Simon Byrne has had a lifelong passion for endurance sport and running. As a coach, former PE and Science teacher and founder member of Byron Bay’s running club Byron Bay Runners, he has been coaching adults and kids for almost 20 years.
Simon’s first, very large, leap into true ultra-endurance running was the Great North Walks 100 miler (2013), in Australia. One hundred and seventy kilometres over technical trails and almost 6000m of elevation – he was hooked.
Initially self-coached: half marathons and marathons on the road ignited his interest for formulated training.
Joining the Mile 27 team as a Mile 27 athlete coached by Andy in 2015 became a watershed moment. Events transformed from completing to competing. The guidance, accountability and clarity that ‘new eyes’ gave was liberating and the results followed.
Over the past eight years technical, steep and long races have been the order of the day.
Simon holds a Sport Science and Biology Honours degree which, along with his hands on experience and love of meticulous research, has given him a scientific and dynamic approach to working with athletes. He brings these qualities to his work as a Mile 27 coach, working with athletes both leading the field, in the middle of the pack or working to beat the cut-offs.
Simon’s infectious enthusiasm and desire to help others make him a very popular and valuable member of the ultra running community.
Level 2 Run coach Athletics Australia
Sport Science and Biology honours degree
Simon’s athletic career began in 1984 at the age of 11, when he completed his first half marathon The Great North Run in the UK. Coached by his father, also a runner, he discovered the process of long-distance training at an early age.
He continued into competitive athletics and x-country throughout the UK school and Harrier League system. Following a hiatus from competitive running to focus on ‘musical dreams’, marriage and starting a family, Simon began training again, for the first time in over 10 years.
Getting fit for fatherhood was the motivation and it began with a few, very muddy and steep x-country races in UK, before moving with the new family to Australia.
A 2:50hr marathon and 1:17hr half marathon, demonstrated the benefits of a consistent and measured approach, and a belief in the process once again.
Following an invitation from a friend to run a couple of trail runs, he rediscovered the love he had for off-road trail running. He completed a few 20km runs, a few 50km runs but 100 milers became his new obsession. The learning curve was steep: navigation, nutrition, sleep deprivation and of course training.
After joining Mile 27 in 2015 everything changed. Racing in Australia and New Zealand over the longer distances, he progressed from mid pack to the pointy end of the field and has never looked back.
Results – highlights
- UTA 100km 12:11hrs (Australia) 2019
- UTMB (France) 2019
- 3rd Nerang State Forest 175km (Australia) 2019
- 5th Scafell Marathon 5:02 hrs (England, UK) 2018
- UTMR 170km (Switzerland) 2018
- Bob Graham Round, (England, UK) 2018
- McWilliams Round, (England, UK) 2018
- 2nd Nerang State Forest 50km (2017)
- 5th Northburn 100 mile, 24:51hrs, (New Zealand) 2017
- 1st Kokoda 100km Challenge (Australia) 2017
- 10th Great Southern Endurance Run 180km (Australia) 2017
- 4th Buffalo Stampede Grand Slam (Australia) 2016
- 6th Great North Walks 175km, 24:50hrs, (Australia) 2013-16
- 2nd Washpool 50km 4:39hrs (Australia) 2013
- 7th Brisbane Marathon 2:50hrs (Australia) 2013
- Six Foot Track 45km 4:16hrs (Australia) 2013
- 2nd Mt Mee Marathon 3:23hrs (Australia) (1st mixed team and 2nd) 2012