100km, 14hrs and $4200 raised for an amazing cause

Despite COVID, pouring rain and dodgy GPS, our print & Mail coordinator Steve Hulme completed his 2nd 100km ultramarathon on 24th October to support BackTrack Youth Works.

Last updated:
November 30, 2020

After 12 months of training, Steve (pictured with his wife Kathy) was ready to compete in Ultra-Trail Australia, a 100km run through Sydney’s Blue Mountains, in an attempt to beat last years 16hrs. This year, he was almost denied the opportunity altogether; the event was cancelled due to COVID-19 Pandemic. 

After preparing physically to complete a trail run of such epic proportions, and having received so many generous donations and messages of support, it was inconceivable to cancel the event altogether. Thinking on his feet (excuse the pun), Steve spoke to his running coach, Jo Wood of Aspire2 coaching, who created the WOOD100 course. In order for the show to go on, it was decided that this course would be a perfect replacement.

The route includes a 40km loop around the trails of Terrey Hills, 20km along Middle Harbour Creek down to Roseville Bridge, 20km around Bantry Bay, two full loops of Manly Dam and finishes in Allambie Heights; aptly at Jo’s house.

Steve began the run at 6 am, sent off by friends Stu and Alex. It had been pouring with rain the previous night but had thankfully subsided. By the first checkpoint at 32km to stock up on hydration and energy bars, he was already a full 30 minutes ahead of schedule!

Throughout the journey, numerous running buddies joined in to keep Steve company, provide valuable pacesetting and moral support. The strategy was to run all the flat parts of the route, then walk the steep inclines to reduce the chance of injury and fatigue. As the finish line drew closer, it became apparent that the gameplan had worked, the PB set at last year’s official event was going to be beaten by a considerable margin.

For the final 10km, the heavens opened once again, and he had to run the last 10km soaked through; driven by the adrenaline and thought of the cold beer waiting at the finish line! Before finishing, Steve looked at his watch to see that, due to various GPS drop-outs along the route, his recorded distance was only 97.5km. Not to be undone, he even completed an extra few laps to ensure his watch showed the magic number.

Steve was welcomed at the finish by his family, friends and pumping music a little at 8.16 pm, having completed the event in an official time of 14 hours, 16 minutes.

Steve said after the event “We all know that that time was for 102.5k. The 100k time would have been just under 14 hours, but who’s counting?!”.

After the event, BackTrack posted “Huge effort mate, no idea how you run that far but we are very grateful!”.

We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who donated to Steve’s cause. In total, Steve raised over $4200 via his GoFundMe page, contributions from A&O and direct donations to BackTrack.

Visit BackTrack to learn more about the great work they do to help young Australians in rural communities.

Well done, Steve, we’ll be behind you again for the official event next year!

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