THE SO­CIAL AD­VO­CATE

Women's Health Australia - - INSPIRING WOMEN -

Sa­man­tha Gash

Our week­end runs don’t seem so tough when you look at Sam’s track record. Or, her off-track one. This is the en­durance ath­lete who ran four, 250km desert ul­tra-marathons in eight months, be­com­ing the first woman and youngest per­son in the world to do so. She’s run across the Hi­malayas, in South Africa and through the Simp­son Desert. In 2016, she cov­ered 3253km from the west to the east of In­dia in 76 days. But Sam doesn’t lace-up for noth­ing. She does it to raise aware­ness and funds for in­cred­i­ble causes. The World Vi­sion am­bas­sador’s run through the In­dian heat and hu­mid­ity raised close to $200,000 for ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams. “Ev­ery cou­ple of days we were be­ing deeply con­nected to why we were out there, be­cause [we vis­ited] com­mu­ni­ties and pro­grams,” she re­mem­bers. “It was the most up­lift­ing thing to do and it just re­minded us that run­ning, al­though it’s hard, is noth­ing com­pared with the ben­e­fits.” And this new mum’s ad­vice for back­ing your­self in any chal­lenge? “Know what drives you. For me, [it’s] the el­e­ment of con­tri­bu­tion,” says the mo­ti­va­tional speaker. Sam is also writ­ing a book and plan­ning a 2019 en­durance event in the out­back to sup­port early ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams for Indige­nous Aus­tralians. “The peo­ple you sur­round your­self with pro­vide you with the sup­port and the back­ing that al­low you to think your idea – or how you choose to spend your time – is val­ued,” says Sam. “The more you do, the more you’ll re­alise you are ca­pa­ble of things you didn’t ex­pect you could do.” Wise words to live by.

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