The youngest amongst 39 competitors nationwide, ultra-marathon runner Stavros Michael came fourth in the Men’s Australia Ultra Runners Championship this past weekend.

Taking place in Canberra on April 6-7 at the Australian Institute of Sports Track and Field Centre together with the International Association of Ultrarunners Asia & Oceania Championship, Stavros managed to break the 100 km record for his age group.

Exhausted, wet, and stoic after the race, Stavros shared with Νeos Kosmos the toll a race like this has on one’s body.

“I went out very hard at the start to get the 100km ranking after that the next 18 hours were gruelling, broke me in every aspect,” he said.

Stavros Michael (right) with running mate Jason Richard (7th). Photo: Supplied

He shared he wanted to pull the pin every hour but was persuaded by his dad to keep going and was happy he did “even though it tore me to shreds.”

Despite the rainy weather, Stavros and the other racers had an amazing race.

“It was a privilege to partake and experience my first national world athletics event.”

“Battling against elite top ultra-runners, track races can be quite challenging in many aspects.

Stavros Michael races in the rain. Photo: Supplied

“No change in scenery, constant loops, and the same repetitive terrain. Using the same muscle groups is tolling and when night falls the body just wants to sleep.”

The best advice Stavros said that he can provide to other runners is to “mentally zone out and try to fall into a dream state, like sleep running.”

“These kinds of races also define the purity of running.

“No distractions just rawness and that’s why I love it and suggest anyone to give it a crack.”

Fellow Greek Australian and Stavros’s idol, Yiannis Kouros, still holds the all-time Australian 24-hour track record of 303.506 km.

Stavros gives a thumbs up as he races in rain. Photo: Supplied