Philippa Candrick at a checkpoint rest stop during the UTA 100 in the Blue Mountains, Australia

UTA 100 - Australia's premier trail running event

by Bella Samuels June 16, 2017

If you are taking on the 10th anniversary of Australia’s premier trail running event - the UTA 100, you want everything to be perfect in the lead up to this arse kicking 100k’ the weather and of course your fitness. You don’t want a massive storm front with torrential rain that forces significant course changes and you definitely don’t want to be carrying a knee injury into the race across the rugged World Heritage listed Blue Mountains course.

Pip Candrick can laugh about it now but these issues were not the most serious challenges she would face during her first UTA 100. We sat down with her post race.

Kusaga: What was the motivation to take on the UTA 100 race?

Pip: Well the motivation was my health. After having a life threatening diagnosis, a near death experience and then a second chance at life scarred with complicated health issues, I needed to prove to myself and my peers that you can take on anything you set your mind too. I wanted to conquer a distance, many people said I would never be able to. One of my favourite sayings is; "What the mind believes and conceives the body achieves.”

Kusaga: What was one of the highlights and what was one of the lowlights during the race?

Pip: One highlight was coming into the 78 km checkpoint and seeing my husband and crew cheering me on, it was late and cold and there was a lot of concern for my health but thankfully, no-one one showed this to me, there was nothing but encouragement.  

My low point was having a mild brain seizure at around 36 km into the race. The plan was that if I had two seizures in between any checkpoint, I would pull out at the next one. This totally consumed my thoughts until I made that next checkpoint.

Kusaga: Any advice to someone thinking about taking on an ultra marathon race?

Pip: Train and prepare as much as you can, especially with your nutrition and kit.

Kusaga: Well, you didn’t actually take that advice?

Pip: Well I had the same kit and nutrition I’ve used in my previous long distance events and for the first time I wore the Kusaga ECODRY® Performance Run Tee. I usually like to run in the Kusaga Run Racerback but decided that covered shoulders would be best during this event, especially as I expected to finish many hours after sunset.

So I had never worn one of these shirts before, it was a risk to break what I thought was the golden rule - "Never try anything new on race day." But the shirt was amazing, I didn’t even notice the shirt all day, twenty two hours in a top at some point you would’s going to annoy you or cause chafing, but I had absolutely nothing. It didn’t ride up under my pack, in fact it protected my mid back from the pack (have chafed there before). The shirt felt dry all day so there wasn’t any need to change my top at all during the race. Loving this new sustainable sportswear.

Kusaga: Thanks Pip for sharing your answers, I think we will leave the last words to Pip’s full race report -

“the 3 of us ran down the finish chute with my crew and the wonderful and welcomed voice of Alina calling us in, I had done it, I crossed the line, full of emotion and pain, I have now found a new sense of freedom knowing that I got through all of that which was thrown at me seizure free, still standing and alive.  My recovery will be slow and painful, but I never gave up, I never give up, I will always fight for what I want to do within my limitations, but I now feel my limitations are becoming less and less each new goal I reach -  I truly lived in the moment for a long and very hard 23 hours!”

You can follow Pip's journey via her facebook page.

Read more from our blog: The new impossible, just like you 

Bella Samuels
Bella Samuels


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