Last weekend saw the Blue Mountains humming to the beat of ultra-trailrunner footfalls with the Ultra Trail Australia 100km and Pace Ultra Trail 22km events taking place.
Both events were won by Australian athletes sponsored by Salomon and Suunto, with 21-year-old Lucy Bartholomew celebrating her birthday in first place for the 100-kilometre event.
Bartholomew completed the gruelling race with a time of 10 hours and 52 minutes, running through 22 millimetres of rainfall, as well as subsequent course changes and flooding, to do so.
“It was the most special race I’ve ever done,” she said. “I had people coming at me, wishing me happy birthday, telling me I’ve got this and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The win is a bonus, but having my dad and my brother to come up here and my brother to crew me and his girlfriend, that means the world to me, more than a first place on the podium. But it’s a bonus, I wouldn’t change it.”
The Ultra Trail Australia event takes in some of the Blue Mountains National Park’s most spectacular scenery and this year attracted over 5,000 competitors.
Similarly, local man Vladimir Shatrov took out the Pace Ultra Trail event, completing the 22 kilometres in a time of one hour and 42 minutes.
“Winning is a privilege which I’ll always be grateful for. It doesn’t come without sacrifice and hard work though and this race was no exception.
“UTA 22 is a brutally tough race for a relatively short distance, however the long descent and even tougher climbs play well into the hands of those that prepare well. I’m super stoked to win this race and add this to my 6 Foot win in March. Finishing with a brutal set of 1000 stairs is a challenge, but the reward is just as you cross the finishing line at Scenic World,” Shatrov said.