Rachael Patricia's running just keeps on improving all the time - she trains hard, eats clean, is full of enthusiasm and will keep getting better and better. We asked her to run for us because we see heaps of potential and she has been a fantastic volunteer and runner at a number of our events, completing the Mendip Marauder 50 miler and Westcountry Ultra 100 as well as sweeping and manning aid stations on several occasions. Anyone who has run one of our races in the past year or two might recognise her!....
1. How did you get into running? Did you have a huge natural talent for it or have you been working your way up from further back in the pack?
I have always ran, on and off. I was in the army so had too lol! Then when my eldest was born 11 years ago I used to run like 1-3 miles to burn the baby fat. I ran a few half marathons back in 2011 then stopped running. Running before to me was to burn calories and then eat them back in cake. Running to me now is about connecting with myself and nature. It allows me to see that I can do anything I put my mind too. Running is my metaphor for life. I would say I officially became a keen runner in 2015. I plotted an 18 mile run with not running previously for a nice long while, and did it lol. It has always been my gate, something I did very unprepared but I did it. From that day I haven’t stopped.
2. What is the race you're most proud of so far and can you tell us a bit about it?
It has to be my first 50 miler Mendip Marauder!! Followed by my first 100 miler exactly a year later. I still remember saying to Dave Urwin on the finish line of Marauder that I am going to do West Country next year!! He suggested a 100k first but NO not me lol I kept my high mileage weeks up high and haven’t stopped. The mendip marauder holds a very happy place in my heart and I love the race.
3. Why did you want to run for Albion Running?
The race was actually recommended to me. I love the ruggedness of the Albion races, where they are marked out but you still need to use your head and navigate a bit.
4. What kind of weekly mileage do you do in training? Do you do much in the way of cross training?
My weekly mileage averages between 50-70 mile weeks quite comfortable around college and the kids, I have a nice balance with it. I don’t cross train, never really have. My body is so conditioned and strengthened through running, and hills and tactical trails.
5. What are your big running ambitions for next year and for the future?
Ambitions are to just keep pushing my own personal boundaries!! I would love to do a 200 mile race next year or the year after. Next year I want to see what I am made of. I am constantly told by people how amazing my runs are and most if not all of them are effortless. I think I could do so much better if I was in some kind of race mode! I think the deeper part of me though does like helping others and staying comfortable in my own ability.
6.Are there any other runners out there who particularly inspire you?
I followed Robbie Brittons partner Natalie when she ran the Tor De Geants and that just absolutely blew me away, I followed all their interviews and saw her at such low points. I will never forget how seeing her cross the finish line made me feel.
7. What shoes do you run in? Why are they your favourite?
Hoka challenger ATR 3!! Soulmate shoe! They never let me down. I never get blisters and they have carried my feet a long long way.
8. If you could get a free pass into one race in the world next year, all expenses paid, what would it be?
The Hawk 100 at Clinton Lake Illinois
9. Do you have any tips for anyone out there who is wanting to improve their running?
Be consistent in your training and eat well. Food is what makes our body go, and food is what allows our body to heal. Feed the body crap after a run you are not giving it the right kinds of nutrients to do what it needs to do, a contributing factor to why people get injured on a regular basis. Also DO NOT COMPARE yourself to other peoples ability. To up distance especially into the ultra world you have to let go of pace for a while and let you body get used to running long and slow. Consistency is what will help you speed and ability.
10. Do you have any amusing anecdotes about anything that you've seen/experienced in a race?
I think the most amusing thing for me when running ultras is the camaraderie and banter. People moaning is always a good one! Sweeping races is the best for moaners. Yet they keep going back! I love how ultra running attracts certain kinds of people, we all connect and have a story.