As an ultra-marathon runner, Bernadette Benson has never been one to do things in half measures.
The child psychologist has smashed the record for running the 1000km Bibbulmun Track, which stretches from Kalamunda to Albany.
The 42-year-old Canadian, who lives in Wembley, ran for 14½ hours a day, covering an average daily distance of 65km, to finish in 15 days, nine hours and 48 minutes.
Her effort slashed almost a day off the previous record of 16 days, eight hours and 15 minutes held by Perth man Paul Madden.
Benson, who holds three Canadian records for long-distance running, used the challenge to raise funds for Inclusion WA, which supports people who are disadvantaged or living with a disability to participate in sports.
Benson admitted completing the track in record time was no mean feat, but she said she never wanted to give up, even though she had crippling foot pain.
"On the 12th day, I had to stop early because I was pretty much just stopped dead in my tracks because it took me about 30 minutes to go down a 1km hill because of the pain," she said.
Benson spent a day at Denmark Hospital having X-rays and scans but doctors gave her the all-clear.
"I had a mantra in my head 'relentless, forward, progress' and I named my walking poles Nearer and Further, and each step took me one metre nearer to Albany and one metre further from Kalamunda and that's the way I had to micromanage the track at a lot of points," she said.Benson, who completed the track with the help of her husband Rolf following in a car, said she rested for between four and six hours a night and ate more than 5000 calories a day.
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