When did running begin for you?
I started running last February (2018) whilst in New Zealand on my sabbatical, purely because I couldn’t keep up a gym routine whilst travelling. I didn’t run at school (in fact I actively avoided it) and when I went on to study dance, it was discouraged for fear of injury, which seemed like a great excuse to continue avoiding it. Knowing I needed to do something, my travel friends pushed me to run my first 5k and although it felt awful, gave me massive blisters and destroyed my legs (and lungs!), I fell in love with the freedom and accessibility of the sport.
Why do you run?
Aside from the obvious physical health benefits, I have seen such a significant improvement in my mental health since I started running. Whenever I’m feeling anxious, overwhelmed or just can’t shake the blues, I put my trainers on and head out – even if it’s just for a mile. I continue to run for that reason but also because joining the club has given me a whole new group of friends that I love to spend time with, running or pubbing!
What race or moment in your running career holds the most significance and why?
Definitely Chicago Half Marathon (September 2018). It was my first half and it was really special, not only because of the location but because I was running it with one of my friends who helped me to that first 5k in NZ. As motivation for training, I decided to raise money for the Fountain Centre at St Luke’s Cancer Centre (RSCH) as they had cared for my Grandad and were then also caring for my Granny. Granny was in the Royal Surrey when I left for Chicago and I was so thankful to have been able to show her the medal and tell her how much I’d raised before she passed away a few days later. That race will always hold a special place in my heart.
Who is your running inspiration?
Being fairly new to the sport, I’ve never really followed any athletes in particular although I was recently inspired by Jasmin Paris at the Spine Race – what a woman!
I’m a big fan of Kiko Matthews (who holds the record for fastest female solo row of the Atlantic) and was further motivated by her doing the Wadi Rum Ultra despite not considering herself a runner.
However, I’d say that my real inspiration is everyone who gets up, puts a pair of trainers on and heads out, regardless of what’s going on in their life or where they are in their running journey.
What event, past or present, would you like to take part in and why?
1972 Boston Marathon – the first year women were officially acknowledged as participants. I reckon being one of the eight women to run and finish officially would have been the most euphoric of moments, in so many ways.
What golden piece of advice would you give to other runners?
The best advice that I was given – join a club! Other than that, show up, try your best and remember that every run is better than no run at all.
I’ve got my first marathon (Edinburgh) coming up in May which I’m excited about and terrified of in equal measure.
Who would you like to nominate?