A while ago Taru Jaroszynski wrote an article for Women4Adventure on her incredible journey of trekking and working in Nepal. This time round, she shares her experience of running long distance through various parts of the UK. Originally from South Africa, Taru now lives in London, but regularly heads out into the countryside to hit the trails. Read her #adventureshare below.
Why I run long distance… Firstly, I feel I need to add a disclaimer here. I would not call myself a long-distance runner. I love being outdoors, having a chat, spending time with people I care about and exploring the countryside, running is the excuse for all of that.
I did my first ultra-trail marathon in July this year. I had never done a trail marathon or any other sort of marathon before. But I wanted to do something difficult. It was a New Year’s resolution to commit and train for an endurance race and it was incredible. I managed to do the 12 hills and 47.5km race in 6h56 in very hot weather along the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. The scenery was incredible and I had some lovely chats to people along the way. Most of them were men who had been doing long distance running for over 20 years and had loads of advice and some great stories.
Seeing my friends on the race day course was also an incredible bonus to long distance racing. They had come down with me to support. I got incredibly teary when I saw them at the 39km mark. I felt incredibly blessed and if that comes from running, I think we should all do more.
What I love most about running in the UK… I do quite a few trail half marathons with a group of friends and it’s a great, healthy excuse to visit different parts of the country. We did a wonderful trail race in the Forest of Dean in England and then followed it up with some wild swimming and book reading in a lovely village in the Cotswolds. A early winter trail run in the Gower, Wales was breathtakingly beautiful and after a proper ‘Cafe’ fish and chips on the way home, we watched a Welsh Rugby match in a wonderful pub in Michaelson-y- fedw.
Most challenging part of long-distance running… Remembering to focus on the moment and not think about how much further I have to go. I have to remind myself sometimes to just admire the view or listen to the birds and enjoy the adventure.
My greatest run yet… I should say the trail ultra marathon, but actually all my training runs leading up to the marathon were my favourites. My boyfriend and I trained together. We are both novices but we had good chats, learnt a lot about perseverance and were able to bolster each other along the way. In fact on the actual race, that’s what I missed most. He was doing another run in Switzerland the same day and we called each other half way round but it wasn’t quite the same.
My bucket-list run… Gosh, I am still recovering from the ultra… can you give me a few weeks?
Tips for other women who’d like to run long-distance… Do it somewhere beautiful with people you love.
Interested in more running-related content? Read Megan Levinson’s take on trail versus road running.