Brendan Davies' sights set on 100km trail run win
Watch out for something special when local boy Brendan Davies runs The North Face 100 in the Blue Mountains in May.
This is the year the Woodford resident is promising to take no prisoners in a quest to achieve his dreams and he once again has his sights firmly set on winning Australia’s most popular ultra-distance trail running event, which starts and finishes at Scenic World in Katoomba.
Davies famously won TNF100 in 2013 in a record world-class time, covering 100km of rugged and iconic Blue Mountains terrain including Narrow Neck, the Megalong Valley, Jamison Valley, Echo Point, Kedumba Pass, Kings Tableland and the Six Foot Track in just nine hours and 16 minutes.
Photo by Aurora Images
Story by Dan Lewis
He crossed the line in tears, so emotional was he at winning such a big event on his home turf.
Now entering the “genetic twilight” of his career as an elite endurance athlete at the age of 38, Davies has even taken leave from his much loved job as a special needs teacher in western Sydney to focus on his running career and make sure there are no regrets when his time at the top is over.
Go to his “In The Long Run” website (brendandavies.com.au) and you can gasp at the punishing training schedule Davies is putting himself through so he can challenge in 2015 for a podium finish in TNF100 as well as other elite trail running events around the world such as the Transgrancanaria in the Canary Islands (125km with 8500m of climbs), the legendary Western States in the US (161km), the International Association of Ultrarunners 100km World Championship in the Netherlands, Ultra Trail Mt Fuji in Japan (169km) and the Trail des Cagous in New Caledonia (80km).
The training includes repeatedly tackling some of the steepest and most rugged climbs in the Blue Mountains with weighted vests and fully loaded backpacks to increase his strength.
And Davies will need all the edge he can get to achieve his goals this year
TNF100 is a key event on the calendar of the prestigious Ultra-Trail World Tour and is once again expected to attract many of the world’s best trail runners.
TNF100 race director Tom Landon-Smith says the event has become a huge drawcard and global advertisement for the Blue Mountains and he wants to see as many locals as possible attend it to cheer on the runners and enjoy its “special vibe”, especially the start and finish line at Scenic World.
While 2014 brought Davies another swag of great results, he’s still yet to savour a podium finish in a big overseas race and that is the big aim for 2015.
As a consequence, Davies believes he will go into TNF100 in the most formidable form of his career.
“I’m going to be in tip-top shape. I’ve been training really hard. I’m going to be much, much stronger than I’ve ever been. I’m a stronger trail runner these days. I like my chances.”
Davies’ UP Coaching business is also going so well that he is already looking nervously over his shoulder at some of his clients due to the threat they pose him as the next generation of champions.
He believes some of them are good enough to claim top-10 spots in the male and female categories of this year’s TNF 100 and sister 50km event.
Davies says he is getting “a massive buzz” out of watching his runners achieve their goals - “a similar kind of buzz to what I get running my own races” - and 2015 could well be his last year of jet-setting to compete in the word’s top ultra-distance running events so he can devote more time to coaching.
By Dan Lewis