|Name Bernadette Benson|
Bernadette Benson is a Canadian born athlete specialising in ultra distance events.
Bernadette Benson holds dual citizenship in Australia and has competed in numerous road, track, and trail events around the world. At her first 24 hour event, the Australian National 24 Hour Championships in Brisbane, Australia in June 2010, she was the first woman outright winner of the event in 25 years. She broke the Canadian 24Hr W40 record with her distance of 200.886 km. In November 2010 Bernadette won the Victorian 6 Hour & 50 km Track Championships outright with a distance of 70.406 km. In April 2011 she broke the Canadian W40 100 km record while racing at the Coburg 24 hr track race in Victoria, Australia. In November 2011, she broke the FKT (Fastest Known Time) record for the 1,000 km Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia, completing it in 15 days 9 hours 48 minutes.
A highlight in 2012 was her winning the female division of the Coast to Kosci 240 km race, considered by many as Australia's premier ultra. Her time was the fastest of any Australian woman in the history of the event. In May 2013, Bernadette competed at the 10th International Association of Ultrarunners World 24 Hour Championships, where she ran 216.343 km, breaking five Australian and three Canadian records along the way, including the Canadian female open 24 hour record. However, at the Coburg 24 Hour Carnival and concurrent Australian National 24 Hour Championships in April 2014, Bernadette bettered that performance with 238.261 km, breaking her own Canadian open record as well as the Australian 24hr open record. Her 100-mile split time of 15hr 38 min 18sec broke both the Canadian and Australian open 100 mile records.
Bernadette's trail racing achievements include wins and course records at the 6 Inch Trail Marathon (Western Australia), the Kep Ultra (Western Australia), and Lost Soul Ultra (Alberta, Canada). She placed 3rd at the 2013 Swiss Alpine 78 km race in Davos, Switzerland. In 2011, she was part of Team Canada at World Trail Championships, where the women won a bronze medal.
In early 2015, Bernadette won the Australia Day Ultra 100 km road race, finishing in a Canadian national W45 record-breaking time of 8hr 32min. Later that year she finished 7th at Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB). In early 2016, Bernadette became the fifth woman ever to finish the 300 mile Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra, taking over 24 hours off the female course record with her first-place finish.