Mt Victoria's Lou Clifton is ranked 12th in the world in the women's Ultra Trail World Tour, after winning a 119km ultra marathon in Turkey in October.
Clifton won the women's event of Ultra Trail Cappadocia in 12 hours 41 minutes, setting a new female course record. She was a substantial 44 minutes ahead of the second female finisher Teresa Nimes Perez from Spain. Frenchman Noel Yannick won the race in 11:12.
"I'm really happy. It's up there as one of the races I'm most happy with," Clifton said.
About halfway through the race, she hit a low point after missing her support crew at an aid station, so she went without her sports nutrition drink for the next 23km.
"I took what I could from the aid station. They had little fruit bars but not the sport nutrition drink I use, they just had Coke," Clifton said.
When she caught up with her support crew she experienced a surge in energy from the intake of regular nutrition and seeing her husband Steve Thomsen.
The 47-year-old focused on keeping a consistent pace in the arid environment, knowing she was in the lead.
"It's an interesting position to be in, motivating, but you're bracing yourself for someone to pass you at any point," Clifton said.
The sandy course wove through little villages, magnificent rocky fairy chimneys, and included a platoon of hot air balloons overhead.
The final 1.5km was over cobblestones in the dark. Clifton was conscious of trying not to twist an ankle, while still maintaining her pace.
"You're never first until you're first across the line. Anything can happen in the last 5km," she said.