BATHURST athletes and good friends Nathanael Pinder and Luke Tyburski proved that mental toughness is just as important as physical endurance last Saturday when they made it to the finish line of the Sciacchetrail.
Staged in Italy’s stunning Cinque Terra National Park, the fourth edition of the annual race saw Tyburski and Pinder not only running a 50 kilometre course, but having to deal with over 2,300 metres of positive ascent.
According to Pinder, they “went up the equivalent of 687 floors” on their way to the finish line.
They were both ranked in the top 100 male competitors, but endured their share of pain before reaching the finish line.
“The course was very challenging with multiple climbs and descents of different terrain. Very narrow traversing sections on steep sloping mountain edges made for some tricky segments,” Pinder explained.
“The elevation gain was a big factor in the this race with over 2,300 metres gain [and] one thing that added to that was large sections of stairs both up and down, some with cobbles and others with jagged rock.
“By the last climb 45 kilometres in my legs had enough, but the stunning scenery was enough of a distraction to get to the finish.
“I didn’t have any falls, but Luke did which hampered his time, but for me completing my first ultra marathon I was very happy to finish and with my time.”
As Pinder indicated, Tyburski had more than just fatigued legs to deal with as he pushed on to the finish. He was left bloodied, bruised and battered after falling down a steep descent.
“I finished the 50 kilometre Sciacchetrail but not how I expected ... I bounced along the rocky trail,” Tyburski posted on Instagram.
“I punctured my hand, took chunks out of my knee and leg, bashed up my hip, arm, and back. All that alongside pain through my ankle after it rolled on a rock that moved.
“I didn’t give up. Why? Because I believed I could finish!
“I threw my goal time out, encouraged runners who passed me, and stayed focused on taking just one step at a time.”