Race Report – UTA100 2024 – Greg Jenkins

Distance: 100.2km
Elevation: 4320m
Start time: 6:40am
Raced time: 15:28:48
Temp: 6C at start, around 10C most of the race, wind chill significant in exposed areas


Start Gear:
  • Rei shorts
  • BMRC T shirt
  • Legionnaire cap
  • Evil eye sunglasses
  • Gloves
  • Injinji socks
  • 2XU calf compression sleeves (race debut)
  • Toes taped with blister dressings + fiximul both big toes and tips of second toes
  • UTMB light weight zip up long sleeve
  • Buff
  • Tailwind 1 bottle
  • Water 1 bottle
  • Bagel bites vegemite + peanut butter
  • Gels x3
  • Pringles
  • Snakes
  • Tailwind bags and Koda tabs

30min fueling alternating Tailwind & food/water (mostly with Koda electrolyte tabs)

Start to CP1

Steady pace along narrow neck, feeling comfortable, slow and steady jog on the uphills, hiked the steeper sections. Removed gloves as I got warmer. Tailwind + gel. Long queues at the end of narrow neck, ate some bagel while waiting. Slow going down the technical section then some nice single trails, moving well through here. CP1 refilled Tailwind and water and moved out promptly.

CP1 to CP2

Nice runnable section, hiked the steeper sections. Poles out for the first time on the steep short ascent to Foggy Knob. Quick move through CP2, had some bun and refilled Tailwind and water + Koda tab. The full zip jacket was very useful as I could zip down and tuck behind vest when warm but easily zip up when cool.

CP2 to CP3

Nice single track section to the Ironpot ridge climb – poles, solid climb, feeling good. Enjoyed the ridge and nice descent off the ridge, passed a few people on the way down, legs feeling good. Nice runnable section to CP3. Drop bag, took a few mins to restock with Tailwind and refill bottles. Feeling good as I moved out into the new section, the 8k loop.

CP3 to Waterpoint

8k loop, moving well through this section, quite a lot of up and down, some nice single track, enjoyable section of the course, moving nicely and passed a few along the way. Refilled Tailwind and water + Koda at water point for the next section. Looking forward to Nellie’s.

Waterpoint to CP4

Again, nice runnable section, passing quite a lot of runners, jogging the uphills and hiking the steeper sections. Enjoyed getting to the Wirra Wirra gate as I had run this section 2 weeks ago. Felt strong coming up Nellie’s Glen using poles, and ran the cliff top section back to Katoomba and the road section pretty solidly. Didn’t sit in CP4, saw Maria, she arrived at the same time as me, a bit chaotic and very busy in the CP. Topped up my bottles, Tailwind & Koda. Restocked, had some pizza and bun on the way out. Feeling strong coming out of the CP. Changed legionnaire cap to bucket hat otherwise, no gear change.

CP4 to CP5

Temps starting to drop on this section, still moving well, sticking to the fueling plan, no nausea, energy good. Legs feeling pretty good until the last few stair climbs towards Gordon Falls reserve. Jogged the road section down to the Fairmont (CP5), Maria set up and organised. I had a sit down for the first time. Changed to a long sleeve running top and put on fleece (getting cold) and HiVis vest + headlight. Ate some noodles and drank some coke for the first time. The noodles were a good choice.

CP5 to CP6

Left CP5 wearing too much gear, soon realised I would need to drop some layers. At the rocky outcrop after Lilian’s Bridge, I stopped and took off my fleece and HiVis. Much more comfortable now. The stairs through this section were hard going for me. Dropped a few places. By the time I reached Conservation hut, headlights now on and everyone stopping to put on the HiVis, I did this quickly and buzzed past a few people. The climb up Rocket track was a bit slow and I did a short walk along Little Switzerland to get some fuel down and mentally re-set. Put some music on for the first time. With that section behind me I was able to run pretty solid on the road section and the single track down to QVH. Maria had a chair, I had some more food and coke. Two flasks of coke in my Drop Bag no more Tailwind now, filled water + Koda. Spent a bit longer in this CP than planned. Forgot to pick up spare headlight battery and Koda tab from Maria, this bothered me a bit during the next section. Left CP6 in pretty good shape.

CP6 to aid station

Jogged the hill out of CP6, as I got into the downhill section I realised that although my legs were hurting, I was still able to run reasonably well, so picked up the pace a bit and started to pass lots of runners. I knew this section very well, so ran strongly on the downhills and hiked purposefully with poles on the uphills. Some music glitches with my earbuds on the way down the hill, so put them away. Came into the aid station feeling good, but concerned about Giant stairs as I struggled on the stairs in the last section. Aid station, quick transit, I forgot to pick up a Koda tab from Maria so topped up with electrolyte from the aid station, turned out to be ok. Hand full of jellybeans and some coke and into the last section. Reset my earbuds and got my music going again.

Aid station to finish

I was ready for the big climb out of the aid station, was hiking strongly with my poles and jogging the less steep inclines and running the flat and downhills, still passing people. I really enjoyed this section. Moved well through Leura forest ticking off the mental checkpoints as I went, getting my head ready for Giant. Changed my playlist to something more upbeat as I approached Giant. I knew that my legs were going to struggle so I intentionally focussed on my mindset, as I climbed I kept telling myself that even though my legs felt done, I had only used 40% of my strength and there was still lots in the tank (the David Goggins theory!), when the legs are weak, the mind needs to be strong. During that climb my mind was very strong. No stops, made it to the top. As soon as I clear the top of the stairs I started to jog and then to run. I was able to run quite strongly to Echo point where the crowd gave me a big lift. The last section of stairs up the top of Furber was challenging but I was feeling quite euphoric at this point, knowing that I was going to complete this race a lot faster than I could have imagined. I ran well through the finish chute and finished strongly. By far the best 100k race I have run.


What went well:
  • Gear choices mostly very good (overdressed out of Fairmont – otherwise perfect)
  • Calf compression sleeves were great
  • Nutrition and hydration best long race so far, including use of Checkpoint nutrition, getting savory food items in early and throughout the race, bagel bites were excellent
  • Koda tabs were great – first time I have used these in a race
  • Drop bags – perfect
  • Massage gun at CPs 4,5 & 6 was helpful
  • Taping feet – only one small blister and one destroyed toenail!
  • Use of poles at strategic places
  • Pacing throughout the race, stayed very consistent
  • Mindset was good
  • Improved my checkpoint times a lot but still room to improve
  • Leg strength great for downhill run, flat running and uphill hiking, but not good enough for stairs
What could have been better
  • Smoother crew checkpoints – give the crew a checklist of things I need to leave the checkpoint with, clearer crew instructions pre-race. Maria was my only crew and this was the first time she had ever been to a trail race
  • Spend less time in later race checkpoints: my aim was to try to keep the checkpoints under 7 mins each
  • Shoulders, esp right shoulder was tight and sore by the last sector – need to improve upper body strength to maintain efficient use of poles on the climbs throughout the race
  • Stronger legs for stair climbing