Contributed by Phil Gore, AURA member (WA)


“In one of the unique events in all of sports, National Teams of 15 runners each will compete in Satellite National Championships Backyard Ultras at locations in their home countries around the world. All the races will occur simultaneously, and will continue until a winner is declared in each one. The team championship will go to the nation whose runners total the most yards during the competition (every team member, from the number 1 runner down to number 15, is of equal value in team scoring). The individual champion will be the last runner to finish a yard… so only the team with the strongest assist can produce the winner. We can only be as good as our opponents make us. This is true of all competition, but is only codified in the Backyard Ultra.” – Lazarus Lake.

The event is run simultaneously in each individual country as per the normal backyard ultra rules. One 6.71km lap (known as a yard), on the hour, every hour. Each country is subject to the unique conditions of their course, the weather in their region and the time zone they fall in – there are no set standards for any of these parameters. Some countries were running in sweltering heat whilst others ran in thunderstorms (Finland even had to end their event prematurely due to a huge storm). The local start times varied across the globe – anywhere between 6am Saturday (Canada) and 1am Sunday (New Zealand).  

For Australia, the course selected was the Mirrum Wirnit, a farm paddock at a property in Victoria, about 45 minutes north of Melbourne. A beautiful location in the Macedon Ranges, it had some stunning views. However, with a fair bit of elevation and rugged terrain, it wasn’t going to be an easy course. And heavy rainfall in the days leading up to the event only made it worse, but more on that later. Our start time was 11pm, which meant that unless we managed it properly, we would be starting with a sleep deficit. And as for the weather, well, we had typical Melbourne weather – ranging from wet and freezing cold, to hot and sunny within a single day. None of this was ideal, but we would make it work. We had a strong team and were determined to run with whatever conditions were thrown at us.   

37 countries took part, with each one putting forward a team made up of 15 of their best backyard runners. Our team, dubbed “The Redback Yarders”, was a very well-rounded team, with PB’s ranging from 34 to 59, with a total number of 640 qualifying yards (i.e. the combined total of all of our PB’s) which ranked us fourth heading into the event. Our team members and their qualifying yards were as follows:  

  • Ryan Crawford (Qld.) – 59 yards  
  • Phil Gore (WA) – 54 yards  
  • Aaron Young (WA) – 53 yards  
  • Chris Murphy (Qld.) – 46 yards  
  • Jessica Smith (WA) – 45 yards  
  • Rob Parsons (WA) – 44 yards  
  • Ben Nicholls (Vic.) – 41 yards  
  • John Yoon (Vic.) – 41 yards  
  • Matthieu Dube (Vic.) – 40 yards  
  • Chris Martin (WA) – 39 yards  
  • Margie Hadley (WA) – 38 yards  
  • Carl Douglas (WA) – 36 yards  
  • Ross McPhee (Vic.) – 35 yards  
  • Ben Hirst (Tas.) – 35 yards  
  • Tim Kacprzak (Vic.) – 34 yards

Team Australia, before the start. Back Row, L to R: Rob Parsons, Jessica Smith, Ben Hirst, Phil Gore, John Yoon, Tim Kacprzak, Margie Hadley, Ben Nicholls, Ryan Crawford; Front Row, L to R: Chris Martin, Aaron Young, Ross McPhee, Carl Douglas, Mathieu Dube, Chris Murphy. Photo credit: Gemma Gore.

My wife and I arrived in Melbourne around midday on the Thursday, with my other two crew – Nathan and Cass, arriving the following morning. We were welcomed to flooding in various parts of Victoria, with the Macedon ranges experiencing one of the biggest periods of rainfall the area had seen in a long time. The farm paddock where the event was due to be held was now partially underwater. The course, which had already been revised once, now seemed to be unusable. Even if the water were to recede over the next day, the course would still be a waterlogged, muddy mess. The race directors – Peter Munns and Peter Clarke – worked frantically behind the scenes to come up with a solution. With every country needing to start at the exact same time, postponing wasn’t an option. With the amount of time and money everyone had invested, cancelling wasn’t really an option either. Alternative locations were looked at, but with less than 48 hours notice, options were slim. What was meant to be a relaxing couple of days of food shopping, final preparation and set up, turned into a couple of days of stress as we waited anxiously to hear was going to happen with the event. By Friday night, just before I went to bed, we were informed that we would stick to the farm location and they would just have to find a way to make it work. It would be messy, it wouldn’t be pleasant, we wouldn’t be competitive on the world stage, but at least the event would go ahead.  

I awoke early on Saturday morning, in time to get to Sunbury for a parkrun – my last little run before the big event (I took it easy). I probably didn’t need to run, but I didn’t want to waste an opportunity for some interstate parkrun tourism whilst I was there. Whilst I ran, my crew did some last-minute shopping, and we then made our way to the farm to set up. We had hired a motorhome with all the essentials (kitchen, bed, toilet, shower, generator) which would act as our base. We couldn’t park right near the start line though, so, thanks to George Mihalakellis, we were loaned a gazebo and some other equipment to set up a second base near the corral. My crew were awesome in doing all the set up so I could just relax. To manage the 11pm start time, in the weeks leading up to the event, I had gradually adjusted my sleep pattern. By 2pm I was ready for bed, and I was able to get a decent 8-hours sleep before the event started. I woke up around 10pm and got myself ready to run.  

We were all excited to get underway, especially after all the drama that had preceded us. Earlier in the day, after expecting the worst in regard to the course, we had received some good news. With the flooding came a silver lining – the four-kilometre stretch of dirt road leading to the property had to be closed, making it a perfect out-and-back course for us to use. We started in the same spot on the farm but headed straight to the road and up a big hill. About 400m in, at the top of the hill, the road took a slight bend to the right and then it was a dead straight line to the turn-around point. Most of the elevation was in that first hill, and then the rest was gently undulating. It was a relatively unremarkable course with no obvious landmarks or features to break it up into smaller sections like I normally would. There were really only two obvious sections – the way out, and the way back – which looked basically identical anyway. But I had been dreading running through wet paddocks and so this was a much better alternative. We were told we would use the road course for the first 10 hours, and then switch to the farm paddock course, with the hopes that it would have dried out a bit by then.  

Collecting my bib. Photo credit: Gemma Gore.

11pm soon came round and the race was underway. Now, since this was quite a long event, I’m going to skip the first 60-ish hours. Imagine you’re going to run a race, but the start line is 250 miles away, and you have to run there within two and a half days – that’s kind of what this felt like. The first 60 or so hours I was just following my plan, ticking the boxes, getting the yards done – the monotonous grind before the hard work would really start. If you want to know what the early hours are like for me in a backyard, have a read back through my other backyard ultra reports; this event followed a similar pattern.

However, I will make mention of the 48-hour mark, because that was a pretty significant milestone. Before this event, there had only been six Australians ever who had reached 48 hours. Most Australian backyard events had finished before then, and in a small handful of others there had been just two people lining up for the 48th yard. Now there were 10 of us lining up. We had lost Jess at 26, Matthieu at 30, Chris Martin at 34, Ben Hirst at 40, and Carl Douglas at 41. Globally, we had the second highest number of runners remaining, and we also ranked second with the total number of yards. USA was ahead of us in first, and Belgium was close behind in third. Unfortunately, Margie was unable to complete the 48th yard in time, and so finished with 47. She had a phenomenal performance though, beating her PB by 9 yards, and setting a new female Australian record by 2 yards. The rest of the runners then started to follow suit, dropping one after the other – Chris Murphy and Aaron both finished with 48 yards, Ross was out with 49, then Tim with 50 and John with 51. Ben Nicholls hung on all the way to the third sunrise but then he was out with 56 yards.   

It’s also worth mentioning that within those first 60 hours, we ended up sticking to the road course the whole time. After the first 10 hours, the race directors kept delaying when we would start running on the paddock, but they seemed to want us to run at least a few laps on it at some stage. Even though the weather had warmed up a bit, it was nowhere near enough to dry the course out, and any yards run there would inevitably result in consistently wet feet. Almost all runners and crews were in agreement to stick to the road. It was still closed and would be for a while. We were tracking well against the other teams globally and switching courses would give us an immediate disadvantage. Fortunately, common sense prevailed, and eventually the RD’s decided that we would stick to the road for the foreseeable future. I breathed a sigh of relief.   

Before I get to the rest of the story, here’s a bunch of photos from those first two and a half days:

Start of yard 5. Photo credit: Gemma Gore.

Carl and myself coming in from yard 8. Photo credit: Gemma Gore.

Still in good spirits at the start of yard 10. L to R: Jess, Aaron, myself. Photo credit: Gemma Gore.

Tutu’s for yard 22. L to R: Aaron, Chris, myself, John, Mathieu, Carl, Jess. Photo credit: Gemma Gore.

24 hours complete! The start of yard 25. Photo credit: Gemma Gore.

Meditating in the tent again, before the start of yard 38. It really started to warm up on that second day, hence the cooling towel on the head. Photo credit: Gemma Gore.

With Margie after she just broke the female Australian backyard record with 46 yards. Photo credit: Nathan Elliot.

The final three, about to head out on yard 59 to equal the Australian backyard record. L to R: Rob, Ryan, myself. Photo credit: Gemma Gore.

60 yards was the first big milestone I wanted to tick off – beating the previous Australian record of 59 yards. By the time we reached it, there were three of us left – Ryan, Rob, and myself. We were still in second place, but were outnumbered in runners by USA, Belgium and Japan. Realistically, we weren’t going to catch the USA – they still had seven runners remaining and were almost 90 yards ahead. Even if they all dropped out right then and there, us three Aussies would still have to do 30 more yards each (which would equal the World Record at the time) to get ahead of them. We did, however, have the very real chance of Belgium or Japan catching up to us. They each had four runners remaining, so with each hour they would narrow the margin by one lap.   

Vegemite on toast after lap 60. As we reached new territory I had to pull out the Big Kev top to help get me through. This was the first backyard event I’d ever run that he hadn’t. Photo credit: Gemma Gore.

Yard 63 is where things got interesting for me. A mild pain that had first started in my left hamstring as far back as yard 16, had now started to become a problem. Up until then, it hadn’t been too serious, and I had been able to run fine with it, but now it was suddenly a lot more painful, and it was affecting my stride. I talked to my crew and Nathan gave me some hypnotherapy and a massage, but he couldn’t work out what the underlying issue was. He suggested it could have something to do with my electrolyte balance.   

I went out on yard 64 and it wasn’t too much better. And to make matters worse, I also started to develop a pain in my lower right leg and on the top of my left foot. The issues were compounding – not ideal. I got back in from that yard and Nathan massaged the hamstring again, and we applied some dencorub and magnesium spray to both legs. I loosened the laces on my left shoe and applied a bit of padding. I had some painkillers and lined up for the next yard.   

My usual routine at the start of each lap had been to jog the first little bit (just until I got around the corner to the start of the hill), but as we took off for yard 65, I was walking. I must have looked pretty broken, because people were noticing that I was starting to struggle. I tried my best to hide it – and thought I was doing a good job – but apparently not. Rob asked me about it, and I tried to pass it off as “just a niggle”. It was about 4km into that lap when things went from bad to worse – I felt a sharp pain in the hamstring, like the muscle had pinged. I immediately stopped running and clutched the leg. That’s it, I thought, my race was over. There was no coming back from it. I tried walking but I could only manage a hobble. I looked at my watch and did some rough calculations – I had over 2km to the finish, and even if I could walk the rest of it in, I’d come very close to missing the cut-off. I had to try though, I had to at least make the yard that I was on count. With a lot of determination and physical discomfort, my hobble turned into a shuffle and soon enough I was able to jog again – albeit very painfully. 

I somehow made it back to the finish with time to spare. I told Nathan and Cass what had happened (Gemma had gone to bed). Nathan had a play around with it but couldn’t feel anything significant. There didn’t seem to be any tears or anything. It was definitely painful though. Between my left hamstring and my lower right leg, I thought my race was over, I didn’t know how I would be able to complete another yard. I seriously contemplated pulling the pin and not even starting the next one. I told Nathan and Cass that they should probably wake Gemma up as I was pretty sure I had reached my limit. She would want to be there when I DNF’d. She got out of bed and between the three of them they talked me into attempting the next yard.   
The next yard started out pretty painfully. Every step hurt. Somehow, I managed to get to the top of the hill and was able to start jogging and settle into a rhythm. Jogging actually turned out to be less painful than walking, so I settled into a constant pace and didn’t take my usual walking breaks. I was able to finish in a decent time and by the end of the yard I was even feeling a little bit better. Knowing that I was able to finish that yard gave me more confidence that I might be able to finish another one, and that my race might not necessarily be over just yet. I still felt I was circling the drain though and that it would only be a matter of time.   

From that point on, I really was just taking it ‘one lap at a time’. I was in survival mode. Thoughts of being the last one standing went out the window and now it was just about getting as many extra yards for the team as possible. Ryan and Rob were both still going, and both looked strong. The three of us would chat whilst we walked to the top of the hill together, but then we would set off at our own individual paces. Sometimes the paces would line up, other times we would be on our own. As much as it was a team event and we had to work together to go far together, we also had to stick to our own individual plan and strategy.   

The laps started to blur into each other, and I was finding it hard to differentiate one lap from the next. Sometimes I didn’t even know if I was on the ‘out’ leg or the ‘back’ leg – I had to check the distance on my watch to confirm. The course itself felt like it was a loop – not an out-and-back. Even though it looked exactly the same, for some reason it felt like I was on a different road on the way back. As I just focused on getting through each yard, my crew had been doing a bit of troubleshooting to try and fix the issues with my leg. Thinking it could be nutrition related, or at least to do with electrolytes, they called my nutritionist, Gaby Villa at Intenseatfit, who became a remote part of the crew. She was able to offer advice on a few different things to try which my crew implemented over the next few laps. 

As the hours went on and we started heading into the fourth night, I recognised that I was getting more and more delirious. I was questioning why I was even running. Not in a rhetorical way, either. I was seriously trying to work out what it actually was that I was doing. What was the running meant to achieve? What even is running? Sometime during the early hours of that fourth night, I remember coming to my crew and just saying something along the lines of, “I don’t know what’s happening anymore, you have to do the thinking for me”. All I focused on doing was completing each yard; my crew’s job was to make sure I was ready and in the corral by the start of each hour. As long as they could do that, once I started running the lap, I’d make sure I finished it.  

Entering the fourth night, yard 70. Photo credit: Timothy Walsh.

Thanks to Gaby’s advice, and probably due, in part, to the delirium, my legs felt like they had improved. I actually reached the point that I couldn’t even recall exactly what had happened to them. I remember asking my crew what the issue with my legs was and when did it happen. I knew it had got bad enough to the point that I thought my race was over, but I honestly couldn’t figure out if that was a few hours ago or two days ago. The important thing was, I didn’t notice it anymore. With my legs feeling somewhat better, my main issues were now my deteriorating energy levels, and my increasing lack of will to keep going. Those 10-15 minutes between each lap were the hardest part of each hour. A couple of times I just came into the motorhome, collapsed on the bed to sleep, and hoped my crew wouldn’t wake me. Each hour they had to come up with a new way to convince me to keep going. They brought out the ‘just one more lap’ line a few times – and somehow made me believe that I was about to head out on the actual last lap.  

By 72 hours – three straight days – there were still the three of us Aussies left. Worldwide, there were only four countries still going, with only 11 runners overall. USA was continuing to dominate, and we were still in a comfortable second place. Belgium and Japan were following in third and fourth place respectively. The winner for each country receives a “golden ticket”, which is a guaranteed spot to compete in Big Dog’s Backyard in Tennessee in 2023. Even though it is my dream race, at that point in time the thought of doing another backyard did not excite me at all. It was the last thing on my mind – all I wanted to do was stop running and go to sleep. I no longer cared about being the last one standing, and besides, even without the win, Ryan, Rob and I were all pretty much guaranteed a spot at Big’s anyway. With 72+ hours we would all be close to the top of the ‘at-large’ list. I think we had all had enough by that point anyway. I personally would have been quite happy for it to be over; I was just too stubborn to quit.   

Rob completed yard 73, started yard 74, but then turned around before even reaching the road. It caught me a bit by surprise – I thought he was looking the strongest out of all three of us. I think he just wasn’t mentally prepared to be running for that long. An amazing performance though, he had improved his PB by 29 yards (194km) and now ranked amongst the top in the world. With just two of us left, my mind started sensing the end was near (as much as I tried to tell myself that we could still be there for a while). I felt we had both run all we could for the team, now we were just running for ourselves. I started to believe again that it was possible that I could finish as the last one standing; a few laps prior I had all but given up. I told myself that I was going to be there for as long as it took; if Ryan was going to complete another lap, then I was going to complete two more. I think Ryan may have had the same mindset, and so it was going to come down to a competition of who was the most stubborn.  

After lap 74, USA and Japan both dropped their third runner, now leaving two runners each for the remaining four countries – a winner, and an assist. The hours would have to keep ticking over though before it was decided who was who. Each winner could only go as far as one more yard than their own country’s assist – in other words, you can’t have an assist from another country.  

Ryan and I both finished yard 75 and both lined up for yard 76. We were now at two o’clock in the morning, on the Wednesday. It was crazy to think that the race had started on Saturday. I could barely even remember back that far, it seemed forever ago. We started the yard and once we got to the top of the hill, this time I was the one who was taking off in front; usually it had been Ryan. I didn’t look back and I didn’t think I was far ahead, but once I got to the turn-around I could tell I had a bit of a lead. I didn’t see Ryan’s headlamp coming towards me. I couldn’t even see it in the far-off distance. As I continued on, I kept an eye on my watch. It reached the 30-minute mark. We were at the halfway point, time-wise, and I still hadn’t seen Ryan. He was still at least 1km from the physical halfway point. I couldn’t do the exact maths, but I knew that he would have to have a pretty quick second half to finish the yard in time. I tried not to get my hopes up; I didn’t want my mind to start subconsciously telling my body that it was over. Maybe Ryan’s headlamp died, and I passed him without seeing him. Maybe I did pass him but in my delirious state I just didn’t realise or remember. Maybe he was intentionally taking the first leg easy and was planning a sprint finish for the way back. Either way, I just kept moving forward and just focused on my own race.

Eventually, with about 2km to go, I did see his headlamp. He appeared to have stopped moving, or at least was moving very slowly. When I reached him I stopped and we had a chat. He looked and sounded absolutely cooked. He confirmed what I had already figured out – he wasn’t going to finish that yard. We shook hands and I continued on my way. He told me he was going to slowly make his way back; I told him to take it easy and I’d send a car back for him. At that moment, my mind started checking out. I only had 2km to go, but it became a real struggle. With the end finally in sight, my body was shutting down. I truly was in survival mode; I just knew I had to hold on to finish that yard. I did manage to make it to the end, and as it turned out, it was my slowest yard for the whole event – just a few seconds under 50 minutes.    

I told my crew what had happened. I told them they needed to send a car back for Ryan. I sat down in the corral and waited for the hour to tick over – the final confirmation that the race was over and that I was the last one left standing. I had so many emotions but the main one was relief. Relief that it was over, relief that I could finally rest. I was beyond stoked with my performance – I had improved on my old PB by 22 yards. I had completed 509.96km over 76 hours. I was the winner of the Golden Ticket and had reclaimed my title of the Australian Backyard Record holder.

76 hours complete! Photo credit: Gemma Gore.

The race was over for Australia, but it was still going in a couple of other countries. As it turned out, USA finished on the exact same hour as us, leaving just Belgium and Japan still going. This meant that I, along with USA’s winner, placed equal fifth globally. For the team standings, USA had cemented their lead with 860 yards, Australia was still sitting in second place with 744 yards, and Belgium was a very close third with 738 yards – and counting. Without being able to add any more yards to our total, we left ourselves open to being caught. I honestly didn’t care at that point though, we had done all we could do, I just wanted to have a hot shower and go to bed.   

I don’t know what time I ended up going to sleep, it must have been around 4am. When I woke up after several hours, I think I was still a bit delirious as I didn’t really know where I was or what had happened the previous days. The first things I noticed was that something was not quite right with my legs, and I said something to Gemma along the lines of “my legs hurt.” She responded with “I’m not surprised, you did 76”. And for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what she meant. 76 what? I knew I should have known, so I didn’t ask that out loud as I didn’t want to sound stupid. As the conversation progressed, it finally dawned on me, and I remembered where I was and what I had done. It was so surreal; I couldn’t really comprehend the enormity of it all.   

In the meantime, Japan and Belgium were still going. Belgium had overtaken us during the night and bumped us down to third place. Japan was still sitting in fourth, but with each hour that ticked over, they closed the gap by two yards. If both runners could reach 88 yards then they would catch up to us. Fortunately for us, their assist stopped after 85, with their winner finishing on 86, for a team total of 741 yards. Our third place was locked in, we had only just held onto it by three yards. I felt very privileged that I had the opportunity to run for Australia. We had a very strong team and every single runner’s number of yards counted. It wasn’t just down to us three at the end who ran for 70+ hours. There were runners who came in with a minute to spare, only to turn around and head straight back out again to squeeze out an extra yard, or two. There were runners who were starting yards even though it was unlikely they would finish them, insisting on pushing on until they timed out. There were runners who were struggling up that first hill, some literally even crawling, just so they could get to the flatter, more runnable ground, so they didn’t have to quit just yet. It was those runners that made a difference, adding yards to our total that we might have not otherwise got. We had 11 runners get new personal bests, and our final number of yards was 104 more than our number of qualifying yards. Well done to all runners and their crews – amazing work!

With Japan dropping out, Belgium was the only country still going. It was very improbable, if not impossible, that they would to catch up to USA, but all eyes were still on them to see just how long they keep going for. Merijn Geerts was the world record holder with 90 yards, and together with Ivo Steyaert they seemed to have their sights set on 100. Whilst I spent Wednesday resting and recovering, in between packing up, they just kept ticking over the yards, looking very comfortable. We drove back to Melbourne, had dinner, checked into a hotel and went to bed; they were still going. It wasn’t until about 4 o’clock on Thursday morning that I woke up and checked my phone to see that they had finally finished. But they had finished in a way that I don’t think many people were expecting – they both completed yard 101 (yes, they ran for 101 hours in a row) and both chose not to continue on yard 102. Technically, both a DNF with no winner, but I don’t think that mattered. They had opened everyone’s eyes up to what is possible, and still left us wondering how much further they could have gone.   

As usual, huge thanks to my crew. Gemma, Nathan and Cass were amazing and were all equally important in getting me to 76 yards. There were definitely a few times there I wouldn’t have even made it to the start line if it wasn’t for them. And big shoutout to Gaby from Intenseatfit for becoming an integral part of the crew, albeit remotely, towards the end of the event when it was touch and go for a bit. Together, they all got me through the toughest part of the event and kept me going after I thought my race was over. Gaby was also a huge help in the lead up to the event; my nutrition plan, once again, was done under her guidance. 

Thank you to all the other runners, it really was a different dynamic going into it as a team. We helped push each other to new limits and together I think we did Australia proud. I loved having the opportunity to run with and get to know you all. Thank you also to the crews for all the work you put into keeping your runners going.  
I’d also like to make mention of some of the gear I use throughout my training and which didn’t let me down on race day. 

For running tops, I use OC Clothing Co – a quality product with awesome designs. Lightweight and comfortable, they are perfect for long runs. The OC legionnaire’s hat is also a favourite; offering all-around sun protection, it was essential for the day yards. OC Clothing Co also helped us with the custom made “WA Backyarders” tops for the seven of us (plus crew) who travelled over from WA. 

For shorts and underwear, I use T8 Sherpa Shorts and T8 Commando Underwear. Also perfect for long runs, I can go for 24 hours or longer at a time in the one pair of each and have no problems with chafing. Ideal for a backyard ultra too when you want to carry a couple of items but don’t want to be burdened with a vest – the Sherpa Shorts have handy little waistbelt pockets with plenty of room to carry a water flask, phone, snacks, etc.  

For wet and/or cold weather, I use UGLOW rain jackets and rain pants. We were fortunate during the event in that we didn’t get too much rain – just a drizzle here and there, but they were still perfect for the freezing temperatures we got overnight. I love their gloves as well, which also came in ‘handy’.  

Foot care is key in long ultras, and to look after my feet I use Steigensocks and Happie Toes. Steigen socks are specifically designed to reduce friction and reduce moisture retention – two main causes of blisters. Using Happie Toes helps reduce blisters even more, so I will apply that often – usually whenever I change my socks or have a foot bath. I must be doing something right, because at the end of 76 hours of running, I had no blisters to complain about. Of course, shoe choice also has a crucial role, which brings me to my next piece of kit. 

Tarkine Goshawk shoes are what I do most of my training runs in. Even though they are primarily road shoes, and we thought we were going to be running on a rough trail course, I took a few pairs with me anyway. I’m sure glad I did, as when the course turned out to be on the road for the entirety of the event, they were perfectly suited for it. I did about 90% of my yards in the Tarkine Goshawk shoes.  

I mostly try to use ‘real food’ for my nutrition, but to help keep the calories and carbs topped up I use Trail Brew carbohydrate drink. I’ll take this out with me when I run each yard, and then when I’m sitting down during my break this is when I will eat solid food. It also comes in super handy for my long runs during training when I don’t want to carry too much food with me.  

I’m a huge fan of Goodr sunnies, I have so many pairs that the hardest part was deciding which ones to bring (I settled on eight pairs). Not only do they look good, they are super comfy and perfect for running in too.
And finally, a big shout-out to my favourite running store, Tribe & Trail in Maylands. This is my go-to shop for running gear, nutrition, and advice. They stock all the above stuff I’ve just raved about, plus heaps more. It’s worth checking them out (tell Wayne I say hi).

All that running for a gold coin. Photo credit: Gemma Gore.