Mount Victoria’s Ingrid Donald may have began 2012 as a novice long distance runner, but she finished the year as a race winner who set a new record time.
Donald was the first woman to cross the finish line in the 16km Wentworth Falls Trail Race on December 16 achieving a time of 1:43:29, breaking Joanne Barton’s 2010 race record by 84 seconds.
She finished ahead of female runner-up Gilly Davy and third place-getter Kristen Sukkar, while in the men’s field experienced Katoomba ultramarathon athlete Mick Donges came first with a sizzling and record time of 1:23:10 ahead of Brendan Davies and Hamish MacDonald.
For Donald, 38, the race win was a huge confidence booster in her first year of competitive running.
“It was a good, speedy and beautiful course through the national park in Wentworth Falls and one of my favourite areas to train in, so I was familiar with it,” she said.
“I’ve always enjoyed running, but I only started seriously getting into it 12 months ago (January 2012) when I entered my first alpine race, which was a massive challenge because I hadn’t done anything like that before.
“I joined the Leura Icebergs running club — a great little group which likes to run in this area’s many beautiful trails, even in the rain and snow — and I’ve been doing a lot of alpine running training on tracks like the Furber Stairs and Perry’s Lookdown.”
Donald said she gets a lot of encouragement from her husband Tony who operates Blue Mountains Fitness and from her regular training partner Joanne Brischetto, who won the 2012 Kanangra Trail Run.
In May Donald and Brischetto came first in the female pairs division in the North Face 100 held in the Blue Mountains and next year Donald said she aims to run the full distance in that gruelling annual Blue Mountains event.
“I do competitive trail running to have targets, but more than that I just enjoy running in the great outdoors and that bit of escapism it provides — and we are in the perfect region to take advantage of that.”
She said her next goal is to record a competitive time in the 64km Bogong to Hotham Ultramarathon on January 6.