Queenstown ultrarunner Adam Keen’s hoping this is the year he’ll ‘‘knock the bastard off’’.

The 40-year-old’s lining up for The Revenant for the fourth time this week, hoping to be one of the rare finishers of what’s described as one of the toughest races in the world.

Held at Welcome Rock, near Garston, entries are limited to 40 people who aim to complete four unsupported laps of the course, which changes every year, within 60 hours — other locals entering this year include Brooke Thomas, the last woman, and Queenstowner, standing in last year’s Arrowtown Backyard Ultra, and its organiser Brandon Purdue.

Each lap’s about 50km, with about 4000 metres of climbing — the first two have to be completed in 30 hours and the third within 45.

Runners, who’ll be briefed at 5pm tonight and only then find out when they’ll start, have a compass and a map to navigate; watches and cellphones are banned.

Up for the challenge: Ultrarunner Brooke Thomas. PICTURE: JAMES ALLAN PHOTOGRAPHY

Keen says no one’s managed to finish the past two editions, but he’s hoping the fourth time might prove the charm for him.

He reckons the temperatures might be on the cooler side, meaning it ‘‘could be a good weekend for someone to finish’’, noting ‘‘it’d be awesome’’ if he, Thomas and Purdue all managed that.

While he knows the area pretty well now, he’s taken on learnings from his previous attempts, particularly as they pertain to sleep.

In fact, last year he started sleeprunning at times.

‘‘It is a problem if it takes more than an hour to get through, so you’ve kind of got to have your 30-minute nap and then crack back into it, fully alert, fully energised and good to go … you’ve just got to drop some caffeine, hit a can of V or something and get through it.’’

Ready for it: Brandon Purdue

His preparation’s again included last month’s brutal Crush the Cargill event, in Dunedin, where he was one of three runners who became the
first to complete a new 100-miler category, the equivalent of 161km.

Over 35.5 hours Keen did 19 repeats of the hill climb, which equates to almost 11,000 metres of climbing — ‘‘well over [Mt] Everest’’, he quips.

As to how much longer he’ll enter these punishing events, Keen looks to guys in their early 50s who are ‘‘still crushing it’’.

‘‘Endurance is different — in your 30s and 40s you’re fit and strong, you’ve got the experience and you’re also not like someone, maybe in their mid-20s, who’s out on the town in Queenstown every week.’’

[email protected]

- Advertisement -