Back in Australia in 2011 a lot of my work mates were doing a 10k race - Bridge to Brisbane. I was a heavy smoker and never invited to train with the fit young guys. On race day I ran 44 mins, and no one was waiting at the end, so I presumed they all went home without me… typical! It was only the next day in the office, I found out they were still out running. I then moved to London and started running to work to mostly avoid the commute and ran my first marathon in March 2012. My second in April, and the obsession began!
2. What advice would you give a young aspiring marathon runner?
Take it gently! My first few years of marathon running were marred with stress fractures and overuse injuries. The injury rollercoaster is a tough ride. Have a couple of rest days a week and join a club - much more fun!
3. What running achievement are you most proud of?
In June I ran my first ultra - Comrades in South Africa. I ran a 6:51 (sub 7 target), which took 21 mins off the Aussie women’s record and was the first recorded Brit. I had had a tricky Spring marathon season running London with Covid and being well off target for all six of my marathons, so I was so chuffed the day went to plan, and I never blew up. I lack confidence in general, so I was waiting for the wall and expecting to crawl!
4. Growing up who was your all-time inspiring sports person?
I wasn’t athletic at all (I discovered running aged 27). I am in awe of Aussie Lisa Weightman who combines corporate life with 2:23 marathons in her 40s, with a family. I also find the UK girls Naomi Mitchell and Rosie Harvey super inspiring! They put their corporate jobs on hold to go chase their dreams, and it’s exciting to follow their journeys.
5. What are your aspirations for running in 2023 and beyond?
I hope to break the 2:40 for the marathon this autumn (pb 2:43), and to finally hit 100 marathons (87 to date). I’ll then step up to the longer distances which I think I’m better suited as I have plenty of energy, just lacking in speed! The goal for Comrades was always a top 10 finish, so I’ll be shooting for that next year - the standard of the SA girls this year was immense! Hill training and strength work required!
6. Where in the world would you most like to run a marathon?
I would love to do the Osaka and Tokyo double one year, I studied Japanese for many years, but it’s been 25 years since I was there and it’s a super cool country!
7. Something most people don’t know about you.
I’m half kiwi! I identify mostly as British / Australian these days (it was a long eight-year battle to become British!), but my mother is from New Zealand, so half my family are there.
8. How do you keep mentally focused during marathon events?
I’m not sure I do! All my marathons are for fun, and ~4 min kms is quite a nice happy pace. If I take it too seriously, I get overanxious and struggle with the breathing, so I just try to relax and enjoy it and seem to get my best results that way. I’ve had a lot of injuries and long Covid, so I always feel a lot of gratitude just to be taking part again!
9. Where did you hear about Beet It Sport products?
I started taking the shots back in 2013 as I was preparing for my first sub3 attempt (researching every marginal gain!)
10. Why do you use Beet It Sport shots?
The nitrates really help with my endurance. I generally can’t tolerate gels etc, but taking a Beet It Sport shot a few hours before, I’ve never hit a wall, even at comrades my final split was my 2nd fastest. The pink pee after-effect is just a bonus! Magic!
I’ve also started using some of the other Zinger shots. Doing 10-15 marathons a year, I struggle with my run-down immune system, but have found that the boost of antioxidants helps keep the bugs away. The ginger products also seem to help with my post marathon recovery - helpful when there is always another one around the corner! Next up the Gold Coast July 2nd!