1) Hi Sarah and welcome to Tuscany Crossing , is it Your First time in Valdorcia ?
Yes, this is my first time here
2) Why do you choose our race ?
Everything about it looked wonderful to me! The route looks beautiful and hilly but also runnable. I love races where you can run from start to finish with some nice elevation change long the way. I've never visited Tuscany before, and I love running somewhere new where I can experience the country.
3) can you tell us about Your training ? Have you got a coach ?
I do have a coach. I've had 2 serious injuries over the past few years, a knee fracture in 2016 and last year I fractured my spine. My coach helps me to train without putting too much stress on the weaker areas of my body. I usually run between 50 and 70 miles a week, and a lot of this is on trail. I do a couple of speedwork sessions a week, usually incorporated into a run. Something like 800m reps or 5 minute hill reps. I'm not a fast runner so these are important to make me push myself!! I also do core and weight training to help with general strength.
4) South Downs way is the begining of Your carrier in long distance , what do You remember ?
My first race was in terrible weather. There were strong headwinds, torrential rain and it was freezing cold. I remember plodding along slowly and gradually overtaking people as the race went on. I'm a slow runner, and I usually start further back, but my endurance is good so I carry on when others around me start to slow down! I got lost in this race 3 miles from the finish!
5) why do you like long distance in Trail ?
I am a very slow runner, and I struggle with shorter faster runs, but my endurance is good so I perform better over longer distance. I love the chance to run comfortably and enjoy the scenery around me and the journey. The further you go, and the longer you run for, the more you have to enjoy! I also love meeting others from all over the world who run this kind of race. When you're running a marathon you're breathing too hard to chat, but when you're running 100 miles you can chat all day!
6) Is very important the mental approach for this Races?
Definately. I've had a couple of really bad races where the one thing holding me back was my mind. When you're feeling negative, then you notice every bad thing, every pain, every bit of exhaustion. But if you're thinking positively it gives you energy.
7) What do you eat , before , during and after race ?
I love food! I'm not too careful with my diet, and I tend to eat whatever I fancy, but mostlly healthy food. I try to cut out sugar and junk food in the week coming up to a race, and then afterwards I eat whatever my body tells me to. During a race I tend to drink a lot of coke and sugary drinks, and I use gels for energy. Later on in a race I just eat whatever my stomach can manage. I always end up craving watermelon during races!
8) Sarah can you tell something about Spartathlon ? Which is the secret for this distance?
I think the secret is not to doubt yourself. Not to think too much about it and to just get on and do it. I saw a lot of people get very worried about splits and cut-offs, and that worry and stress makes the race harder and in some cases impossible. You just have to get up and run without questioning your ability. All of those starting Spartathlon will have run 100 miles. If you can run 100 miles, you can run Spartathlon.
9) When do you go in leadville for the 100 mi most famous in the World ?
I suffer a lot in the heat, so I think I would have to acclimatise for a long time before running Leadville! Even the cooler April temperature in Val D'Orcia is pushing my comfort zone!! I have never run in America and I would like to try one of the American races though, so maybe one day!.
10 ) Have you ever think about Tor The Geants ? After Sparta all is possible …
Yes! I would love to run Tor De Geants! It would be difficult for me, since my knee fracture I struggle with a lot of elevation change, but I would like to put away a whole season of racing to run this race! I also want to improve my distance at the 24 hour discipline and I think running longer events like the Tor will help with this.
11) Here in Valdorcia you’ll some special food after race, Will you eat pasta and our Meat with a Glass of Wine?
Definately! One of the joys of running races throughout the world is getting to eat local food in every country!