There's no doubt Warrnambool's Kerry Clapham has experienced an array of emotions this past week.
The 63-year-old felt "incredibly proud" after completing the grueling Tarawera Ultramarathon in New Zealand last weekend.
He had to endure the mental and physical battle it took to finish the 100-mile course. Then the pain of his battered feet afterwards.
Clapham was then shocked on Thursday to hear that one of the Tarawera competitors had died after the race.
That athlete had required assistance near the finish line before being brought to hospital.
"A little bit of the gloss has come off that we lost one of the competitors," Clapham said.
"He collapsed about 200-300 metres before the end and unfortunately we found out that he passed away.
"So it proves it's dangerous, it can be very dangerous.
"I've spent 24 hours in hospital before myself in South Africa from an ultra.
"I came out of it, I got out of that one, he didn't.
"So it puts things a little bit into perspective, that you can achieve but you've got to come out of it alive."
Clapham said it was "the hardest event I have ever, ever done in my life".
It was his fourth attempt at a 100 miler after he did one in June 2019.
"It was not just the distance, it was the terrain, the heat, the humidity and climbing 5600m in total and descending about the same," he said.
"There were tree roots, rocks, rock slides, dirt slides, rivers, waterfalls - just amazing but hard, very, very hard."
The endurance athlete battled the Rotorua sulphur gas that "just cuts straight through your throat and your lungs".
Clapham started his ultramarathon at 4am last Saturday and finished at 3.17pm on Sunday.
That meant he completed the 165.2-kilometre trail in 35 hours, 17 minutes and 27 seconds.
Clapham decided to enter the race because he believed it a good personal challenge.
He picked it out three years ago and was due to run last year but didn't end up competing.
The long-time Warrnambool resident said he took numerous measures to look after his health during the race.
He heaped praise on his friend Jarrod Mast who crewed for him and the supportive race volunteers.
"It's not solo, you cannot do it on your own," he said.
"It's physically and mentally impossible."
Clapham said he hit plenty of mental walls throughout the course and also physically fell down one.
One 17km section took him five hours to get through due to the terrain and it being pitch-black.
"At one stage, with 40km to go I said to Jarrod that it was impossible," Clapham said.
Mast asked him "is it impossible or just hard with pain?"
Clapham refused give into the pain.
He came home with a green jade which is given to all the 100 mile finishers.
The special New Zealand jade is something given to someone in recognition of achieving something earned by effort.
Clapham certainly deserved it.
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