04 Sep Basecamp Ambassador Blake Turner
What does one do after winning a 75 km Ultra Marathon through hard Victroian Alpine country? Go on a three day trek over Ten Australian Summits of course! I suppose this optimises Blakes’ philosophy on getting amongst it. Firstly, his training has him ready for any challenge, and being ready enables him to “say yes to adventure!”.
Blakes progression into winning ultra trails was an organic one. He was introduced by his active family to adventure racing in his early 20’s, dabbled in some mountain biking, fun runs like the City2Surf and discovered his natural strength in the running discipline. He stepped it up by buying a ticket to the Everest Base Camp Marathon in 2015 and found Joe’s Basecamp to start training for it. Actually “the altitude chamber sold me” he confesses, but Joe’s is “unlike any gym I have ever been before.”
Blake says the community, the knowledge and ideas of the people within is a major advantage of being a part of the JBC fold. Don’t worry Blake, we get it. And what about the altitude room? Blake has educated himself on the science behind it and says it’s “not a placebo”. He used it a bunch before his EBC marathon, and will be jumping in again for his training for the upcoming CCC in August, a 101km ultra trail run around Mont Blanc, covering France, Italy and Switzerland.Blake plans his big runs 6 to 7 months in advance, calling them “A” races, of which he schedules around 2 a year (think the UTMB and Buffalo Stampede). “B” races are smaller, not as serious ones, were he will not be in his peak, but it helps keep the cobwebs at bay, and hey, what’s a 10k to someone who can fly across 50?
What pulls Blake to running could be called ‘getting in the zone”, more recently named a “flow state’, but he describes it as a deeper elemental force; “I feel a closer connection to the environment while moving through it, constantly reading and learning from it which can allow for only the thoughts of the present and being in the moment.” He has a mantra whilst running, “How am I now?”. During his race he repeats this, checking in on his perceived effort, his breathing and then adjusts accordingly. He laughs that he’s “made so many mistakes when running. You’re going to do what you’re going to do, then you learn.” It’s all a part of the process to success. Each race day is different and Blake notes his major lesson from races is to organise himself. Training, nutrition, race day calories and water, even the right socks all play a part in maximising your chances of being successful. The “How am I now?” being a tool, if not a Buddist framed one, to ensure that he takes the action that is needed at that time.
So after just completing the CCC race in Mount Blanc… what’s next for Blake? Stay tuned!