Aug 122016
 

The comfort zone – it’s a place we all like to hang out. We know how it feels, we know it’s a safe place to be and the outcomes of any actions in the comfort zone are very predictable. But it’s not where all the fun happens, it’s not where we learn and grow as runners or even as people. If we want to achieve anything meaningful, then we need to step outside that comfort zone, and see what we are really capable of.

On the morning of day five of the Big Red Run I had a choice – stay in my comfort zone and take the predictable outcome of 3rd place, or risk all and go for a win or 2nd place, and risk losing 3rd. It wasn’t really a choice to be honest and I knew as soon as the gun went off what option I was taking.

But let’s back up a bit and see where the story began.

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Jun 062015
 
Scotty looking strong in the HK100

Scotty looking strong in the HK100

Mile 27 Coach Scotty Hawker had a break through performance at the recent TNF100. In this blog Scotty takes us back to the Hong Kong 100 where he finally gained the belief that he could compete with the best ultra-runners in the world. The lessons he learnt in this race can be used by all of us. Since the mind controls how much of our training and potential we can use in a race , learning to work with the mind can help us take that next step in performance, whether thats competing with the elites or simply mixing it up with a faster group than you normally run with. Take it away Scotty …

Goosebumps kick in, self doubt, nerves… am I really good enough to be here? Why on earth am I standing on the front line at the Hong Kong 100? As I look around I see faces I recognise from social media such as Jez Bragg, Dave Mackey, Antoine Guillon. These guys are on a whole different level; aren’t they?
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Sep 052014
 

Rinjanie finish 2

One day after Catherine and I had decided to spend a month or two in Bali between relocating within Australia Catherine stumbled upon a photo on Instagram that mentioned the Mt Rinjani Ultra. A check of dates confirmed we would be in Bali when the race was on and I quickly decided that if there was an ultra nearby then it would be criminal not to do it.

I was slightly disappointed when reading it was only 52km but then intrigued that the winning time last year was just under 15 hours. Ok it had 5800m of vert and went to an altitude of 3720m but even still 14 hours? I was in for a shock and the most testing race of my ultra career! Continue reading »

Nov 172013
 
GNW 2013 Start

Start of the Great North Walk 2103

I stood on the start line for the 2013 edition of the Great North Walk 100 miler full of confidence. I had trained well and had two good lead up races – finishing 8th at the Yurrebilla 56k race then winning the 46km Freedom Trail Race. A week later I managed a 9 hour training run after which my legs felt they could easily go out and do it again the next day. I was well prepared physically and mentally and had high expectations.

I had a number of goals for the day. First of all was enjoy the day – whatever challenges were thrown at me, I have chosen to do this so I wanted to accept whatever happens it and enjoy it as all part of the race. Secondly I wanted to stay positive throughout the whole race and a big part of that is staying present. It’s easy to get negative when you are contemplating running another 70k on trashed legs but if you focus on the present then you never have to look at more than the next step.

Little did I know how challenging these two goals would be.
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Oct 042013
 

It’s a question I often get asked so I thought I’d give you a peek inside my brain to see what was going on when I ran the 56km Yurrebilla Ultra Marathon recently. Some would argue not much but you might be surprised!

For those that haven’t heard about YUM (as the locals call it) it’s a fantastic, short (56km) ultra in the Adelaide hills – a great mixture of single track, fire trail, very little road, approx 2000+m of ascent and descent and with some of the most enthusiastic volunteers anywhere who have a preference for dressing up in fancy dress!

I was using it as a bit of a test to see where my training was at for the upcoming Great North Walk 100 miler in November. 56km is the shortest race I have run since a marathon in 2005 but the chance to combine a well regarded ultra with a trip to see family was too good to refuse.

I can’t vouch that all ultra runners think like I do but here’s my recollection of my thoughts throughout the race. Continue reading »