RUNNER Natasha Fraser is flying to Europe today to represent Australia in a 50-kilometre race in Vallecrosia, Italy.
She was selected to participate in the International Association of Ultrarunners World Trophy Final after winning the Athletics Australia 50-kilometre road title in Canberra in April.
Fraser still can’t believe she’ll be representing Australia.
“I remember suggesting (representing Australia) to my husband around a year ago, and you know when you say something just to laugh at yourself? That’s what it was,” Fraser said.
“I just can’t believe it’s happening.
“Representing Australia is just the biggest honour. It’s my wildest dreams coming true.”
Since being selected, Fraser worked continuously to prepare for the championships.
“I’ve been training myself to work while I’m physically and mentally fatigued by working long hours and doing back-to-back runs,” Fraser said.
“It takes longer to recover. I’m still trying to figure out my perfect training regime.
“I’ve always had the running action that has lended itself towards long distance, so I started with half-marathons, then gave marathons a go, and then I tried the 50 kilometres.
“The first time I tried was in Canberra last year, where I finished third.”
Fraser returned to the 50-kilometre event for the second time and won this year.
She ran the 50 kilometres in three hours, 41 minutes and 35 seconds, a time she would like to beat in Italy next week.
“The track in Canberra wasn’t flat, and in Italy it will be, so I’d like to beat my own time,” Fraser said.
“Ideally, I would like to finish in the top 10. That would be fantastic.”
For Fraser, the desire for long distance running does not stop with the ultra-marathon.
“After this event, I won’t be doing too much until the end of the year, but next year I hope to move into doing 100 kilometres and 24-hour running,” she said. “There is so much variety in distance running and so much to choose from, I want to give it all a go and find out what’s my ideal.”
Fraser said her biggest concerns are already behind her.
“I was really concerned I wouldn’t be able to go because I would be sick or injured, but now I can destress a little bit because everything seems to be going well.”
She said it was husband of three and a half years David Fraser that had helped her keep her sanity throughout the stressful preparation process.
“The person I owRe my success too is definitely my husband. At the moment he is definitely my rock who keeps me calm about things as I’m a highly stressed person,” she said.
“He’s that one that stopped me from going crazy.”
Her husband will travel to Italy with her.