Rima Chang runs ultras drag­ging a big tyre

Runner's World (UK) - - In This Issue -

RIMA CHANG – CONSERVATIONIST, RUN­NER, TYRE DRAGGER

AS IF run­ning marathons and ultras isn’t hard enough, Rima Chang adds to the chal­lenge by do­ing them while drag­ging tyres weigh­ing up to 10kg. ‘My tyre run­ning raises aware­ness,’ says Rima, a Wind­sor-based IT con­sul­tant and a keen conservationist. ‘Peo­ple want to know what I’m do­ing – and whether I’m crazy. It’s a great way to start a con­ver­sa­tion. I hate the amount of rub­bish that peo­ple throw away so I fo­cus on one achiev­able goal – re­duc­ing the use of dis­pos­able plas­tic.’ ‘IT STARTED WITH a need for space. In 2006, I needed to get away and de­cided to go to the North Pole. I found some­one ex­pe­ri­enced and will­ing to go with me, who said I should prac­tise drag­ging things to repli­cate the sled that would carry all my be­long­ings. I needed a fo­cus, so I en­tered a marathon I could drag a tyre at. IN THE BE­GIN­NING I suf­fered a lot of in­juries: After my first marathon, I had shin splints, fol­lowed by an It-band is­sue, an Achilles in­jury and plan­tar fasci­itis. So I stud­ied Pose run­ning [a sys­tem de­signed to im­prove tech­nique and re­duce the risk of

in­jury] to learn about tech­nique. I have been in­jury-free ever since.. I USE A BODY HAR­NESS to at­tach the tyre. I tried a climb­ing har­ness but it caused poor run­ning pos­ture. On dry grass and as­phalt I am aware of the tyre’s re­sis­tance. In trop­i­cal con­di­tions, when the as­phalt is hot­ter, the re­sis­tance seems to in­crease. On ice and snow, the tyres feel light but have a ten­dency to fill up with snow. MY TYRES ALL HAVE names. I have one that is kind of prissy – I call her Red. She’s a bit posh, from a BMW. I took her on five marathons but she is dif­fi­cult to move and of­ten gets stuck in things, so I re­tired her, mar­ry­ing her off at a friend’s wed­ding to an­other tyre, Landy. I AM FAST DOWN­HILL. One thing I’ve learned from pulling a tyre is how to run down­hill. I can run down a hill with a tyre faster than many run­ners with­out one, as the tyre keeps me more up­right. ANY­ONE WHO HAS TO deal with them­selves for long pe­ri­ods of time will be­come men­tally stronger. It’s not an ex­act sci­ence, though: I com­pleted the 100K Race to the Stones in 22 hours and felt on top of the world; then, a month later, I did the Se­a­bank Marathon and to­tally lost my mojo. I DON’T RE­ALLY TRAIN. I just do short runs of around 5km be­tween events. When you do one or two marathons a month, you don’t need to train as well. But I like to play touch rugby and hockey and go climb­ing. I’m sure that tyre run­ning has made me phys­i­cally stronger. MY AGE IS A SE­CRET. Too of­ten we are judged ac­cord­ing to age. My aim is to run 100 events of marathon or ul­tra dis­tance by 2020. I’ve done 64 so far, in­clud­ing 15 ultras.’ Rima raises aware­ness and funds for sci­en­tific con­ser­va­tion char­ity Earth­watch ( just­giv­ing. com/ tyre­girl). She tweets at @ tyre­lady

TYRED? NO CHANCE Rima Chang never finds run­ning to be a drag

THE OTHER WAY Rima won­ders if push­ing is eas­ier than pulling: no

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