Brendan Davies cleans up 100-mile endurance run

After winning the Blue Mountains' own North Face 100km Ultramarathon in 2013, Woodford's Brendan Davies' love of pain led him to raise the stakes for his latest major challenge - by some 60km.

Woodford resident and current Blue Mountains Sportsperson of the Year Brendan Davies in action in the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run held on June 28 in California, USA. Photo: Tanner Johnson.

Woodford resident and current Blue Mountains Sportsperson of the Year Brendan Davies in action in the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run held on June 28 in California, USA. Photo: Tanner Johnson.

The Blue Mountains Sportsperson of the Year was happy just to qualify for the famous Western States 100 Mile (160km) Endurance Run in California's spectacular high granite country. He powered home to finish in eighth place in a strong field with a time of 15 hours, 56 minutes and 49 seconds.

In doing so, the 37-year-old school teacher became the fastest ever Australian finisher in the event's 41-year history. American runner Seth Swanson won the June 28-29 event in 14:53:22.

Western States - held in the gruelling mid-summer heat through mountainous trails, long climbs and descents and even icy river crossings - has earnt a reputation as one of the running world's ultimate endurance tests.

Davies began training in February to be in peak condition on race day and told the Gazette he was stoked with his finishing time, which went "beyond expectations" he'd placed on himself.

"I'd increased my weekly training from 110km to over 180km per week until about a month before race day, including lots of hilly trail runs around Woodford and then I focused more on speed and finally punishing my legs on fast downhill runs, of which there are many in Western States," he said.

"This particular race has a habit of murdering quick starters, so my plan was to run a little conservatively up to 100km to set myself up.

"It worked well for me and I ran the last 61km harder than the first 100 and gave it everything I could.

"I was finished [physically] at the end but apart from a small bad patch due to a lack of nutrition at the 150km mark, it was the perfect race.

"There were similar conditions to racing in Australia that favours speed over strength, which suits me.

"But this doesn't mean I can't improve. A top 10 finish guarantees me a spot in the race again next year and now that I've got the experience of running this race, I'll be back to win it."

Until then, Davies plans to race in Running Wild events held in the Blue Mountains, compete in the Surf Coast Century 100km trail race in September and run in the World 100km Road Championships in Qatar in late November.

"I also want to focus next year on the famous Six Foot Track Marathon, which I missed this year due to other commitments.

"I came second in 2011, but it's always been a dream to win that one."

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