Lou Clifton will tackle Australia’s biggest trail running event on May 20 – Ultra-Trail Australia’s 100km race.
It’s the Mt Victoria runner’s UTA100 debut, and while she’s modest about her chances – “it’s a very competitive field” – “it would be nice to make the top 10.”
In its 10th year, the event attracts thousands of runners who test themselves on the toughest Mountains trails.
Coming off a fourth place finish in the Six Foot Track Marathon in March, third in the 2016 Pace UTA22km, and first in the The Ultra Easy 100km in New Zealand last year, Clifton is in good shape.
She was also one of three Australian runners selected to attend the Salomon Ultra-Running Academy in March in the US, picking up tips from elite trail runners Anna Frost and Max King.
“I got some tips for running uphill which will be useful for all the stairs [in UTA100],” the 45-year-old said.
While at the academy she also took part in the Behind the Rocks 50 Mile (83km) Race in Utah, battling bad blisters to place fifth and win her 40-49 years age category.
“It was hard going with a mixture of sand and slick rock,” Clifton, who is trained by Brendan Davies, said.
Her blisters have now healed and she’ll embrace the UTA100 at a “sensible pace and running to how I feel”. “I’ll try not to get caught up with times … I like to enjoy the race and not get despondent ’cause I’m not meeting a time.”