Vice Hazdovac went 'Beyond', to run 165km over 24 hours to raise funds for Can Too in the Southern Sydney 24 Hour Ultra. Not only that she placed 3rd female overall in the 24 hour ultra run, completing 412 laps of the 400m track!
How did it feel to finish and to come 3rd in your Beyond challenge at the Southern Sydney 24 Hour Ultra?
I am thrilled with the result, it’s really beyond what I hoped for. I am quite new to ultrarunning and this was my first 24 hour race, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I hoped I could do a 100-miler (160 km distance) over 24 hours. Not just that I managed to reach my target and kept running, but also finished as 3rd woman and 9th overall with some experienced and incredible ultrarunners participating. It felt amazing!
What is your profession?
Where do you live?
What led you on your journey to take on the Can Too Beyond Challenge?
I started running about five years ago to improve my fitness and six months later entered my first half marathon. Since then I have kept running and completed many races of various distances, was never very fast but had pretty good endurance. That led me to ultra-distances and this latest 24 hour track challenge. I decided to do a fundraiser for it, to give some bigger purpose to all the countless laps which I was going to run.
Why did you decide to raise funds for Can Too?
Like most people, I’ve had loved ones affected by cancer and seen what this terrible disease can do. Because of that I wanted my fundraising to help fight cancer. I came across Can Too and loved the concept of raising funds for cancer research while also helping people to stay fit and healthy.
How did you train for the event?
I started preparing for the event about six months prior to it, mostly just by increasing my weekly running distance (I ran about 50-60 km per week back then). I made sure to always increase the distance gradually, and not every week, to avoid injuries. I did a couple of very long runs (7+ hours) where I also practiced my pacing and food strategy. 10 weeks before the race I completed the Sri Chinmoy 12-hour track race and covered 103 km. This gave me a lot of confidence before the 24 hour and helped me set my distance target.
Even though I was very sore and tired when finished, and certainly not keen to keep running for another 60 km, with more than two months of training left, I believed 160 km would be an achievable goal. My peak training was about 150 km per week (including walks), three weeks before the race. From there I started decreasing it in order to recover and be well rested for the race day.
At the same time I started having issues with my Achilles tendon which really scared me, but it was time to rest anyway so I decided to stop running, apart from a few light jogs and walks, and hoped it would settle down soon. Luckily it did!
What are some of the key learnings from the 24-hour run?
Just keep moving! Walking breaks are good, but stopping for more than a few minutes makes it really difficult to get back to it.
Has achieving a goal supporting Can Too benefitted you in other ways? How?
Knowing it’s for a good cause gave me an extra motivation to push myself to be the best runner I can be.
Why do you love running?
I love the physical and mental benefits of it, participating in running events and the sense of achievement when you cross the finish line, being part of the great community, love how it relates to life… These are some main reasons, I could keep going on but it would be too long.
What’s most rewarding about fundraising?
Sense of making an impact and contributing to a good cause.
How have you fundraised?
I shared my fundraising page link with my networks and let everyone know about the challenge. It can be a bit uncomfortable, but I found the most effective way for me was to ask for donations directly. People are mostly happy to help.
How do you keep motivated when training and or fundraising gets tough?
I remember myself why I started it.
Do you have a favourite motivational quote:
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
Are there any supporters you’d like to thank?
My biggest support as always was my partner Marko who was my only crew for the race and did amazing. I’d also like to thank all the other runners who shared the track with me, their crews, race officials and volunteers and Can Too’s CEO Peter - everyone was so supportive and they all helped me to get through the race.
What is your next goal??
I don’t have any big events planned, it will take some time to recover from this one :). I would like to improve my speed and break 20 minutes in the 5K.
Next time your running 12.5 laps in your Can Too benchmark run think around Vice's achievement. You can still donate to her Beyond Challenge.
There's no limits to what you can achieve for cancer research with Can Too Beyond.
Training with Can Too Beyond gives you all the infrastructure and support you need to reach your fundraising goals, but with the freedom to choose and pursue your own goal. Unlike the traditional Can Too program offering, there is no minimum fundraising requirement. All funds raised for the Can Too Foundation aids in supporting health promotion and early career cancer researchers. Find out more.