Julia Hargreave completes ultra marathon despite testing weather conditions

Julia Hargreave completed the testing endurance event in difficult weather conditions on the weekend. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE
Julia Hargreave completed the testing endurance event in difficult weather conditions on the weekend. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

Julia Hargreave will certainly never forget her first ultra marathon.

Within 200 metres of starting her grueling 60km journey, snow started to fall, as a wintry blast swept through the region on the weekend.

The snowy conditions were then there to stay for the first 10km, in what was already set to be a challenging experience.

"It was very extreme weather conditions," Hargreave said. "After that it was pretty much unrelenting rain and wind.

"It was pretty epic."

But the Lavington netballer pushed through to see herself make the substitute trek from Rosewood to Holbrook in five hours and 40 minutes for the virtual Great Ocean Road Ultra Marathon.

She reached her goal of crossing the finish line within the event's six hour cut-off time, with plenty of support from family and friends along the way.

Hagreave admitted it was a relief to finally reach her family's farm.

"Mum had organised our neighbours to be at their front gates for the last 20km," she said. "I didn't know that people were going to be out the front of their driveways cheering me on.

"That was awesome to get me through that part of the race.

"During training I was using headphones to listen to music and podcasts but couldn't have headphones in because it was just so wet.

"I was stuck in my own head a bit, so it really helped having the support crew."

Having previously completed three full distance marathons, Hargreave admitted they had nothing on the ultra.

She tried to replicate the hilly Great Ocean Road track as best she could after the event was forced to go virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria.

"It was a challenge running the hills with the wind," Hargreave said. "I had a bit of an achy pain in my right hip for the last 10km, so I was really ready to stop by the end of it."

Hargreave hasn't ruled out one day completing the ultra marathon again on the Great Ocean Road track.

But for now she's satisfied with letting her latest achievement sink in.

"It was awesome to tick off my first ultra marathon," she said.

This story As if your first ultra marathon isn't enough, add snow first appeared on The Border Mail.