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Climbing Peaks with No Views

Another great week of training! Lots of laughs and lots of hard work from the team. Turning up and having a go. That's what its's all about. Being and doing your best.

I promised some views on the run out at Barrington Tops, but I disappointed the group with a white out :( Fog over the top of Careys Peak, blocking the views form the peak. So I am sorry about the weather. But what didn't disappoint was the climb. A solid 9km up the Croker trail, I was lucky enough to start at the bottom of William Tops Rd and climb all the way to the top of Careys Peak, 1700m elevation and 19km straight up. We all had some great training on a long climb in prep for some big races coming up. Practicing fueling and using the poles. Long climbing and descending practice as well. Plus a different location offering something different for the group. As a variety of options for those that were after specific training or just a fun day out on the trails. As well a good feed at the pub following :) Stopped at Dungog for a burger and beer at the Tinshed, Recommend you check it out!

Hope you enjoy the podcast. From all the athletes comments in the race interviews, as well as the interview with Dillon. I think you can get the feeling that it's not just about the results or the performances from the individual's. Yes that are amazing and incredible in the our rights and it's great to see. But its shows something different and to why they are out there doing it. The family that has been created, they are having fun, they are together out there, yes its an individual performance and achievement, but they all achieve so much together, sharing the experience and knowing they all have each others back and they all strive to do there best because of it. They show up to training to work hard, but have fun while doing it. Yes there are times to be serious, but the support and encouragement they give each other is number one. We all push each other to go that step forward. To push the limits, the 3 D's - desire, determination, discipline. We are not going to be at our best all the time, but surrounding yourself with positive likeminded people will only help you lift or show up when you are struggling. Bouncing of each other's energy, sharing the load and working together as one unity.

Thank you to the team of SNL. It's the group that makes this team so special, you each bring something to the group and without you all it would not work and the community and culture that it has become.

Here is a brief of that's on the podcast this week and notes from the interviews.

  • Training Talks

  • Weekly training review - Strava - Training Peaks

  • Upcoming Sessions

  • Athlete Interview - Dillon Rinn - Elephant Trail Races

  • Upcoming Races -

  • Running Experiences (Barrington Tops 23rd July)

  • 5 QF’s with Benn - Diane Perry

  • Outtro Song - Same Songs - James Johnston (Dillon’s country music)


  • Sarah Jeffery

  • Laura Burr


  • Last week's training sessions (Strava)

  • Strava Leaderboard

  • Training Peaks - SNL Group


  • Next weeks Sessions

  • Refer Training Peaks

  • UTMB - Sunday Sessions - Barrington Tops


  • Run Dungog

  • City 2 Surf

  • UTMB

  • Sydney Marathon

  • Great North Walk Ultras

  • Bouddi Coastal Run

  • Ultra Trail Kosci



What went well? I was really pleased with how I managed the overall pace and effort... being the first time I had run this distance I didn't want to go too hard and then struggle to make the full kms. I kept it steady throughout the early parts of the race, focused on consistency, and it paid off with a good finish, no injury, and an easy post-race recovery!

What didn't work or went bad? The temperature on the day was warmer than expected, so hydration was more critical than usual - a persistent hose kink in my bladder meant there were a few extra things to think about.

How did you overcome the challenge? I generally don't rely on aid stations, but in this race I had to carefully manage fluid intake so that I was able to refill my bottles when needed. The bladder has since got the sack... I'll rotate bottles from now on instead!

What was the best part of the event? All of it. There really is nothing better than being out on the trail!

Did you celebrate? We headed off to Port Macquarie to support the Elephant Trail Race competitors running the next day (I didn't run though!) - some awesome running from the SNL crew, not to mention Dillon's superhuman 217kms (absolute legend)! Dinner with a few of the crew at the Beach House on the Saturday night was a great way to celebrate the Raffertys run for me


What went well? This run was predominantly a training run, didn’t let my heart rate get up on the first lap, hiked all the hills and used the poles.

What didn't work or went bad? Small slip on the down had me hit my hand and bent my fingers back in first lap..

How did you overcome the challenge? Changed my grip on the poles and got on with the job

What was the best part of the event? The support from the crew plus getting handed a post run beer at the finish line

Did you celebrate? Yes dinner and a few drinks and a great sleep over with plenty of laughs with the SNL crew! Fab weekend


First elephant first 13klm in a race plus 1klm ended up being 14klm the last 1klm felt long as didn’t expect it haha was good to see the elephant come into view last 800 meters. What went well. Pretty much everything I enjoyed the course, just had tailwind didn’t stop at aid stations kept going. Wanted to finish under 2 hours. Loved seeing Benn and Dillon out on course pepped me up What didn’t work or went bad Hmm hurting my knee the night before the race was super worried next morning it hurt bad How did I overcome challenge Nurofen, determination and poles helped Best part of the event Kicking my time goal even though was injured and experiencing half of the elephant everyone talks about Did I celebrate it was a Sunday we had to get home but Linda and I had some sneaking wine in a can while waiting for everyone else

PS it helps the coach is cute and I knew he would be so proud I did it

Elephant Trail Race 2023 - 25k LINDA MINTER


The day before my event was uplifting and filled with positive energy from everyone at ETR and being surrounded by SNL friends helped ease any stress I was feeling from Lakes DNF


Refilling bottles at the first aid station.

Even though I wasn't racing, at least 6 people ran past or thru while I was ripping open TW packet and refilling my bottles.


I reminded myself I wasn't racing, so I backed off the negative talk to myself.

I also made a decision that AFTER the race, I would review how I am refueling so as to make improvements to be more efficient at refilling and getting going again.


FINISHING and feeling good about myself!

Sharing the weekend with friends and fellow SNL crew

Feeding off the positive energy of others on course



Weekend went well in general having great people around and seeing everyone tick the box, particularly Dylan and UTMB athletes.

WHAT DIDNT WORK OR WENT BAD? course wasn't great or event organiser.

HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THE CHALLENGE? just got through it as a stepping stone to better bobby.

WHAT WAS THE BEST PART OF THE EVENT? being with SNL friends and seeing them all do well.

Did you celebrate? yes 5 cans of wild turkey and spewed them up on back lawn along with Usman and Gomez.


  • What makes you tick and or what is your why?

I hold myself to a higher standard, and in recent times I notice this standard getting higher. I feel like I need to do more and continue to do better when it comes to pushing myself, putting myself out into uncommon and uncomfortable situations in order for growth. At the same time I want to do better for others and I feel like I'm supposed to contribute more in a positive, motivational way, and help those who need it. I'm still figuring everything out of course, but I know

  • When did you decide to do the 217km?

At the end of March/ start of April I decided I wanted to do another ultramarathon, I ended up deciding on the 160km distance at The Elephant Trail Race. I began training but had the feeling that doing the 160km I wouldn't quite feel as satisfied knowing that there was a further distance at the same race not yet completed. I wanted to give it a go and truly push myself into an area that made me question whether or not I had what it took to get it done. I wanted to feel what it took. So sometime around the end of May the distance of 217km was locked in.

  • Did you change anything in your lifestyle for this race?

At the end of March I joined the team at SNL and instantly found a fit amongst some incredible people. I'm a big believer in that the people we surround ourselves with and the happiness we draw from others and our environment portrays hugely in almost everything we do. I had never really trained for anything in the past before, but at SNL I took it on and emersed myself fully and I could almost instantly see improvements and built a deeper sense of accountability.

  • What was different and or how did you find the training in prep from attempting the 160km previously and the 217km?

The training between the two races were night and day. When I finished my first ultramarathon I did no training whatsoever in the lead up, and was quite naive in my thinking of what was actually involved and the toll an ultramarathon took on the body. This time around, I was surrounded by a great crew, and a great coach who took all the thinking out of it for me. I really had no idea what I was doing when it came to the training prior to joining SNL. So having that part taken care of for me really made a difference. It allowed me to be in a position where I could trust the process and just lock myself in and focus on getting the work done. I have seen my fitness and run times improve significantly, and I know this is only the beginning.

  • What and or were the doubts in your head?

I tend to pride myself on having a somewhat strong mind which I am always looking to build stronger and I believe your mind will take you to places far beyond those the body could ever go if of course you're willing to take yourself there. So leading into the race I knew there would be a time where the mind would have to take over, and thankfully to the training it was prolonged far longer than I anticipated. However at lap 6 at the lowest point of my race after not holding down any nutrition or fluids, I questioned myself for a second and asked myself what I was doing. Immediately I hated this thought and shook it off, telling myself to never let my myself think like that for another second. I knew why I was there, so having a thought like that actually made me a little angry, I was upset with myself for even letting it slip in, because that's not at all who I am or who I am working on becoming.

  • Did you have others doubt you or people against what you were trying to do?

As always there will be people that doubt you, doubt your ability, and doubt your way of thinking. I am conscious enough to realise that it's not based on the person I am but based on their outlook/ conception of what it possible for themselves. I have a great group of people around me and throughout training was given the belief it could be done. As long as I know who I am and what I am capable of, then the show I put on will be for the one's who doubted me and they can sit back to enjoy from afar.

  • What worked well during the event?

The prior planning of the handover of nutrition and changes needed each lap went as planned. As well as hitting each lap split with the exception of a few minutes on the later laps of course once the nutrition went sideways. I really cannot be more grateful for the support I had, from Brooke to my pacers doing such and incredible job and going above and beyond for me. Everything worked exceptionally well and because of that I was able to finish the race within the allocated time, which is what I was there to do.

  • How did you handle running through the night, was there a difference from the first night to the second?

Running through the first night was incredible. I had a mission and splits I wanted to hit, so I was off and running with a purpose. The temperature dropped quite a lot after midnight, but by keeping a strong cadence and working the uphills it kept my body quite warm. Come around to the second night it was much different. The temperature was warmer which was never a problem, but being awake now for 36hrs was taking a slight toll. With only a few hours into the night, my body rejected all nutrition and made it more difficult. However, the night itself wasn't too bad, I had my head torch light, with plenty of back ups, so I was never truly worried. I was counting down until sunrise where I knew I would get the morning sun's energy. The difference between night and day is that my body expects to sleep when the night comes, so when I tell it we're staying up again for a second night in a row, it certainly felt the sleep deprivation kicking in.

  • What were you most looking forward to at the end of each lap?

What I looked forward to most was seeing my partner Brooke there for me at the end of each lap, putting herself out there in an environment that was brand new to her and unfamiliar. I had the privilege to realise this each lap and thought to myself "If she can put herself out there for me, then I can most definitely put myself out there and keep the workload high". Having someone like that in your corner, give their time to you like that is truly special. It wasn't just me out there, it was always a team effort from the start.

  • Were there a few different challenges along the way?, and what did you do to overcome those challenges?

Looking back I can fortunately say that there weren't too many challenges or hiccups along the way. The morning of the race I was up quite early after not getting a great night sleep, but nerves will do that to you. It also meant because of the nerves and the constant replays of how the laps were playing out in my head, I was unable to get a nap in prior to starting. I took the opportunity before the arrival of everyone else to make my way over to the start/ finish line to soak it in and visualize how I wanted it to play out. The race started and I felt quite comfortable. I had a lot of faith and confidence in the training and the first lap went by like I had never started. before I knew it, I was halfway through within 19hrs and right on schedule to the minute. Going out into the fifth lap I was feeling great, the 50km runners were out on course so it wasn't too long before I crossed paths with Benn and Linda, which of course filled me with excitement and energy. Lap 6 then came around and this was the lap I knew would be the toughest. I discussed this with my partner prior to the race, and we scheduled this one as being my slowest one. Little did I know how rough it would get. This was an anti clockwise loop, and by the time I got to the first aid station, my body was rejecting everything I tried to put into it. I couldn't stomach any nutrition, nor could I get any water in. My mind was still there and strong, but I knew I had the hardest section coming up, Creek bed, east link climb and then of course death valley. I knew if I could get through the middle section I would be back at HQ ready to pick up my pacers and finish this thing in no time. I continued trying to put some water in, but found myself stopping several times to vomit. At this point I still knew I had a long way to go, I knew I wasn't going to get the food and liquids in to fuel my body appropriately, which meant my body was going to feel tired and fatigued far sooner than I needed it to. So in the moment I decided to throw caution out, as stopping was never going to be an option. So I decided I would go for as long as I could until my body completely gave out, and I was no longer able to place one foot in front of the other, hoping of course the finish came before this. By the time I finished the sixth lap, I picked up Steve Kelly and we both knew the job at hand. He did an incredible job pacing and we finished the lap exactly to plan, before picking up Benn and Anthony Lamb to finish the job and bring it all home.

  • How did you feel when you finished the 6th Lap, having a pacer for the first time?

Throughout lap 6 I felt tired and sick as I could not hold any fluids or nutrition in. I found myself vomiting quite often throughout the lap, having to stop each time, which led me to     worry somewhat slightly. However, I started the race with a purpose, and I knew how I would feel If I were to not finish. It would certainly outweigh anything I was feeling in the moment on lap 6. When Lap 7 came around I picked up Steve Kelly as my first pacer. This made a huge difference at this point. We walked the first few kilometers as I tried to get some solid food in. I managed to keep down enough for a short period before vomiting it back up only a couple hours later. I was determined to keep the efforts uphill high as I was starting to find the downhills tougher on my knees as each lap passed. We made a strong climb up to the tower, and I knew the job at hand was going to get done. I felt strong and full of determination. Nothing else mattered at that point.

  • How was the crewing? How was Brooke throughout the event?

My Crewing was incredible! I had my partner Brook crewing for me and this was a brand new environment for her, so rightly so she was a little worried and nervous as she didn't want to do anything wrong, or miss anything important. She didn't know who to speak to if something wasn't right, but as we all know the ultra running community is amazing and there will always be help right around the corner without hesitation. Prior to the race we discussed everything I would need each lap, and went over the expected times I would be finishing each lap, which gave her a little comfort, but of course didn't erase the nerves fully. Fortunately, this part of the race went exactly to plan, and I couldn't have asked for a better person to crew me, It truly made all the difference when it came to crossing the line within the designated time period. As well as seeing her face throughout lifted my spirits and gave me reason, not only for myself.

  • What was the best part of the event?

The best part of the race was not only seeing my partner there to support me each lap I came back around, nor the confidence I gained each hour I was out on course, but instead the greatest part were the people who showed up in support to was me finish, People I hadn't met prior to starting the race, and the team at SNL right there at the finish line. It was absolutely amazing seeing everyone's faces - although, it was about 55hours of no sleep at that point, and I probably looked like a zombie who just wanted to lay down. Lap number 8 with my pacers will be the lap I remember most. It felt somewhat selfish in a way having people support me like that. At points literally spoon feeding me as I ran, carrying food for me and telling me when to eat and drink. I've never been in a situation like that before, but I have some pretty incredible people around me who make me feel as though I can do anything and of course that feeling is reciprocated.

  • Have you had a chance to celebrate, or soak in any of it all yet?

To be honest, I don't quite know how I feel about it all just yet. I tend to be my worst critic and set quite high expectations on myself, expecting a higher quality. This time I actually focused on my training before getting to the start line for the first time which I'm happy about, It's certainly a great place to start, but it also means there's still quite a long way to go yet to improve. I'm already thinking about what's next. It may not be a healthy way of thinking, in fact, I can fully admit that it isn't, but I feel the 217km is done and what's important now will be the actions I take next in shaping who I am. I will continue to train hard and do what is required.

  • Add anything else in?

I want to say thank you to everyone I met throughout the race who encouraged me, my partner Brooke for always keeping me grounded and focused on what's important. The people at training who make it so incredibly enjoyable to show up each session, and of course to my coach Benn who has helped so many people already break down barriers they never imagined, and get them to a place they could conquer whatever they desire


  • Barrington Top - Sunday 23rd July

  • Heaton - Mt Faulk Rd Loop

  • Wakefield - Heaton Loop



  • Sunday Runs - All welcome (Heaton Loop)

  • UTMB Training Sessions

5 QF’s WITH BENN (quick facts) Diane Perry

1. Favourite race experience.

As a runner I would have to say my first 50km UTA. I didn't know if I could physically run that far but the spectators were amazing. I could hear the finish line from heaps away. Plus Bobby ran in with me.

2. Race I want to do?

Not sure- would like to do some race tourism so open to options. On the exploration side I would like to section off the GNW, the Myall Heritage Trail & the Solitary Islands trail.

3. Best learning/training tip.

Consistency is key. Recovery is vital- plug for posture plus. Sometimes things go wrong but there is always another race.

4. Favourite session of the week.

As a multisport athlete I mix it up a fair bit. I do enjoy longer sessions where I get to go somewhere new or somewhere I haven't been for a while. Especially if there's good company involved.

5. Fun fact (2) Over 11 incidents I have broken 13 bones & knocked both front teeth out. Mainly through sport.

I am a member of the Linda club as this club accepts middle names.

  • OUTRO SONG - Same Song, James Johnston

  • Thanks for joining me @ Beve with Benn

  • Stay tuned for updates

  • Post your questions and updates on racing

  • Stroke No Limits Coaching - stick to the mantra of my 3 D’s #desire #determination #discipline

1 Comment

Jul 24, 2023

What an incredibly uplifting and inspiring post this week Benn! Everyone’s race reports including your opening speech had something in it that touched my heart or made me think of things I could change in myself for the better! The interview with Dillon was an open honest insight to what an amazing human being he is and I have no doubt we will see more life changing things to come from him and I mean that for others around him not just himself. I do feel truly blessed and grateful to be a part of the SNL family and will continue to grow personally and as a runner due to your coaching, friendship and your commitment to SNL ! So…

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