Vajin Armstrong pre TNF100 Interview

The North Face 100km in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney Australia takes place this weekend. Arguably the premier mountain 100km ultra in the Southern Hempishre, the TNF100 has attracted some top talent over the last few years, including some of New Zealand’s best ultra runners. This year sees our top ultra runner in recent years Vajin Armstrong return to the Blue Mountains after placing 2nd last year. Below is our quick pre TNF100 interview with Vajin and details at the bottom on how you can win some great UltrAspire gear.
VA TNF100Vajin- what’s been happening since your last big race- Tarawera in March?

Since Tarawera I have been really focused on TNF, managing to get in some great specific workouts and some big mileage weeks. I have been working on my hill climbing, doing up to 70mins of hard climbing in a work out. I have also done some good quality long runs including a 50km progressive run where I ran the final marathon of the run in 2.41. In the last few weeks I have had some good races and runs that are leading me in nicely to TNF. Over the last three weeks I have raced 37km at Cape Brett, ran the Hillary trail, then raced 21km at  Hamner and last Saturday I had a good hit out over 15km at Greenpark. I feel this has all set me up to have a great performance over in Australia.

2nd place in a stella 9hrs52 (4th fastest time ever), how are you feeling for this year’s race?

I am feeling excited and grateful to have the opportunity to be back racing here again. It is definitely a big advantage for me having done this race before, I know know exactly what to expect. It has also allowed me to train much more specifically for this race. So mentally I feel in a much stronger position coming back and I now have clear goals about how fast I want to run specific sections of the course. I always like to come into a race with my own personal performance goals so having some splits to chase out on the course will be great.

Who do you see as the top players in this year’s race? And How do you think the race might play out?

Ryan of course has to be the favourite, but in races of this distance anything can happen so you don’t want to count yourself out. I am sure there will be plenty of people happy to get themselves in over their heads in the first 20km so I will be looking to get into a nice sustainable pace that I can hold all the way to the finish. The 2nd half of this course is really where this race will be decided, the climb up Kedumba Pass is a real key to this race. I really hope to be able to run this whole section which should make a big difference to my time.

Shoe choice  and pack choice for TNF100??

I will be rocking the Saucony Peregrines (available at all Macpac stores) and the new  Ultraspire Titan. Big thanks to my sponsors Macpac, Saucony, Ultraspire, Buff and Injinji

As we said above, BCR and Vajin’s sponsor UltrAspire have teamed up to offer a little prize pack- we have an UltrAspire Transition bag and a Isomeric Pocket bottle.  To win this all you need to do is leave a comment at the bottom of this post, with what time and place you think Vajin will finish The North Face 100km in. One guess per person and comments must be in by 7am NZ time, 18th May.

BCR has also interviewed one of our leading ladies in New Zealand trail running, Whitney Dagg, as she step’s  up for her first 100km race. You can read that interview HERE (and we also teamed up with Whitney’s sponsor The North Face to offer you a chance to win a little prize pack).
To keep up with all the action at TNF100 this weekend keep an eye on the Australian based Ultra 168 Facebook page and the Ultra168 blog for full race preview.


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20 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. 2nd 9:17

  2. 3rd 9h 29

  3. 2nd place 9h 40minutes..

  4. 1st 9hrs 41mins

  5. 1st 9hr46mins

  6. 2nd 9:45

  7. 1st 9:07 !!!

  8. 9hrs 43min hope you have a great run. Happy days

    • ahh- sorry Matt- you actually won this! No worries, will get a prize to you and Duncan, so please e-mail me at with your address and will get you a little prize pack away!

  9. first place in 9 hours 43

  10. 9-33 and 1st. All the best

  11. 9hrs 36m 2nd Good luck Vajin

  12. 2nd 9h 34m

  13. 9:32 and second place – best of luck Vajin!

  14. Sorry forgot to put in the placing on original comment. 1st
    9hrs 43min hope you have a great run. Happy days

  15. 2nd – 9:47

  16. 1st – 9.37

  17. 9.38 second place – good luck

  18. 2nd. 9:47. Consider as warm up for UTMB.Kia kaha…

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