Northburn 100- Seonaigh Conchie Interview

There might be “faster” woman lining up for the Northburn100 mile on Saturday morning, but I was keen to chat to Seonaigh Conchie for a few reasons. I have crossed paths with Seonaigh a few times now- Naseby in 2010 where she won the 100k, on an early JetStart flight to Sydney last May on route to TNF100 Aust were she ran a soild 14hr35min and most recently when we ran into each other on the slopes of Mt Isobel above Hamner Springs. She claims to be “just a plodder”, but we will see.

TBR- I saw you just a few weekends ago, on the slopes of Mt Isobel, were you said you were starting to wind down your training (with an “easy” 2.5hr+ run around Hamner). How has your prep for Northburn been?

Seonaigh Northface 2011.JPG

TNF100 Australia

SE-  The training for this year has had a fair component of hiking involved as there is so much climbing, I started back in september 2011, with some very long slow runs/walks involving a fair few hills.  I did this up until about Christmas, over christmas I started adding in a little more running, to increase the lung capacity and endurance level.  My thinking was if I walk all of my training I’m only go to get slower when I race and have to really slow down, so I added some tempo runs and split sessions twice a week.  I also weight train three times a week and Bikram Yoga weekly as a recovery tool, regular massage, fairly strict on good food, low acid high alkaline, all the usual things.  I think a large component of this race is going to be the ability to stay out of the dark place, not necessarily all positive, just as little negativity as possible, I’m under no illusion as to how hard this will be mentally and physically.  To be truthful I have actually really enjoyed the journey preparing for this race, I have met some amazing people who have been so supportive and encouraging, learnt so much.

Race 2010: Image

Seonaigh on her way to winning the 2010 Naseby 100km

TBR- What are your goals/expectations for this weekend?

SE- Two goals really, first to start with a smile on my face knowing I have prepared as much as I can and will give the race my best and then cross the finish line sometime on Sunday, Second to enjoy as much of the race as my brain and body will allow then just get to the finish. Expectations – a bit like child birth for the first time, I have no idea what to expect, but I am sure at some point its going to hurt!

TBR- You mentioned last time we talked about being in touch with last year’s overall winner Marty Lukes- what’s the number 1 piece of advice that he gave you that will be running through your head over the weekend?

SE- The guy is a legend and so willing to share his knowledge, his best morsel was Relish the day passing, don’t look at it as 100miles, relish each section of the day.  Got good advice how to handle sleep deprivation, its all in the mental approach.

TBR- Pacer, or no pacer?

SE- No pacer, I’m using this race for myself to see how I will travel through a 160K’s, get to know myself a little better.  I do have a few wee strategies to manage the dark place, friends and my boys have made me up a bag of sayings and encouragement, which I am sure I will pull out and read at points along the journey, music, gps for last lap.  I’m hoping to get through on my own strength and preparation, with of course my boys as my support crew, without them I wouldn’t be doing this.

Great stuff Seonaigh, all the best for the weekend!

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