I started running when I was about 2! I have run on my own, run obstacle courses, run away from bears (not in Surrey), run in all sorts of crazy weather, run in a wetsuit, fallen over, walked a lot, laughed a lot and sometimes cried a bit. And still it draws me to it.
Running off road is my absolute favourite. In fact you will struggle to get me to run on road. Off road and the scenery is constantly changing, the air feels clean and walking hills is normal. The trees don’t care if we are turning bright red or not wearing the latest running gear and on top of that there is always flora and fauna to wonder at and touch. It fires up my brain, imagination and importantly my motivation. I get to follow that animal trail to see where it leads or to climb that tree if I want to.
This passion for the great outdoors has led me on all sorts of adventures including sailing around Britain, climbing in the Alps and open water swimming. I really like pushing my comfort zone and have competed in world championships, adventure races, ultra-marathons, triathlons, and my current favourite, swimrun. Seriously what can be better than running over Honister Pass in a wetsuit while using your swim hat to shield you from the mother of all hailstorms or being tethered to your mate for 10 hours!
What my heart loves, my head has caught up with and I have turned my enthusiasm and knowledge into my perfect job as an England Athletics Fell/ Trail Running Coach (CiRF) based in the adventure playground, which is The Surrey Hills.
I get my kicks from helping others discover what’s possible and working out how to get them there. My role isn’t to push and push. It is to listen, guide, challenge, motivate and provide expertise and a good dose of humour. Whether I am coaching absolute beginners or seasoned competitors, I love the moment when I meet someone and get to discover what makes them tick.
Running for me isn’t about PB’s or Strava – it’s about the freedom it gives me and the people I meet on the way. Hopefully that’s lot of you at the NRS.