With an impressive international field lining up in the Tarawera Ultramarathon 100 Miler, few gave Vlad Shatrov a chance of winning.

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Plenty had him in the mix for the top five, but not many would have been brave enough to project a win for the Australian.

On Saturday, in near-perfect trail running condition, Shatrov went about proving those doubters wrong in a performance for the ages, not only taking out the 100 Mile event but in the process smashing the race record of Jeff Browning (16h 18m 54s in 2019) by going sub-16 hours with a time of 15h 53m 30s.

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The 41-year-old surged into the lead early and only held his form to leave a world class field trailing in his wake, with runner-up Yoshihiko Ishikawa (Japan) and Adam Kimble (USA) finishing well behind the flying Aussie.

"This is number one, a massive achievement. Most of you know the way I run, I tried to modify that today. I started a bit slower – I thought. I just ran comfortable and felt good and just kept going.

"It was tough and there was 30km there when I was giving it to my poor pacer, the poor guy couldn't do anything right. I was just not in a good spot for a while but I kept going, all the people on course and the volunteers they made it special and helped me get to the end and I will cherish this forever. It has been hard, I have had a few tough runs, it is good to get the monkey off the back."
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Japan's Yoshihiko Ishikawa was another to fly under the radar coming into the race but proved consistent throughout the day to run home second just under an hour behind the blistering pace of Shatrov.

In the women's race it was a similarly dominant and somewhat surprising performance from winner Ailsa MacDonald, of Canada, with the 39-year-old upsetting her more fancied rivals to finish third overall and a clear winner.

Canadian Ailsa MacDonald was the clear winner in the women's 100 mile race. Photo / Kurt Mathews
Canadian Ailsa MacDonald was the clear winner in the women's 100 mile race. Photo / Kurt Mathews

"It is pretty amazing, I am pretty happy, I wasn't expecting this today, this is a surprise," MacDonald said.

"I had a good build-up coming into the race and I always race really well at this time of the year, I thought I had a good shot coming in but to place top three overall was beyond my dreams."

Perhaps part of that success came down to a very relaxed game plan, putting little pressure on herself to perform.

"I didn't have a plan other than to go out and enjoy the day and take the punches that were thrown at me. I had lots of low moments during the day like everyone I am sure, but I had lots of high ones too. The crowd was amazing, the crowds, scenery, aid stations, everything was just amazing."

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The field was left in MacDonald's wake as leading contenders first fell off the pace and then for many, withdrew from the race altogether, but competition for the other spots on the podium was intense, with Caroline Sebert (France) just doing enough to hold off an amazing performance from Rotorua local Sue Crowley with just 14 minutes between the two.

Tarawera Ultramarathon 100 Mile Results

Men:

1st Vladimir Shatrov, AUS, 15h 53m 30s (new race record)

2nd Yoshihiko Ishikawa, JPN, 16h 48m 47s

3rd Adam Kimble, USA, 18h 23m 27s

Women:
1st Ailsa MacDonald, CAN, 18h 10m 29s
2nd Caroline Sebert, FRA, 22h 14m 21s
3rd Sue Crowley, NZL, 22h 28m 28s