Here’s a bit more information about our team members, who will be regularly blogging about training and stuff, and giving an insight into what it’s like to train for a 100 kilometre race. It’s the furthest I’ll have ever run in a single stage event too, so I really am thrilled to be involved in something that will hopefully open up ultra running and other endurance sports to more women, and show they’re more accessible, less scary and a lot of actual fun!
My name is Susie Chan, and I am an endurance runner. I have been running since 2011, when I got talked into a half marathon by my brother. I had never run before, did modest training, and managed to stumble over the finish line in quite considerable pain. Since that first medal went round my neck I have been running more and more and further and further. I run because I love it, and I love the people – they are my sort of people, and because I like eating crisps.
My race CV highlight is the Marathon des Sables, and 2014 sees me tackling Boston Marathon and Thames Path 100.
My favorite races are Multistage races, spending days with like minded people, doing the thing I love.
I have never attempted a 100K before or raced as part of a team, so I am very much looking forward to doing both!
Born in Ghana, Kabuki has travelled around the world since the age of 16 for her education, work, and recreation.
To keep healthy and tame her monkey mind, Kabuki actively took to running in 2008.
During this journey, she was inspired by a friend’s courage to run (and complete) the 4deserts and this provided the motivation to sign-up for two ultra’s in 2013: the London to Brighton 100km and The Thames Path 50km. Training and competing helped her to discover peace and mental space that was vital to keeping life balance in check and the distance forced a welcome focus on how to respect the body.
Kabuki’s dream now is to extend her running to ultra distance challenges around the world and to fully embrace the tranquility that she’s found in endurance activities.
Outside of running and walking their dog, Kabuki loves cooking, photography and experiencing the creativity of chefs around the world. Her holidays are spent travelling with her husband Ken to destinations for runs coupled with some food- based exploration.
Professionally, Kabuki works for Universal Music Group International where she is a Senior Vice President responsible for digital distribution of UMG owned and distributed content for all territories outside of North America and Mexico.
You can follow Kabuki on twitter @kabukisnyder
With a fairly new found love of ultra running, or just running for that matter, I have also found a confidence and competitive streak that I didn’t know existed previously.
I’ve been running for about 6 years taking it up originally as part of a weight loss plan and now addicted to the endorphins & awesome experiences I get through running. I built up from 10km to my first marathon in Amsterdam in 2010, and I could never have imagined that I would ever call myself an ultra runner, I hadn’t even heard of it! Now with a couple of ultras in the bag and with a highlight of coming 2nd lady (and 16th overall) in South Africa’s Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon (250km self sufficient race over 6 stages) in 2013, I’m off to compete in the 29th Marathon Des Sables. It doesn’t stop there, with my 2014 plans including Edinburgh marathon in May, my first non-stop 100 mile race over in Ohio in June; Mohican 100, Race to the Stones 100km in July, Clyde Stride 40 mile in September and perhaps a return to the Kalahari desert in November.
I’m so excited to be selected to be part of the North Face ultra team with a group of fantastic & inspiring ladies, some of whom I’ve already had the pleasure of getting to know through the power of twitter, and even run with already. It will be great to learn from the awe inspiring Lizzy Hawker and share training plans and stories with the gang, all supported by the great North Face brand.
Read more about me & my stories at my blog www.runningdutchie.wordpress.com and follow me on twitter @runningdutchie.
Hannah is a 23 year-old self-professed mathematician and former Newcastle University graduate, who is now lucky enough to call London her home.
Prior to University, she spent 5 years with the Air Training Corps where weekends were spent roaming the Scottish Highlands and developing a love for the outdoors. Whilst studying she started rowing, practiced yoga and trained with the AXC Club whilst dipping in and out of running. Since summiting Kilimanjaro her most recent challenges include Tough Mudder and completing her first half marathon.
When not on board the Buying Team to the UK’s largest Specialist Running Retailer, Hannah will mostly be found in the kitchen. A creative and aspiring foodie, she is incredibly passionate about holistic wellbeing and a firm believer that the first step in fuelling the strongest most healthy body and mind is eating organic wholesome foods.
You can follow Hannah over at @iamhannahwalsh
Name: Louise Ayling
Years running: 4
Years running ultras: 1
PBs: Marathon 4:24, parkrun 24:56
Favourite running surface: Woodland trail.
Running achievement I am most proud of: Earning my parkrun 50 club t-shirt within 12 months of running my first parkrun.
Typical training week: 5 running days, 2 rest days, 40 miles.
Injury history: Stress fracture of foot due to gross stupidity.
Favourite running food: Jaffa Cakes
Favourite running drink: Water
Things I like most about running: The people
Things I hate most about running: The chafing
What got me started running: I thought it would an activity I could fit in during my commute.
What kept me running: My parkrun addiction.
What made me want to do ultras: I wanted to get to the point where it was “only a marathon”.
Go hard or go home: Go home.
My name is Sorrell, and I’m a 23 year old Mancunian living in London. I co-lead the Manchester based running crew Still Waters Run Deep, love a good pint, cake, and running running running.
After being inspired by my brother for completing the London Marathon, and wanting to lose some lingering mince pie pounds, I started running regularly in 2010. I signed up to a 20 mile race the following year, and haven’t thought about stopping since. From my first marathon in 2013, to joining the Run Dem Crew Elites in summer, I found myself running my first ultra-marathon in January, and loved every minute of it.
I’m continually inspired by running as a route of progression. People might think it’s a bit mental when you choose to run so much, or so often, but for me it’s a way to gain balance. It’s a way to focus, and it’s a way to set yourself goals that then thread into other areas of your life, and the more people that feel this, the better.
Race to the Stones will be my longest distance yet, and I’m proud to say that I’ll be part of a team of 10 strong women. #Elevatewomensrunning
You can follow Sorrell on twitter @sorrellve
I used to play basketball. A lot. I hated running anything longer than the length of the court and preferred short sprints over anything else. I’m not sure how that led me to long distance running – but here I am.
Since struggling to run a 10km race in 2008 (I had to stop 3 times to get through), I have gone on to find a capacity reaching far beyond what I ever thought possible. It’s safe to say that running is more than just exercise, it’s a way to let my mind breathe and recover and find energy for the other things in my life. I love the peace that sets in when body and mind get into sync and movement was never more natural.
Over the last 6 years I have run longer distances, smashed PBs and found a joy in sharing runs with close friends and complete strangers. But I have never run farther than a marathon, and my only longer distance foray was a crazy plan to walk from London to Brighton in a day without training for it. We made it to 65km or so and returned some weeks later to complete, teaching me a fair bit on the respect-the-distance front.
And now I’ve only gone and signed up for a 100km race.
I love finding space and calm by getting out into nature and nothing beats exerting myself in the fresh air of woods, meadows and seasides. I’m looking forward to what I might find on the journey towards RTTS and on the day itself…
Hi I’m Cat, and I’m a seasoned runner with a penchant for overseas race trips. I’ve run races in many cities around the world (including Marrakech, Istanbul and Berlin), getting the bug four years ago after joining my husband (who has run 97 marathons) on one of his many foreign races, and have completed 14 marathons and four ultras to date.
I recently got into trail ultras after running The Toad Challenge last year, a three day, 90 mile race along the Thames path. Since then, I’ve completed a couple of longer, single stage events, and most recently ran the Centurion South Downs Way 50 miler, up and down the hills on the south coast. Running lets me take stock of everyday life, spend time outdoors in beautiful places, and hang out with amazing, inspiring people that do epic shit like run across deserts and up mountains.
I’m gradually working my way through my race bucket list and will be doing the 4 Deserts Atacama Crossing in October, and hopefully one of the UTMB races next year (probably the CCC). I’m so excited to be part of this team of ridiculously talented runners taking on Race to the Stones and cannot wait for July!
Karen trained for and ran her first marathon in 2003. She then swore never to run again! However a seed had been sown and gradually running became a habit she couldn’t kick. Over the next 11 years the habit turned into an obsession and she began taking on ever more challenging endurance events including the Comrades ultra-marathon and the Jurassic Coast Challenge multi-stage event. Six years ago she incorporated swimming and cycling into her training and completed the Arch to Arc Enduro Challenge as part of a 6 man relay team and became an Ironman (twice!)
Karen’s own personal experiences from running and participating in endurance challenges were life changing and when she was made redundant from a city job in 2008, her passion for running and helping others achieve their own endurance goals led her to set up Run with Karen, a running coaching and consultancy business with the sole purpose of bringing running to as many people as possible. (www.runwithkaren.com)
Karen has coached over 75 athletes, including some famous faces; many of whom were new to running and helped them go on to achieve their goals and experience their own life changing events. She is also a volunteer Event Director for the massively popular parkrun, having started the Richmond parkrun in 2007. Karen is also a parkrun pioneer as she was one of the 13 runners that ran the very first parkrun back in October 2004. Karen is really looking forward to the challenge of Race to the Stones, 100km non-stop will be a whole new experience and sharing it with a fabulous group of ladies will make it even more memorable and rewarding.
Hello, my name is Soph. I am 24 years old and I love running. I also love marshmallows and coffee. I live in London and by day (and night, and sometimes weekends) I work as a lawyer.
My relationship with running started a few years back while I was studying at university. I was suffering with an eating disorder and started running as a way to burn up the minimal calories I was eating and whittle myself away. Somewhere along the line my love for running overtook the hatred I had for my body; I wanted to run further and faster and knew I couldn’t do that if I couldn’t get better. Running taught me to love and respect my body and I have been hooked ever since. I have now completed three marathons and 10 half marathons and don’t plan on stopping any time soon.
I am so excited about the RTTS100 project and am particularly thrilled to have the support of endurance running experts The North Face, and to be running with a group of such amazing women. This will be my first ultra and I couldn’t ask for better support to take on such an amazing challenge.
You can follow me on twitter @BePrettyFit and over on my blog, beprettyfit.com.