Archive for August, 2015

ULTRA520K Canada Day 3 – The Double Marathon

Posted on: August 17th, 2015 by admin No Comments

Day 3 began at 2.30am! The previous night after finishing in quite a fatigued and emotional state, Jeff had arranged with Guy for some midnight snacking! So at 2.30am I had a GU Recovery drink in my hand with a couple of pieces of pizza and some V8 Juice. As crazy as this sounds….looking back I honestly feel this small action was a lifesaver. It gave me the additional calories I needed to start the tough run with out such a deficit from the previous 2 days efforts.

I had no problems getting back to sleep for another few hours as I was so exhausted. At 5am….I was up again…in the recovery boots for 30mins to get the legs ready for action. I wasn’t feeling the love for my normal breakfast…but the 400 calorie apple pie sitting in the fridge was exciting me! At this stage….anything goes and it was gone very quickly! By that stage Guy was awake and I had to tell him about the dream I had the night before! A friend of ours Rachel Corey from Boise was in my dream. Rachel was tragically hit by a car last year while training for the Hawaii Ironman. She was in a bad way and is still under going extensive rehab. Rachel is an extremely talented hard working athlete and one of the most positive people I have met. Even though she is going through so much Ultraman is something she would love to do! In my dream we were with a group of friends at a BBQ but it ended with her telling me how ready I was for the double marathon, I had trained hard and prepared for what was to come. “do it for me!” she said!

That really shook me up and brought me back to reality. I was excited again! It had been a tough 2 months, emotionally and physically, yes….I had prepared myself for this day. I had the best support crew anyone could ask for and I was ready! It was up to me now to get my head in the game and enjoy but focus on the task ahead!

We left the hotel for a quick ice stop at the gas station and headed to the run start. Just like any Triathlon or competition, there was plenty of nervous energy in the air, but excitement at the same time. I continued to drink my GU Electrolyte and had a Gel just before the start.

Ultra Run Start

7am – Here we go!!!

The first 5km of the run was FUN! Again we all started together. I held back, ran along side some of the other athletes, had a chat. Found out more about them. Looked around and took in the incredible scenery and just kept smiling! It was cool, there was cloud cover, after the last couple of really hots days we were in for some perfect running conditions! My support crew were there on the side of the road every 2km and I was grabbing water and GU at each of my aid stations.

Juan and Ross had gone out off the front and with the nature of the course with rolling hills and lots of turns they were quickly out of sight. I didn’t care….it was a long day, I had to focus on me and nothing else! Keep my pacing consistent, stay on top of my nutrition and take it 2km at a time.

It was not long after that the elastic band began to stretch within the group I was running with. I was able to maintain the pace we had started with, but they were beginning to slow down a bit. I kept going. I was now on my own. Just me and the thoughts in my head and seeing my support crew every 10.30 – 11mins. My plan of attack was to try and run the first marathon (42.2km) on my own. You were allowed support and a pacer running along side you right from the start….but I wanted to hold that off. Save it as a treat for the second half. I would just have to see how it went.

I was having a gel every 30mins and continuing to take in my GU Roctane electrolyte drink. Every 10km it was a brief walk through my “aid station” then I was on my way again. I then began to hear the voice of Steve on the microphone…I was coming up to the half marathon mark. I could hear him giving splits and letting us know where others were in the field especially if it was going to affect the overall outcome. But I was switched off at the time. I gave a wave and a smile to those spectators around and then refocused 2km at a time……2km at at time.

Up and over the hill and I saw a support vehicle on the side of the road and it wasn’t mine! Unfortunately Ross had been sick over the course of the weekend and again he was unable to keep everything down! He was there with his support crew trying to find something that would give him the energy to continue on. I gave him words of encouragement as I went by…..but I had to keep on moving! That was the only way!

The run course was rolling hills, the second half they were long and steeper than the first. The beginning was 35km on road, the next 35km was on trail/fire road. The last 14km was back on the road but with some steep descents.

After passing Ross…my small goal focus was always 2km……the big goal was getting to the trail/fire road. My crew was there waiting for me…..there was a little “yippee” and celebration inside, but then it was back to the job and the next goal of completing the first marathon.

It is always a welcome sign when you can hear Steve’s voice, as it meant I was getting close to he half way point. Steve was talking away on the microphone and informing everyone listening to the live feed what was going on. The roads were otherwise very quite and lonely except for me and my crew! I ran past and gave him a wave and a smile.  42.2km done!! Marathon number 1 done!! Now it was time for marathon number 2! Okay Kate….this is where it starts….take a deep breath, refresh, regroup and stick to the plan. I had run a few 50km in training so I was confident about getting to that point. I was excited now about having members of my crew come for a little jog! Mostly Guy and Ruth were my pacers. Jeff was in charge of driving the mini van and Mazzy of nutrition. They rotated 2km’s in and out. Each time carrying with them some very cold, electrolyte drinks, gels and sponges or ice to put down my top. It was also time for the RedBull!! At 50km it was time for my “walk through the aid station” and they had everything ready for me to choose from.

Kate & Ruth Ultra Run

I knew in my head mentally 50 – 70km was the toughest in terms of terrain. The hills were bigger, I was exposed to the elements….but I just had to continue to break it down 2km at a time. It was at this stage I was starting to get a little demanding and letting Ruth and Guy know that they could run side by side with me but not in front or behind me…..and they could talk about anything else but running!! Crazy…but those were the things that were annoying me most at the time! I didn’t want to know how great I looked or that I was nearly there (because I wasn’t!) I didn’t want to know about keeping a high cadence, staying relaxed and strong. I was in my own little world and it didn’t involve any of that! Ruth and I chatted about bears, the absolutely stunning scenery and what was going on in the mini van during stops. Guy and I talked about my Birthday (which was the next day) and what I wouldn’t be getting 🙂

60km into the run and Steve drove by in his car…he was on his way to the finish line. He rolled down the window to pass on words of encouragement, then proceeded to let me know the time gaps between myself and Jaun in front and Dustin behind (who had the overall lead after day 2). He then told me if I continued at the pace I would create history. It would be the first time a female had won an Ultraman event outright in the 32year history of the events. (no pressure right?!?)

I turned to Guy who I was running with at the time and was “Wow”. Then a few seconds later…”I can’t think about that right now babe!” I still had 24km of running to go. Anything could happen. I just had to focus on 2km at a time, eating, drinking and staying mentally strong. The rest would take care of itself. I never had any concept of time while I was running. I didn’t realise how long I had been running for. As I mentioned it was always about 2km, or a 10km block so I could work the aid station, or land marks. There was always a short term goal then a medium goal to think about that would get me to the end goal.

Kate & Guy Run

It was exciting to finally make it back to the road at about the 70km mark. I was talking to myself “Come on Kate!”. There was still 14km to go but I had run 70km already!! In my mind this as supposed to be the fun part, mostly downhill. But it wasn’t!! Ouch it hurt!! When I saw a sign indicating a 14% downhill I was feeling the pain before I even began the descent! I think I was running slower going down than I was going up! The quads were pounding. Ruth and Guy were still swapping in but I was not saying anything anymore. Cold sprite with ice blocks was giving me a pick up along with GU Chomps I was still consuming every km. At this stage the battery in my watch was done! So who ever was running next to me had to try  and maintain the same pace for me. I was also asking Guy to let me know every time we had run 500m. I was preferring the much smaller goals.

Then finally….there is was! Not the finish line, but the sign that said “3km to go!” and this was when the crew had to call the finish line to let them know I was coming! Ruth came and joined me for the final section and by then I was asking to know every time we had run 400m. With 2km to go I was thinking to myself 5 laps of the track….that is all that is left…..5 laps of the track. I was still drinking and eating. I was getting SO excited!!!

I made the last left hand turn and there was the rest of my crew, all waiting to join me so we could cross the finish line together. It gives me goose bumps now just thinking about it and no words will ever be able to describe the emotions I was feeling. I saw the time on the clock and could not believe what I had done. I was able to immediately hug Ruth, Mazzy, Jeff and Guy in my sweaty, smelly and disgusting state but I don’t think they cared. We had done it!!!

Ultra Finish with everyone

Race director Steve was there to give me my finishers medal and I could not wipe the smile off my face. That day 3 was what dreams were made of. That day you know you have in you…but just never think it is possible…..until it happens!!

At that stage I was just so happy and estatic to have finished the event and achieved my goals. I had no idea of my overall placing. I had to wait an additional 13mins to see if Dustin crossed the finish line within that time. If he didn’t I won!

As the clock slowly clicked over, Steve made the announcement that I had officially won and made history! WOW WOW WOW!! I didn’t know what to say or do!! Everyone around was clapping and congratulating me. I was smiling, hugging, shaking hands and thanking them. Then I was on the phone and calling mum back in Perth so I could wake her up and give her the great news!

Ultra Media chat

Like any journey there are so many people to thank for being a part of this and supporting me towards something I have always wanted to do!

Steve, Alexis and all the Ultra520k Canada crew…..what an incredible adventure in such a beautiful part of the world. You put on such a fun, professional event. The entire experience is life changing. I look forward to returning!

My support crew…..I can’t say enough about them all! Ruth and Mazzy….what is said on tour stays on tour! You have seen me at my worst and my best….plus everything in-between. Your organisational skills and attention to detail made my job so much easier. You are never allowed to crew for anyone else!

Coach Jeff Shilt, he knew I wanted to do this for a long time, then it was here. We only had 2 months but we sat down and developed a plan that would get me to the start line in the best possible condition with the time we had. It worked! It was a learning experience for both of us and I can’t wait to move onwards and upwards with the next adventure.

Guy…well you can read how much fun he had leading into Ultra520k Canada and dealing with all my training and mood swings here:  But his continued emotional support, belief in me, joining in on long rides when it was the last thing he felt like, and cooking his own dinner 🙂 (if you call Toast dinner?) This event took a toll on him and his regular training/schedule, I love you and will always be grateful!

Last but not least my incredible sponsors, they were all on board and supportive with the change to my schedule this year and I appreciate that so much!!  Rolf Prima Wheels, Ceepo, Coeur Sports, , Profile Design, BlueSeventy, ISM, Ryders Eyewear, Mizuno, Challenge Tyres, and SwimSmooth. Churchill Cycles, and Tri Town Boise and Computrainer. Keeping me fuelled GU and Upbeat Beetroot Juices and recovery by Ruth Chang Physio and Matt Booth at Boise Therapeutic Associates.



ULTRA520K Day 2 – 276km’s (171.4miles) OUCH!!

Posted on: August 13th, 2015 by admin No Comments

I awoke before my alarm and laid in bed for a while. Just watching Guy sleep away. Lucky for him…..he didn’t have to ride 276km’s today!! But at the same time, that brought a smile to my face! Day 2 was here. In my mind this was the day that was going to take the longest in regards to time! I looked over to my organised pile on the floor, making sure everything was there (although I had checked at least 10 x before going to bed the night before!) It was then all about Food!!! My nutrition was going to be even more important today…..with such a long day in front of me and a double marathon tomorrow…it was crucial to stay on top of things! A big bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter and yoghurt was a great start and I continued to drink my GU and water as we made our way to the start line.

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 9.29.01 PM

On arrival at the car park, everyone was there and you could feel the tension and excitement in the air. There were a little less nerves than day 1, but there was still that unknown hovering around. We were all to start together again, but had been seeded based on our overall times from day 1. So I was starting side by side next to Dustin. As soon as we were off that all changed, I was given instructions by coach Jeff to ease into the ride today. It was a long day and ideally I need to save something for the second half of the ride. The first 70 – 80km is relatively flat and fast and it’s easy to get caught up in feeling good and thinking “you’ve got this!”.However I held back. I held back enough that I wasn’t first rider. I let someone else set the pace, sat back and went with it. It didn’t take long for us to spread out and before long it was just Ross and I rolling along nicely. But then half way back to Okanagan Falls, bang….he broke his aero bars! They completely snapped! This was bad for him and bad for me! Here we go again…I was on my own! This is what it’s supposed to be like right? Through town and beginning the amazing climb to Green Lake and what they call “the wall”! I was enjoying this and having fun! The scenery was incredible. There was lots of positive self talk and motivation going on in my head. This was also a no feed zone so my support crew were not allowed to stop anywhere along this section of road. The plan was for them to meet me at the other end for a quick refresh and refuel. It took a little bit longer than expected for us to regroup but the end the timing was good. I took a quick stop, reloaded my bottles, more sun cream, more calories, Jeff checked my bike over and I was good to go again.

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 9.30.56 PM

At this stage Dustin was cresting the last hill. Awesome, someone to ride again with! He was riding strong. It was heating up, I had ice down my cycle top and drinking constantly. We continued through Yellow Lake and began the gradual descent into Keremeos. Unfortunately just before that time Dustin got a flat and was waiting for his support crew.

Once in Keremeos I was 150km into the ride.  It was a right hand turn into a head wind, slightly uphill for the next 60km! At this stage I just put my head down, stayed aero and kept pushing. But it was getting dark in my little world! Dustin has his flat fixed and came flying past! He was riding strong and looking great! I watched him fade into the distance. Just get to Princeton then you are nearly there! Keep peddling, keep peddling, keep eating, keep drinking. 5km at a time! What ever I could think of to keep me going!

At 214km I made the turn in Princeton to begin the out and back. Just over 60km to go! Come on you can do this, you just have to make it to the turn around then it is all down hill from there. But I was struggling! There was a nasty head wind, again it was slightly uphill and rolling. My crew could tell and were stopping more frequently, caffeine, gels, electrolyte and so much positive reinforcement! They were amazing! It had been a long day for them as well but they were still doing everything they could for me. I was passed again just after the turn around, but at that stage all I was thinking about was staying focused and getting to the finish.

I began the ride home, I could feel the tail wind and it was a nice change. As my speed increased I went to change into my big chain ring and nothing happened. Oh well…I will just try again….no luck! Oh no! It appeared that my Di2 and died!! Even though I was certain I had fully charged it just a week before, obviously I had done something wrong and now I was spinning out of control trying to take advantage of the downhills and tail wind! I rode past the mini van at the next stop and gave them the great news “My Di2 is flat, can’t change into the Big Chain ring!” and kept riding! I think I then created chaos as they tried to work out what they could do! If anything!

But I said before and will say it again….my crew were AMAZING! They stopped me up the road, Ruth had a Power source, my Di2 charger was in the mini van, they quickly charged it enough to change it into the Big Chain ring then sent me on the way with important instructions “don’t change gears!”

I took a deep breath, got in the aero position and rode. I was on my way! I didn’t hammer it and push hard to the end, I kept it steady, relaxed and reminded myself there was still another long day coming tomorrow. I kept drinking and eating, I yelled encouragement to athletes riding in the other direction. I reminded myself of where I was and what I was doing!

I crested the final hill and there was Mazzy, directing me to the finish line! Thank god! I was there! It was done! And so was I! Another athlete came flying by me in the last few metres, but I didn’t care. This was about 3 days of racing and now I was more than a little scared about what lay in front of me Day 3.

My incredible crew were all there waiting, they took my bike. I was straight into the Ice bath, GU Recovery drink in my hard. I closed my eyes and put my head back. Wow….that was a tough day!


Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 9.24.45 PM

From there it was a massage. Into the mini van, pick up Pizza and Icecream and on to the hotel. I lay in the front seat of the car and didn’t move! Once we had our rooms, I was instructed by Jeff to do nothing and eat! I was straight on the bed, in the recovery boots and eating pizza. I felt so bad as I watched Ruth, Mazzy, Jeff and Guy work away, emptying the mini van, wash bottles, refill bottles, repack car and get everything ready for day 3. Meanwhile I just lay there!!

Everyone was exhausted so an early night was welcome! By just after 8pm Guy and I were laying in bed and he could see the emotion and exhaustion in my eyes. We had a little chat and he reminded me of how hard I had trained and that this was something I had always wanted to do. To get out there and enjoy it, that he was proud no matter what happened. I went to sleep with a smile on my face, tomorrow was a new day and anything was possible!



Posted on: August 11th, 2015 by admin No Comments

I am used to only writing a race report for an event that lasts 1 day!! But there is so much to say about my amazing experience in Canada that I am going to have to do this day by day!

So here is Day One:    10km Swim / 150km Bike

Surprisingly I was able to sleep fine the night before. I think knowing that I was going to be doing this for 3 days in a strange way made me feel relaxed! I was wide awake and up at 5am and ready to begin the adventure ahead.

Ruth, Mazzy, Jeff, Guy and I all crammed into the minivan and we were on our way to Skaha Lake. It was quite surreal! It had been nearly 5 years of talking to my close friends and family about wanting to do an Ultraman. I could not believe the day had arrived! This was it! The time was now. It bought a smile to my face and also a tear to my eye. The lake looked amazing! So flat, like glass and clear as far as the eye could see. Lucky Guy had his binoculars with him because the first buoy was about 8km away!!

I had a bit of time before the start to give everyone a hug, take a deep breath and make my way into the water. Chatting and smiling with the other athletes I didn’t even realise the gun had gone! We were off!

Ultra Swim Day 1

Very rarely during the entire swim did I think to myself…I have to swim 10km! In the beginning all I was thinking about was 2km! At that point Guy was going to stop me for a drink of my GU Roctane. It was going to be a long 3 days! Getting behind in my nutrition on day 1 would not be ideal! He continued to stop me every 2km alternating with GU Electrolyte and a GU Gel. Guy was paddling to the right of me and providing plenty of entertainment with singing or funny faces. To the left of me the sun was slowly rising over the mountains and it was gorgeous! Every now and then I had a giggle to myself wondering if anything weird was going on knowing that Guy was wearing the infamous Nappy!!

The Nappy

With a few km’s to go I stopped a little more frequently just quickly for a drink as it was starting to heat up and there was still 150km on the bike to go! I needed to stay well hydrated!

Swim Day 1

I can see the shore…and Ruth, Mazzy and Jeff were getting closer! I was excited! It was a fun swim and Guy had been AWESOME!! 2.37 hrs was a new female course record. I won’t lie I was hoping to go a little faster than that, but felt better when Guy told me his Garmin read 10.5km.

Into the change tent, Ruth had my clothes ready to go, sun cream on, food in the back pocket, out the door to Mazzy who was waiting with my bike and I was off!

The Day 1 Bike course was 150km including most of the Ironman Canada course. Relatively flat and fast to begin with. Then rolling and windy for the remainder of the ride….before a nice 5 – 6km descent back into Okanagan Falls.

My crew were amazing and I would see them every 10km or less. I am used to being self sufficient during an Ironman so had plenty of nutrition with me to begin with. But soon found out with the temperatures rising into the high 90’s (36 – 37 degrees celsius) it was a much better option to be able to grab cold bottles of GU from them rather than drinking warm ones.

There was A LOT of climbing which I enjoyed….most of the time! But didn’t get to see anyone else until over 100km into the ride. There was a long out and back section and it was the first chance I had to see what was going on behind me. Dustin had been riding extremely well and was closing fast. There was some more rolling hills to come and it was getting hotter and and hotter. My crew continued to place themselves at the top of each climb so I could refuel and encourage me for the next effort. And then there it was….the sign for home and the 5km descent. YAH!!

Day 1 - Finish

I was able to hold onto my lead after the swim, just! And finish day 1 in the lead! How exciting! It was straight to medical for testing, ice bath, massage, GU Recovery Drink then back to the apartment. The recovery continued with more food, recovery boots, another rub down and stretch from Super Ruth while the crew was unpacking and repacking the mini van for the next 2 days!! We were riding from point to point tomorrow so needed everything for Day 2 and 3! Mazzy had the incredible task of calculating all the calories I had consumed and expended during the day and worked out the deficit. My goal at minimum was to replace what I had used. Which was a lot more difficult than I had realised. Ideally it would be nice to load up again in preparation for what was coming the next day. But I learnt that was a lot easier said than done! I still went to bed with a full stomach after chicken, pesto pasta and a massive bowl of ice cream! I was ready for a long day in the saddle!!

Thanks Rick Kent for the incredible photo’s!




It’s Show Time!!

Posted on: August 1st, 2015 by admin No Comments

Just a quick update, I have settled in Penticton and it is the night before Day 1 of Ultra520k Canada. Am I nervous… bet! Am I excited…..absolutely! So many emotions all rolled into one but more importantly I can’t wait to get out there and experience the high’s and lows of what the next 3 days are going to offer.

I am so lucky to have an amazing crew here in Canada with me:

Ruth Chang – Personal Physio, GKEndurance coach but most importantly friend, who knows me so well. I have apologised already to her for what might happen over the next few days 🙂

Marian Brennan  – More commonly known as Mazzy…..who has taken time out from her Holiday in Canada to come and chase me around over 3 days and 520km! At least she will get to see some great scenery along the way! I am trusting Ruth and Mazzy with all my nutritional and emotional needs!

Jeff Shilt – Coach and Friend! I know how difficult I can be at times to deal with….unfortunately I can be very stubborn. This can be a good and a bad thing! It did not take him long to work me out! Jeff has more belief in me than even I do in myself! This means a lot to me. He has prepared me for what is to come and I am so glad to can be here for it.

Guy Crawford??? I have no idea who he is….just some random I picked up on the drive here from Boise!

No…seriously….I could not have done any of this with out him. He always supports me with what I do…but this has been a little detour from the norm and he joined me for many of my longer rides and runs. Thank you babe for putting up with me when I was grumpy, tired and didn’t care for a word you had to say! I know come Monday when I cross that finish line after running 84km it will all be about you        again 🙂

Its show time!!

You can follow over the next 3 days either by my twitter/facebook @KateBevilaqua

Or the live Feed –