I’m a fairly ordinary 33 year old I would say (!), wanting to do something quite extraordinary. I am from the UK and currently live in New Zealand with my husband James and work as a relief teacher as well as volunteering at Starship hospital. I was never a sporty person when I was growing up; the closest I came was playing in a table tennis team! My PE teacher at school frequently told me I was a “limp lettuce” during gymnastics and athletics and I generally associated sport with something that made me feel unwell!
When the running began
In 2006 James decided that it would be fun to sign me up for the Bath half marathon, with 3 months notice. On my first training run (3km) I had to stop about 8 times and nearly cried! Anyway to cut a long story short I managed to complete the half marathon and to my complete surprise really quite enjoyed it!
After another year or so of road running I discovered the beauty of taking running off-road and this is now something I truly love. I have also dabbled in triathlon and managed to somehow complete a full ironman distance event (2.2mile swim, 112 mile hilly bike, followed by a marathon). I have completed many off-road marathons and several ultra-distance races. In 2012 I completed the Marathon des Sables, a 150mile race in the Sahara Desert, carrying everything you need for the 7 day event! Thinking back I’m not actually sure how I did this, but somehow I did!!
Not long after arriving in New Zealand I heard about the Te Araroa trail and it was something I was instantly drawn to. I’m not exactly sure when but at some point last year I had the thought that I could actually run the trail and ever since then the idea has crept into my soul and taken hold! I know if I don’t throw caution to the wind and actually go for it I will always wonder what could have been! My planning is well under way and I have many lists, soon I will need a list of lists (yes Sarah!) I have run several sections of the trail in Northlands and have been trialling out my GPS and map reading skills. As part of the physical and mental training I decided to run everyday for a year, which I started on January 5th, and so far so good! 20 minutes is the minimum and so far 6 hours has been the longest!
It was not hard to decide on the causes I will support with my sponsorship. New Hope is one of the most inspiring places I have ever been lucky enough to spend time. Knowing that I can help to secure a future for the young girls there, through their education, will definitely be a huge factor in getting me to keep putting one foot in front of the other, however blistered they get! Starship is equally amazing and I am proud to be supporting the vital cardiac surgery they provide for so many children. Please also take time to have a look through the photos from my stay at New Hope and see the outstanding care that is provided for children that arrive with such sad stories.
2012 – Pilgrims Challenge – 66miles in 2 days
(snow and temperatures down to -10*)
2012 – The Big Woody Ironman triathlon – 2.2mile swim, 112mile bike, 26mile run in 16 hours 17 minutes (the event have since been shortened!)
2012 & 2011 – Brecons Ultra – 45miles in 12.5 hours