One of the great ‘rock stars’ of world Ultra Running is confirmed to line up in defence of her title at the 2018 Macpac Motatapu, with Australian Lucy Bartholomew returning for the March 10 event in Central Otago.
21-year-old Bartholomew continues to stun the Ultra Running community with her amazing feats of endurance, going on to enjoy a hugely successful year following her record breaking display into Arrowtown last year.
The concern for contenders to her crown is that she believes she can only go faster this year, with memories of the course still very fresh in her mind.
“For Motatapu, I’d like to think I can go faster. I am a lot stronger this year so for me an improvement on 2017’s time would be amazing- whether that puts me on the podium depends on other people and I’d be stoked to see a good battle amongst the women to bring the best out of each other. Of course, a good day is guaranteed.
“I have nothing but good memories of the 2017 Motatapu race. Because it was all new it was very exciting to just run by feel, take it as it comes and enjoy the journey. Everyone who was a part of the event was wonderful and the course was spectacular. I also remember being very, very tired at the end!”
Those memories are of a race that presents many different challenges throughout its 51km distance, with that variety important to someone who has already won two World Championships and raced extensively around the world.
“I have been lucky enough to run some of the biggest events in the world and for me I found Motatapu was very unique in its course, the diversity and the challenges. There are steep climbs, gnarly ridges, technical descents and fast running. It’s awesome to be able to include all these different aspects in a point to point race.
“A big stand out for me was when participants from all the different races intercepted and the runners got to run with the riders. This created a really cool community and buzz in the final parts of the race where the energy maybe was a bit low. It was a lot of fun to bring so many people together that share the one passion.”
Bartholomew went on to enjoy a successful 2017 after her win at Motatapu
“It’s been an amazing year for me filled with racing and travel. I have been very lucky. After Motatapu I raced in the Australian Skyrunning Championships where I finished 2nd, I ran the Ultra Trail Australia 100km where I finished 1st on my 21st birthday which was a very special day for me, I then raced the Mont Blanc 80km in France where I finished 2nd in a very competitive international field.
“I lived in France for five weeks and raced the TDS 120km race as part of the UTMB weekend at the end of August where I finished 5th after not being able to eat for nine hours during the race. Most recently I raced the Ultra Trail Cape Town, where I finished 1st in a new Course record. It’s been a dream to be a part of these races and experiences.”
2018 will see a new event on the horizon, when Bartholomew will for the first time take on a 100-mile event.
“Just recently I was confirmed for the Western States 100-mile race in the USA. This is a very big race and my first 100 miler, so I’ve had to change a lot of my plans to prepare the best I can for this race. In the broader sense of ultra-running my ultimate goal is to keep enjoying it, travelling the world, meeting good people and having fun. I am a very relaxed person and I just like to ride the wave, take opportunities as they arise.
“At Motatapu 2017 I just ran to feel, and took each step as it came. It worked. I always run this way but it’s nice to know that saving some gas for the final sections is really important as it is really fast running and last year I was a bit more tired. I hope it will be another beautiful day!”
Bartholomew won Macpac Motatapu 2017 in a new women’s race record time of 07:03:09, hinting that the magical seven hour mark might be under threat this year.
Those wishing to be on the same course as Lucy – and perhaps challenge her on the day, or take part in any of the six events on offer, can enter at www.motatapu.com, with early bird entry prices applying until midnight, Wednesday 31 January.
* Bartholomew is already twice a world champion – taking out the 2014 Junior World Skyrunning Championship (Mont Blanc, France) and the 2015 World Junior Ultra-trail Championships (France).