I’m A Run­ner

THE BBC BROAD­CASTER ON THE MARATHON DES SABLES AND HER BEST RACE EVER

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

BBC broad­caster So­phie Ra­worth

I RAN A BIT AT SCHOOL.

I was a 400m run­ner. Then I didn’t run again un­til I was 36, af­ter I‘d had my sec­ond child. Bren­dan Foster asked me if I’d do the Great North Run. I thought it would be a good way to lose baby weight and it was a chal­lenge.

BACK THEN,

I could never imag­ine run­ning a full marathon. Then, in 2010, I was watch­ing the Lon­don Marathon and saw Jenni Falconer, the TV presenter, cross the fin­ish line in three and a half hours. She said, ‘I owe it all to [coaches] Karen Weir and Matt Roberts.’ I con­tacted Karen and signed up to be trained by her. In 2011, I ran my first marathon and haven’t looked back.

I TAKE MY TRAIN­ERS

with me ev­ery­where. If I go and stay with friends, or to cities abroad, I’ll head out and ex­plore. I don’t re­ally like run­ning on pave­ment. I like be­ing out in the green­ery.

THE MEDAL I’M MOST PROUD

of is the one for the Marathon des Sables [MDS]. I’ve never been so fright­ened and out of my depth than when I signed up for that race. The week be­fore it, I wanted to pull out. I was so panicked. To have com­pleted it, and to have done quite well in it, is so sat­is­fy­ing. It was the first time I’ve cried cross­ing the fin­ish line.

OUT OF 1,078 PAR­TIC­I­PANTS

at the MDS, only 175 were women. Since I’ve come back I’ve en­cour­aged lots of women to do it, or other multi-day races. It’s amaz­ingly re­ward­ing. The life­style is very ba­sic, but I loved that sim­plic­ity.

COM­PARED WITH MOST SPORTS,

run­ning is easy to fit in around a job. I can run to or from work. At the week­end, when I do my longer runs, I get up early. I don’t want to be away from the kids too much, so I fit it in around them.

MY GREAT­EST EVER

run was last year’s Lon­don Marathon. I achieved some­thing I never thought I could: a sub-3:30 time. I trained re­ally hard and to be able to pull it off on the day felt bril­liant. The older I get, the faster I get. There are very few sports you can say that about.

IF I COULD GO FOR A RUN

with any­one, it would be Kathrine Switzer. I had a chat with her be­fore this year’s Lon­don Marathon. It’s ex­tra­or­di­nary to think that when she first ran Boston [1967], women weren’t al­lowed to run the marathon. I love the de­ter­mi­na­tion she had to do it.

RUN­NING FRIENDS

are food for the soul. It’s that shared en­thu­si­asm for some­thing that gives you so much. Susie Chan [ul­tra­run­ner] has be­come one of my best friends. I would never had done any ul­tra­run­ning if I hadn’t met her.

IF I COULD DE­SCRIBE MY­SELF

as a run­ner in one word it would be ‘happy’. Run­ning makes me so happy. I’m sure it’s partly the en­dor­phins. But I also love the chal­lenge, I love the train­ing and I do love a good medal.

‘Com­pared with most sports, run­ning is easy to fit in around a job’

Fol­low So­phie’s run­ning on Twit­ter @ Ra­worthon­therun

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