Arrowtown’s Benje Patterson exceeded his own expectations to finish a brilliant third in the gruelling Brisbane Trail Ultra 100-mile event last weekend.

The 36-year-old was the first Kiwi home in 20hr 25min 45sec, just under 10 minutes behind second place-getter, local Noelis Rheault, in the event won by Poland’s Piotr Babis in 18.59.58.

The podium finish “wasn’t what I was expecting but it was really pleasing to get it”, Patterson says.

“It means quite a bit to come over and race across the ditch and get better results than I know I’m capable of.

“It was definitely nice to beat a few Aussies.”

An economist by profession, he says economical transitions were key to getting the jump on other runners.

“A lot of people take quite a bit of time in the aid stations, I just switch bottle, shovel in some food and just get moving.

‘‘Those 100 miles aren’t going to run themselves.

‘‘The whole race was pretty smooth sailing for me and these things seldom are so it was a real big confidence booster to come through all day feeling strong and feeling well.”

It’s a different scenario to his first 100-mile run, Rotorua’s Tarawera Ultramarathon in February, in which he finished “absolutely spaced out
[and] away with the fairies for the next 24 hours”.

‘‘This time I felt lucid and really good.”

Although the Brisbane ’miler is not a qualification event for other races, Patterson says the real benefit is the morale boost it gives him for the next race — “when I’m applying pressure on myself I can be confident that I can execute it”.

“Once you’ve been going for 14, 15 hours you can get unstuck pretty quickly.”

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