Last year I was fortunate enough to be invited to join the ‘AR Trail Team’ created by AR Endurance Sports founders James Poole and Claudia Schroegel. The team range in ability level, from beginner to experienced ultra runner, and is dedicated to ensuring that women are represented as actively as men in the sport of endurance running. This year we will be training and racing as a collective in trail races over distances of 10k-Ultra Marathon.
The team will be present at the following events throughout the year as well as competing individually in races organised by Centurion Running, UTMB, UTSN and more! We will also travel to Chamonix for training camps in April and May. Wherever we are, we like to think we are a friendly bunch, if you spot neon come and say hi!
The team are fortunate enough to be supported by adidas UK and Stance Socks amongst others and thank these sponsors for their continued support.
This weekend I drove (was driven) out to Oxfordshire to support some of the guys from the AR Adidas Trail Team in the Centurion Running Autumn 100. This was a point to point 100 mile race and we had 4 of the guys from the team out trying to complete the distance.
It was the first time I would see runners go past the marathon distance and it was a real eye opener! Make no bones about it, one hundred miles on foot is no small undertaking. The guys had to think about running/surviving (obviously) for 17-22 hours, how they’d fare through tiredness, how they’d fuel during troughs in energy and how’d they’d light their way during the night legs.
After watching our runners, encouraging them, making sure they had what they needed at crew stations, I can say that they are total heroes all. Not once did I hear a complaint, witness a grimace or a grumble. They really sold the idea of taking on something like this myself, although the mental fortitude and physical preparation required will need some planning. I’ll be starting with 50 miles at the North Downs Way next year, let’s see how that goes first maybe!
I hope the photos from the day give some sort of flavour as to what the guys had to experience, although really the nitty-gritty of what running an ultra really involves is missing – the packing, the nutrition, the blisters, the concentration, the determination!