Ask me: what's it really like to run 100 ks

I have answered so many questions about running 100ks at the Glasshouse 100 last weekend that I decided to write them up into a blog post.

Some of them even have interesting answers.

What about toilet stops?

The course information indicated that there might be portaloos or camp toilets set up at some of the checkpoints. I didn't see any. So I resorted to getting back to nature for a couple of number ones. (I packed a small stash of toilet paper in preparation for such an emergency.)

When I drive 100ks I pack a lunch. What did you eat?

Whatever I could get my hands on!  This previous post will give you an idea of what I prepared but generally speaking what I ate from this was fruit cake, cookies, rice with custard, boiled eggs, bananas, a couple of gus, mini Mars bars, and coconut water with electrolyte mix. I downed bags of potato chips before I even knew I was eating them. At some of the later checkpoints I discovered salted boiled potato and while that doesn't sound all that appetising, it was THE BEST THING EVER.

How much weight did you lose?

I was weighed in before the start and three times during the race. I didn't vary from my starting weight of 52kgs. This means I was on the right track with my nutrition and hydration, and this bodes well for future endeavours.

Did you think about stopping?

Not really. In fact in this race I had a clarity of thought and focus that I don't think I've ever experienced before. I wasn't even really nervous on race day. I was apprehensive, sure, but I felt ready, and calm.

Did you vomit? Don't you normally vomit doing these kinds of things?

No. I didn't vomit and it's not normal to vomit during an endurance event. If you are vomiting, you aren't absorbing your food and drink, and this can easily end in disaster.

Did you have music to listen to?

No, I never run with music. You're not allowed to have listening devices in triathlons, so I've never gotten into the habit of running with headphones. While 18 hours might seem like a long time to keep yourself occupied, I had lots of things to think about. I was alert looking out for course markers, which consisted of white tape tied in trees, red arrows hung on posts and trees, and white arrows drawn on the road with chalk or paint. I was also constantly assessing the condition of the track and making decisions as to whether it was safer to run or walk.

How long did it take? / Did you do the time you expected?

My official time was 18:10:16. The estimation I did for when KKB needed to be at each checkpoint , which I thought was possible but optimistic, had my finishing in 14:30. Realistically, I expected I could finish in 14:30 to 16:30. So 18:10 blew this out a bit. But I met all the cutoffs I'd need to meet to continue on to the 100 miles, so I'm not disappointed.

OK, so what do you think - is this inspirational or insane?

Without trying to sound like I'm tooting my own trumpet, I think it's both. No matter how you look at it, running 100ks is a fairly formidable achievement. I don't do these things so that people will think I'm inspirational, but if my pushing the boundaries inspires someone to get off the couch and start exercising, or to finally sign up for those art classes or music lessons they've always wanted to do, then I think that's pretty cool.  As for insane, well, um, I just ran 100ks. That isn't normal is it?

Got any more questions? Ask me in the comments below and I'll answer.


  1. Just awesome Lyndell. You definitely inspire me tomgetboff the couch

  2. Did you change your shoes and socks at checkpoints?

    What are some of the things that you learnt from the event that you will take to your next one (yes I did notice you mentioned that in your last post)

    1. Socks and shoes: No, I didn't change my socks or shoes. I took spares of both (of everything in fact!). When I took my shoes off to put my longs on but was too scared to take my socks off - my feet were really stinging and I thought I'd see such terrible blisters that it would mess with my head for the rest of the event. Surprisingly though, it wasn't as bad as I'd thought.

      What I learned: I learned that salted potatoes are the food of choice for ultramarathon runners! I learned that I need to do more strength training (I think I got away with this one but I won't finish NF100 unless I work on my strength). I also learned that I need to learn how to interpret elevation charts! I re-learned that preparation is the key to everything - if you prepare yourself thoroughly, mentally and physically, anything is possible.