. I had a lot of brand new people who took up trail running in the last year.

“The whole family can do it, that’s the difference,” he said. “What makes trail running so special is that it’s hard, when you get to the end you get that massive sense of achievement. It’s not like a 10km road run, you put months and months of training into it, when you finish, especially if you do what you’ve aimed for, the sense of achievement lives with you for a long, long time. I’ve still got that feeling from when I won the Miler at Tarawera last year.”

Vlad Shatrov winning New Zealands 2020 Tarawera Ultramarathon