FKT: Claire O'Brien-Smith - Cape to Cape Track (WA, Australia) - 2021-02-27

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
18h 30m 45s

I started this adventure at 4:36am from a dark and rainy Cape Leeuwin lighthouse and finished at 11:07pm at Cape Naturaliste lighthouse, travelling south to north. I carried all of my own gear (food, water, chargers, first aid etc) and re-filled at taps or tanks along the course and had no external assistance. I carried a SPOT tracker and knew I had friends and family tracking my progress and the ability to call for help in an emergency.

My friend Ally Willcox set off on the same day but completely separately and I did not see him at all until the finish.

I encountered three snakes (a 1.5m dugite refused to move off the narrow track), two monitor lizards, one bobtail, two frogs and an owl and was able to watch lots of surfers in a huge swell which provided a good distraction. The Cape to Cape track demands respect, it’s brutal and unrelenting, but it also has epic scenery, fun technical trails and an awesome sunset over the water.

I battled with nausea and dehydration for the first 60-70km and was ready to throw in the towel but I trotted on, sang some songs out loud and after another hour or two I turned a corner and started to feel better. For some unknown reason I started to feel really fresh around 80km and wondered if I would negative split the run! After that, I was on autopilot for a few hours and felt like I flew to the finish, picking up pace - although Strava data says otherwise. Ultras are emotional rollercoasters! I was too fatigued to figure out times and distances so just ran by feel and was happy to hear of my time at the finish.