Her mantra was “relentless, forward, progress”.
It’s been long argued that women may be better suited for long-distance running than men. This theory was proven true at the recent running of the Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia, a grueling race that has competitors running 1000K. Forty-two-year-old Bernadette Benson of Canada was the first person, man or women, to reach the finish. Her victory, in 15 days, nine hours, and 48 minutes, slashed nearly a day off the previous race record that had been held by Perth’s Paul Madden.
Benson is no stranger to running. She holds three Canadian long-distance records. She used the challenge to raise funds for Inclusion WA, which supports people who are disadvantaged or living with a disability to participate in sports.
She maintains that the race was no cakewalk and, at one point, admits wanting to quit due to foot pain.
“On the 12th day, I had to stop early because I was pretty much just stopped dead in my tracks because it took me about 30 minutes to go down a 1km hill because of the pain,” she recalls. “I had a mantra in my head ‘relentless, forward, progress’ and I named my walking poles Nearer and Further, and each step took me one metre nearer to Albany and one metre further from Kalamunda and that’s the way I had to micromanage the track at a lot of points.”
For More: The West Australian