WHEN Natasha Fraser tried to position herself near the front of the field in Sydney’s Centennial park ultra-marathon, she was a little concerned with the strong style of the woman she was chasing.
Two laps into the 50-kilometre event, Fraser realised her rival was competing in a relay but her own pace felt comfortable, so she decided to hold on.
Fraser broke her own course record and claimed a third-consecutive Australian 50-kilometre title with a time of three hours, 34 minutes.
It was also the first time Fraser ran a sub-three-hour marathon.
Fraser said the race was the perfect lead-in to the 50km World Trophy Final in Doha this October.
“I just wanted to get a good idea of where I was fitness-wise, too,” Fraser said.
“We’ll be running at night under lights but it will definitely still be hot over there, which is tough to prepare for training in Ballarat in this weather.
“It’s going to be a dry heat so I’ve also been doing some hot yoga and layering up a lot for my runs.”
Doha will be Fraser’s second time representing Australia in an international 50km field. She also competed in Italy two years ago in hot conditions.
Fraser expected Doha, with its flat course and quality field, to yield fast times.
Training – and the toll such a distance can take on the body – has meant Fraser has used her Sydney title race as a key part of her overall training program for Doha.
The bulk of her work is done in her hometown.
“We’re really big on trails and Ballarat is so lucky, there are so many gorgeous trails in the area – Creswick, Canadian forests,” Fraser said.
“About the next week or two I’ll take easy in recovery and get back into training in a short period ... runners in Ballarat are really blessed, there’s so many people in the running fraternity helping you out.”
Fraser said her husband David Fraser was her main supporter and training partner and physiotherapist Kylie McMahon helped keep her body in good running condition.
Her form in Sydney has Fraser excited about what she might achieve in Doha – but there were still a lot of kilometres to clock up first.