ULTRA runner Sabina Hamaty from Cambewarra had a lot to celebrate over the Christmas and new year period.
Hamaty is not only a 45-year-old mother of three and a teacher at Nowra Anglican College, but recently completed the 240 kilometre Coast to Kosciusko (C2K) ultramarathon, placing 10th overall.
Up against 50 other athletes, Hamaty was the second female to cross the line and was one of 19 runners from NSW.
Hamaty had a finishing time of 32 hours, 25 minuets and 20 seconds and said all the training she does on Browns Mountain Road helped her with the uphill slogs in the race.
“You just have to keep visualising what is next and think ahead to keep going,” she said.
“I had blisters on my feet from 100 kilometres into the race and they were the worst I have had.
“I had to stop and rip the blisters apart with my fingernails, take a spoon of cement and keep running.”
Hamaty said this race has been on her radar for the past six years and it was something she knew she had to conquer.
“I trained for the C2K for two years…I knew what I was in for because I had crewed for some other runners in those years,” she said.
“I’m pretty stoked with my position [10th]. This race was probably the highlight of my running career.
“I felt I did well, having been up against five really elite runners.”
Hamaty said it takes a lot of time, effort and support from your family and friends to get ready for an ultra marathon.
“To get ready for an ultra marathon, I aim for about 120 kilometres of running per week and I do a lot of strength work, focusing on core training,” she said.
“I do a lot of ultra running but this is the longest one I’ve ever done.
“We started at Eden at 5.30am and the conditions were quite cool, a few of the competitors went too hard and dropped off but I was quite conservative, walking on the first day in a lot of parts, when I could have run.”
C2K is the longest continuous footrace in Australia.
There are longer races, but they are staged races, which means the competitors are allowed to sleep overnight.
But Hamaty said on the C2K they all live off “no doze” policy.
Hamaty said the love for ultramarathons began when she entered into the local King of the Mountain race almost 10 years ago and she never looked back.
“I will definitely be doing the C2K race again, it was the most amazing running adventure I have ever had,” she said.
“I can’t explain why I did it. I guess I just wanted to see if I could do it.
“It’s like a four day party for ultra runners…but I would never have been able to do it without the support of my crew.
“There are so many people I want to thank including Sharon Scholz, who put together a training plan for me.
“Jim Downes, the school PE coach, who lets me train with the students after school.
“Clare Holland and Annabel Hepworth were my awesome crew members who stopped me from overdoing it during the first half and pushed me along during the second half and of course my family who put up with their crazy wife/mother.
“It will take a while to come down from this emotional high.”
Hamaty said she is still on the search for a race that will ultimately push her to the brink.
“I’ve never had a moment during a run where I feel like I can’t possibly go on and I still need to know what that’s all about,” she said.
Hamaty likes to take inspiration from the words of legendary runner Emil Zatopek who said “If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon.”
HARD SLOG: Sabina Hamaty makes it through the finish line at Charlottes Pass at the C2K 240 kilometre ultra marathon taking 10th place in December.