IT WAS coined a ‘Monster Festival’ but it was the monster effort from Beerwah’s Reesha Lewis that took the limelight.
The West Mac Monster Festival – held in the Red Centre saw Reesha not only dominate the 128km ultra marathon, but break a women’s record in the process.
Reesha completed her 128km race, held along the Larapinta trail in the West MacDonnell Ranges outside of Alice Springs, in 22 hours and 30 minutes – smashing the previous record by about an hour.
She came fourth overall in the 128km “Ellery Monster” race, but was the first woman to cross the finish line. The next closest female competitor about an hour behind her.
While the thought of taking on the race would stop most people in their tracks, Reesha not only won, but perservered through a gruesome injury just 17kms into the run.
“I’ve never seen so many rocks before in my life, I tripped and stumbled on a rock and I tried to save myself but I got one huge rock right to my hip and one to the knee as well,” she said. “To be so physically and mentally broken after a race was very different for me, but it’s just going to make me stronger.
The trail takes competitors from Ellery Creek to the Alice Springs Overland Telegraph Station along the Iconic Larapinta Trail, taking the alternate high route between Standley Chasm and Jay Creek.
Although there were checkpoints along the way, which would have come in handy after injuring herself, Lewis continued to push on with little to no stopping.
“I take myself back to a hard place, I tried to block it out and take my mind somewhere else and I try to convince myself that it’s not as bad as it is,” she said.
“You can choose to stop and have something to eat, I was just in and out, refilling my water, and just kept moving.
“As long as you are going forward, you’re one step closer to the finish line.”
It has been an incredible journey for Reesha who only a few years ago lost 75kgs after committing to ending bad habits and pursuing the healthy life.
She started boxing, mountain running and doing ultramarathons, and hasn’t looked back.