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As a Sports Dietitian I helped her plan her nutrition before, during and after this race.

Jessica you recently completed your first ultra marathon – 61km in Europe, where you came 3rd Female and 27th overall including males and out of 500 runners….

1) Where was this ultra marathon?

“The race was called the Verbier Saint Bernard trail and it was held around the mountains in Switzerland and Italy”.

Verbier Saint Bernard Trail: 61km Ultra Marathon

Verbier Saint Bernard Trail: 61km Ultra Marathon

2) What was the change in altitude? 

“I’m not sure what altitude we reached, throughout the race we had 4000m of vertical”.

3) I remember you saying it was really hot, but then you were sliding down snow in some parts of the run…. what was the approximate change in temperature? (lowest and highest)

“The temperature actually stayed pretty consistent throughout the race, it was a hot day. However yes we did run on the snow at the higher altitudes but this was probably because it had been a late season and they had a lot of snow fall at the end of May, so much in fact that although the weather had been hot over the past month there was still a lot of snow that hadn’t melted. Luckily we didn’t have to deal with temperature changes however, this is a real problem with this kind of race and every participant had to carry extra clothing, jackets, a long sleeve 200g weight top like an ice breaker, long pants, gloves and an emergency blanket in case of cold conditions or the weather turning during the race”.

4) How successful do you feel your nutrition preparation was in the lead up to this event?

“Really good, I spent a lot of time during my training runs practicing everything I was going to eat and drink and also getting my recovery meals right. I felt very good about my nutrition plan going into the race”.

Jessica Purbrick, running the Verbier Saint Bernard Trail: 61km Ultra Marathon

Jessica Purbrick, running the Verbier Saint Bernard Trail: 61km Ultra Marathon

5) As a Sports Dietitian I provided sports nutrition advice in the lead up to this event…. what information was most useful?

“To practice everything you are going to eat before race day. It’s so important to know what works for you and your stomach, don’t rely on the aid stations. You gave me some great suggestions of different energy snacks that I could make myself to eat as after a while gels make you feel sick. To eat before the big climbs. Hydration!!. Having a nutritional recovery plan for as soon as the race finishes”.


6) Can you give 1 Top Nutrition Tip for any upcoming ultra marathon runners embarking on their first ultra marathon? 

“Hydration! Soooooo important. Keep sipping water and at every check point always fill up your supplies even if you don’t think you need to!”

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