100 miles with Ewan Horsburgh

The Brisbane Trail Ultra 100 mile run is a challenging 160km run. Over 8000 meters of vertical gain and descent, along with a 30-hour cut-off time, only the most hardened and hardcore ultra-runners will be toeing the start line. Let’s find out a bit about what has motivated Ewan to do what he does and well!

Ewan and Jackson

Ewan, you’re an elite trail runner and have represented Australia for 24 hour racing. Where did it all start for you and how did you get started with running ultra distances?
“I have run ever since doing little A’s and cross country as a kid. After running 1500m track every year during school and the odd suburban fun run, I ran socially till I got back into it about 13 years ago. I ran a few marathons and trail races till I jumped head first into ultras. It was an exciting time with a great ultra community, running low key races and fat ass runs in between a sparse calendar. I ran the second North Face 100k and the second Great North Walk 100 in its third year. “

Trail running takes us through some of the most beautiful places in the world. What is your pick out of the huge list of places you have raced? “My favourite race has got to be Coast to Kosciusko, which is a 240k race from the beach at Eden to Mt Kosciusko and back to Charlotte’s Pass. It is a great race where you have to get your pacing, nutrition and strategy right. I had some success winning 3 years in a row and claiming the record on my 3rd attempt. It has a fantastic community around it, with other competitors and their support crews all in for the journey.” Wow! great choice Ewan.

We’ve cottoned on that ultra-distances are your thing. How do you prepare mentally for ultra endurance races? “There are a few ways I prepare mentally for a long ultra starting with lots of planning. When I am organised I feel like it is one less thing to worry about on the day.”

Ultra distances demand so much from your body and injuries and niggles are always something we are looking to avoid. With 13 years in the game, do you have any tips for injury prevention? “I have had a couple of injuries, mainly PF and knee issues. I always take time off after a big race and have an off season where I hardly run. It is hard to build back up from zero fitness after, but I feel it has helped with my longevity in the sport.”

Food! Probably a key question from anyone running long. Do you follow a daily nutrition plan and do you do anything differently when preparing for a race? “I have a pretty straight forward diet with lots of home cooked food and numerous cups of coffee to get me through the day. After medium to long runs I make a smoothie with Hammer Recoverite which tastes delicious and helps with the recovery. Closer to race day I am stricter with my diet which helps the body and mind be sharp for race day. 100 milers are notorious for being gel eating competitions so I will be downing a few from Hammer Nutrition and also their Endurolytes.” Ewan, my kind of diet!!

While we’re milking you for information, what tips would you give someone that is taking on their first trail ultra?
“Don’t over think it, just get out and run. I learn something new every race so it is a game of continuous improvement.”

Ewan, what would you say is the most important part of recovery after a miler? “A lot of rest and relaxation. After all the big weeks of training and sacrifice, some down time to recharge the batteries is important. Plus that gives you time to plan your next race!”

What is your favourite race kit? Please give a shout out to all your sponsors.
“I’ll be running in my La Sportiva kit with the Akasha shoes good for the whole 100 miles. La Sportiva make top mountain running gear and have a big presence in Australia supporting a mountain running series with everything from short mountain races to 100 milers.” Ewan also mentioned his race nutrition sponsor Hammer Nutrition Australia earlier.

We’re very excited to have Ewan at the Brisbane Trail Ultra. What else is on the race calendar? “BTU 100 miler will be an A race then hopefully get to represent Australia at the 24HR worlds champs in October. After that I will look at Hounslow classic or 4Peaks. Keen some long FKT attempts if I can fit it in.”

And lastly Ewan, do you have any pearls for wisdom for our BTU participants? “Enjoy being part of the inaugural year of this race that will be a feature on the Aussie race calendar.”

Thank you for your time Ewan. The BTU team are looking forward to seeing you up in Brisbane! Shona, Cora & David

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