599 participants including 45 pairs and 550 solo ultra-runners met in Leura on Saturday May 15th at 7am in perfect Blue Mountains Autumn conditions. Competitors were set to undertake one of the most difficult 100km ultra-trail marathon events in the Southern Hemisphere: The North Face 100.

9 hours, 54minutes and 19seconds later, with an amazing display of camaraderie, returning champion Andrew Lee and newcomer Stu Gibson cross the finish line arm-in-arm, in the process smashing the 2009 course record by 26 minutes.

Desperate to break the 10-hour barrier, Andrew and Stu ran a 60km game of cat and mouse, continuously attempting to break free of the other. This relentless pursuit continued, somehow settling into a co-operative effort that later they claimed to be the reason for their amazing success. Andrew commented, “I felt very good from the start, we couldn’t hope for better conditions. The run was fantastic, it was unbelievable. Stu and I found such a good rhythm, we helped each other on the way, and I don’t think I could have made it under10 hours without him.”

Runners were joined by veteran ultra-distance athlete Diane Van Deren from Colorado. This exceptional and inspiring woman, who completed The North Face 100 in Beijing a few days earlier, was amazed by the beauty of the scenery, and inspired by the warmth that the Australian running community shared with her.

The North Face would like to congratulate all those who participated, regardless of place or time. We wish you all the best and hope to see you on the start line again in 2011

Endurance comes in all distances. Find yours in The North Face 100.

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