Katoomba runner completes 100km in 18 hours for Trek for Timor

After falling and breaking her shoulder in the Ultra Trail Australia 50km event in 2016, Sue Atherton has been determined to complete a UTA 100.

The Katoomba resident has been training for a year, coached by renowned ultra-trail runner Lou Clifton from Mt Victoria, for this year's UTA 100 which was moved from May to October, and then cancelled, due to coronavirus restrictions.

Ms Atherton decided to put all her training to good use, and on October 17 she completed 100km - largely based on the UTA 100 course - for the virtual Blue Mountains Trek for Timor. She had a support crew, cheer squads and people who ran sections with her and she completed the 100km in 18 hours and 36 minutes, in a rainbow tutu, which she'd promised to wear if she raised $2500.

"A lot of people commented on the tutu while we were running. It helped raise awareness of Trek for Timor when we explained to people why we were doing it," Ms Atherton said.

Finishing the 100km to a band of supporters at the top of Furber Steps, Ms Atherton was "just so happy".

"It's nice to have it under the belt and I'm looking to the next challenge," she said.

Meanwhile, others have also been out and about fundraising for Trek for Timor, including this year's youngest trekker, Jasper Finch from the Illawarra, who at six years old, has completed 38km of his 50km goal.

Jasper is "walking to raise money for Timor Leste and give to the schools. Because the schools are poor and I want to help make them a bigger school with lots of pencils, books, tables and chairs, toys and games".

He has passed his fundraising goal of $1000 and is still walking to raise more funds for Timor Leste before the end of the month.

Putting out the challenge to be the wisest trekker is Blue Mountains resident Jana Mader, who at 76 years young is walking 100km over October in memory of an adventurous journey in Timor in 1972 on the way to the Olympic Games in Munich. Without the funds for an airfare to Munich, Ms Mader travelled overland to the Games from East Timor, getting lifts or walking.

And the highest fundraiser so far is filmmaker Louise Wadley with more than $6000. She was stuck in hotel quarantine in Sydney when she decided to do her virtual trek in her hotel room.

The Trek for Timor Committee thanked all trekkers and sponsors for their support, including major sponsor Hobbs Plumbing and Bathroom Company.

"We know this year has been difficult for everyone so we really appreciate everyone's efforts and donations. Even small donation amounts can add up to a lot of help in East Timor," said committee member Susan Ambler. Donations are still being accepted at www.trekfortimorbm.org.au.

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