Over the weekend, hundreds of pairs of Le Bent socks ran hundreds of kilometres through the Aussie bush…
Whilst we hope our socks are always out and about, helping our athletes float over trails, last weekend was a special one in that it saw our ever expanding team of trail runners converge on the multiday Ultra-Trail Australia (UTA).
The race that began in 2008 and had 160 entrants and barely 130 finishers has evolved into not just Australia’s biggest trail running event, but the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere and the second largest on the planet.
This year the UTA attracted nearly 7,000 runners and over 12,500 spectators to cheer on the former as they battled not just each other but the challenging Blue Mountains world heritage listed landscape.
Ultra-Trail Australia – May 16-19, 2019 – Katoomba, Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Total runners: 6700 (50/50 male/female split)
- UTA100 – 1500 runners, sold out in 3 days
- UTA50 – 2100 runners, sold out in 3 hours
- UTA22 – 2100 runners, sold out in 22 hours
- UTA11 – 600 runners, new race distance for 2019
- Injinji 1km-4-Kids – 400 runners
We sat down with two of Le Bent’s finest ultra-trail runners and talked about what goes into competing in such a grueling event.
We’ve divided up what we wanted to know (and what we think you’ll want to know) into some short clips below…
Left to right: Le Bent sales manager Steve Walshe, runner Ben Duffus, runner Brendan Davies and Le Bent director Simon Blondel, pre-race.
QUESTION 1 – TRAIL RUN SOCK SELECTION
“I’m always in the lightweight socks to keep my feet warm.” – Brendan Davies
QUESTION 2 – TRAIL RUN LAYERING
“When running you do heat up really quickly so it’s good to be able to strip off when necessary.” – Ben Duffus
QUESTION 3 – LONG TERM PREPARATION
“From six months, or even the race last year, I could argue that I’m planning in my mind, how I’m going to time my year leading up to it and how other races are going to fit into that timeline.” – Brendan Davies
QUESTION 4 – FOOD
“When you’re training a lot, you’re eating a lot. I mean, my friends make fun of me because I don’t eat out of regular bowls; I eat out of family sized salad bowls.” – Ben Duffus
QUESTION 5 – MENTAL TRAINING
“When there are challenging training days that’s an opportunity to build up that mental grit. If it’s cold and wet outside, well it might be cold and wet on race day. If it’s hot and humid, well again, that’s a great opportunity to practice suffering.” – Ben Duffus
QUESTION 6 – RACE LEAD UP
“I tend to hide in my cave a little bit more. I stay away from all the excitement and stay off social media, all that kind of thing. Give myself plenty of distractions and try not to think about the race too much.” – Brendan Davies
QUESTION 7 – EVE OF RACE/RACE DAY
“I keep things routine. Tonight I’ll kick back on the couch, watch the footy, maybe have a beer and then go to bed the same time I usually go to bed.” – Brendan Davies
QUESTION 8 – RACE TACTICS
“That third quarter is when the going gets tough, you’re far enough in to be tired but you’ve got far enough to go for it to be still intimidating. So I really focus on nailing that third quarter.” – Ben Duffus
QUESTION 9 – RECOVERY FOOD (BEER & PIZZA?)
“I’m probably the first one lining up for a beer or if someone’s throwing a beer in my hand I’ll gratefully accept it.” – Brendan Davies
QUESTION 10 – TIPS FOR FIRST TIMERS
“Don’t go out too hard...” – Ben Duffus
Beers are on us fellas!
Congratulations to everyone who competed and to all of our Le Bent team for doing us proud as always.
As for what Le Bent socks our guys trusted to compete in? Lucy Bartholomew, of course, ran in her signature Le Lucy sock, Brendan was in the Trail Light 3/4 Crew and Ben was wearing the Outdoor Light Mini.
Ben Duffus – 1st UTA22
Brendan Davies – 9th UTA100
Lucy Bartholomew – 2nd UTA50
Vlad Shatrov – Leading 1st UTA100 but DNF (injury)
Wes Gibson – 16th UTA22
Matty Abel – 49th UTA50
Paige Penrose – 1st UTA11
Michael Milton – 1957th UTA22 (Badass 1-legged paralympian)
See more results.