Thailand World Mountain and Trail Running Championships 2022
Racing for my country has been a lifelong dream. Growing up on a small hill farm on Dartmoor I remember from the age of around 14 a real desire to be the best athlete I could be. I started with cross country and running on the moor. After some time I found cycling as I enjoyed the long training hours and racing a lot. Training and working very hard on specifics has always been important to me as I had never felt like a natural athlete, I always felt a little behind where I truly wanted to be. Although I had some years full time as a cyclist my time after this has always been juggled with a full time job and now family which makes aspects of being an athlete harder but I have found it to be much more rewarding especially when you have close family to run for.
This season for the first time in a long time many things have fallen into place and I have felt the happiest, finding a great balance with family, work and training. Being selected to run for Great Britain in both the European Championships and World Championships has meant so much to me and I am incredibly proud and grateful for the opportunity given to me by British Athletics.
The build up went well, apart from a nasty bit of covid three weeks out, almost unavoidable it seems. I prepared for the heat by completing indoor bike sessions with the dining room heated to 28 degrees. Race week was a blur with the birth of our daughter, I traveled out later than the team arriving a day before race day.
Race day started well and I was optimistic and positive that it would continue. 20km into our 37km race at the foot of the second long climb, after trying to pace myself and hold back, I started to up the intensity with a plan to really push hard. At this point my body rebelled against me and even with every attempt to push and increase the intensity I felt I was going backwards. Many runners past me and I thought the climb would never end. The descent it turned out would be tougher as my legs were really cooked as well as core temperature being thought the roof. It was a huge mental battle to get to the line but am so glad I had it in me to dig so deep. I crossed the line and collapsed for a long time, eventually being carried to the medical tent by the team doctor and physio where I was covered in ice and put on an IV drip to get some fluids in, as I couldn’t hold any down.
After recovering and falling asleep for a few hours we headed to the ceremony as we had won bronze medals as a team. I felt incredibly honoured to be part of such a talented team and also grateful for all the support and encouragement from staff and teammates during the race.
It's been a fantastic season and one I am incredibly happy with, here are some of the highlights:
Three Peaks Fell Race: 1st
Borrowdale Fell Race: 1st
Lower Borrowdale Skyline, English Fell Championships: 1st
European Trail Running Championships 47km: 13th (GB Team)
World Trail Running Championships 40km: 3rd Team (GB)
Fairfield Horseshoe: 1st
Blencathra Fell Race: 1st
Newlands Memorial: 1st
English Fell Championships: 2nd Overall
Langdale Horseshoe, English Fell Championships: 2nd
Old Crown Round, English Fell Championships: 2nd
Coledale Horseshoe : 6th
Buckden Pike, English and British Fell Championships: 10th
English Fell Championships: 1st Team (Keswick AC)
British Fell Championships: 1st Team (keswick AC)
Time for some rest and family time now, then really looking forward to next years Fell season and GB trial races.