Fastest known time for Melissa

It was an epic achievement - running for 20 hours from Jenolan Caves to the Nepean River in one day.

Melissa Stewart McSeveny of Springwood, 40, decided to tackle the 122 km track - whispered by many runners as a possible world-first Fastest Known Time [FKT] track.

"This route has been spoken about by local runners as a possible FKT route for up to 20 years, but has never been done to my knowledge, or that of the local running community," she told the Gazette.

Stewart McSeveny completed the run, which has a 4000 metre elevation, on Saturday October 26, starting at 1am at Jenolan Caves House.

She has earnt her name in the record books - 20 hours, 32 minutes and 22 seconds joining 1848 FKT runners from around the world.

"The most famous FKTs are the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and the "Rim to Rim to Rim" of the Grand Canyon in the USA, and of course scaling Everest. ... held by professional ultra runners like Killian Jornet, Karl Meltzer and Jim Walmsley," she said.

There were also a few routes in the Blue Mountains including the K2K (Kanangra to Katoomba) held by Lou Clifton, the K2K2K, held by Stephen Redfern and Ewan Horsburgh, and the Grose Valley from Victoria Falls at Mt Victoria to the YMCA at Yarramundi held by Ben Artup and Terry Donges, she said.

Stewart McSeveny said her time was made to be broken, but she was "happy to have been the one to establish the route".

The route took in the Six Foot Track, passing over the iconic Mount Solitary, Ingar, The Oaks and Darks Common, before ending at Regatta Park, Emu Plains, traversing the length of the Blue Mountains World Heritage National Park along the southern side of the ridgeline of settlements.

"It was slower than planned, but part of the adventure was stopping to take in the views, cooling down in the rivers and creek crossings, and signing the logbook at the top of Mt Solitary. The fatigue really kicked in after 90km mark, so I was a bit slower from there."

Training for the event involved running 80-100kms a week, mostly with the Blue Mountains Marathon Clinic.

She did it because she loves endurance running and wanted to mark her significant birthday. The support of husband Ben and children Abigail, Leah and Callum, was her inspiration.

"Thinking about their smiles at the finish line is what keeps me going."

"It was all about the adventure and the day wasn't only about the time. I was blown away at how many people were happy to come and be a part of it."

Climbing up Devil's Hole in Katoomba and then going over Mount Solitary was tough, "but they're so beautiful, it takes your mind off the difficulty".

"Around the 95-110km mark, along the Oaks trail between Woodford and Glenbrook, I got quite tired. It was like a long labour."

She thanked Anne Bennett (who recently completed a 500 km running event on the Gold Coast), Anthony Tuting (who ran with her from Jenolan to Woodford), the Physio Dept, the Serotonin running group and other local runners.

Qualifying for a FKT usually requires a satellite tracker, witnesses and photographic evidence.

Her next goal is the 100 mile Elephant Trail Race in Port Macquarie in July.