Con­quer­ing the giants

Central Queensland News - - SPORT - Kris­ten Booth Kris­ten.Booth@cqnews.com.au

ULTRAMARATHON: Run­ning over the moun­tains in Italy for six days straight with only 10 hours sleep was what Emer­ald’s Doug Stra­chan faced to reach his new per­sonal best.

With more than 15 ul­tra­ma­rathons (more than 50km) un­der his belt, Stra­chan raised the bar to com­plete his tough­est yet.

Tor des Géants (Tour of the Giants) is a 339km race up to more than 30,000m al­ti­tude around the north­ern Ital­ian bor­der with Switzer­land.

Nearly 1000 of the best run­ners in the world came to­gether to beat the chal­lenge, all fac­ing chronic sleep de­pri­va­tion and ex­treme ex­haus­tion.

De­spite the rough con­di­tions, Stra­chan said he had a team of sup­port be­hind him.

“It was a real bat­tle to stay fo­cused and safe,” he said.

“If you are found asleep on the course you are im­me­di­ately dis­qual­i­fied.

“But each day I was given an­other writ­ten mes­sage from our Emer­ald run­ning fam­ily to spur me along the way, it was very cool.”

Of the 890 starters, only 534 fin­ished the race and Stra­chan placed 361st, a huge ef­fort for a Cen­tral High­lands man.

“It was com­pletely re­ward­ing and to­tally ex­ceeded my goals,” he said.

“The world’s best are there or have at­tempted the race, so to earn a fin­isher’s sweat­shirt is a huge hon­our.”

Stra­chan com­peted against tough, pro­fes­sional run­ners and said of all the en­trants he was the weak­est run­ner in Aus­trala­sia.

“I knew be­cause I was one of the weak­est run­ners there I had to get ev­ery­thing right and the most im­por­tant was the five peo­ple I put around me,” he said.

“I put to­gether an awe­some crew of five women, all tough ladies who are men­tally strong.

“There wasn’t one dis­agree­ment in the team, it was def­i­nitely a team ef­fort that made me fin­ish.”

Im­mac­u­late plan­ning and ex­e­cu­tion by his team meant Stra­chen didn’t have to use any of the med­i­cal help, blis­ter peo­ple or mas­sage team on hand.

“We smashed it. My team and I are now friends with the best ad­ven­ture rac­ers in the world and are be­ing in­vited to all sorts of things, not be­cause I got in the top 10 or top 100 but be­cause of how we roll,” he said.

“My crew blew the lo­cals away.”

The tough­est race he com­pleted also held one of the best back­drops.

“The scenery was just mag­nif­i­cent,” he said.

“I’ll do it ev­ery year that they let me.”

PHOTO: KRIS­TEN BOOTH

PROUD: Doug Stra­chan re­cently com­pleted the 330km ultramarathon Tor des Géants in Italy.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

One of the great views seen through­out Doug’s run.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.