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Woman Sets New 1000K Ultra Record In Australia

Her mantra was "relentless, forward, progress".

Her mantra was “relentless, forward, progress”.

Bernadette Benson covered 1000K in Western Australia faster than any other person. Photo: The West Australian

It’s been long argued that women may be better suited for long-distance running than men. This theory was proven true at the recent running of the Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia, a grueling race that has competitors running 1000K. Forty-two-year-old Bernadette Benson of Canada was the first person, man or women, to reach the finish. Her victory, in 15 days, nine hours, and 48 minutes, slashed nearly a day off the previous race record that had been held by Perth’s Paul Madden.

Benson is no stranger to running. She holds three Canadian long-distance records. She used the challenge to raise funds for Inclusion WA, which supports people who are disadvantaged or living with a disability to participate in sports.

She maintains that the race was no cakewalk and, at one point, admits wanting to quit due to foot pain.

“On the 12th day, I had to stop early because I was pretty much just stopped dead in my tracks because it took me about 30 minutes to go down a 1km hill because of the pain,” she recalls. “I had a mantra in my head ‘relentless, forward, progress’ and I named my walking poles Nearer and Further, and each step took me one metre nearer to Albany and one metre further from Kalamunda and that’s the way I had to micromanage the track at a lot of points.”

For More: The West Australian