Run Pink: TrailFest speaker Lucja Leonard in the spotlight

We’re delighted to welcome inspirational ultra runner, coach, Edinburgh Run Tours leader and #500kin5days adventurer Lucja Leonard to the line-up for TrailFest2.

Lucja’s impressively adventurous raceography includes winning the inaugural Mongolia Ice Marathon Adventure earlier this year, and finishing as 2nd female in the Endurance Life CTS Northumberland Ultra (2016); 13th female in the Marathon des Sables (2016); 4th female at the 110k Cappodocia Ultra Trail (2015); 1st female in Run the Blades (2015), 2nd female at the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon (2014) and 3rd female at the Clyde Stride Ultra Marathon (2014). And all this since taking up trail running just three years ago!

She joins our TrailHEROES speaker programme to share the story of her incredible 5-day run across the full length of the Netherlands dressed only in pink Runderwear, raising money and awareness for breast cancer charity Pink Ribbon Foundation.

We asked Lucja to share some of the highs, lows and top tips from her trail running career to date: read on for her interview below. Find out more about Lucja on her blog, Running Dutchie and connect on twitter at @runningdutchie.

Sunny mid race selfie

TF: When did you start trail running?
LL: 2013

TF: What do you run for?
LL: I used to run to lose weight but this has changed over the years to a few different reasons such as the feeling of freedom and escape, health, adventure, fun and the challenge.

TF: What’s your proudest running (or running-related) achievement?
LL: Completing 500kin5days challenge!

TF: What’s been the darkest moment in your running career?
LL: Darkest moment running was back in 2012 after Christmas, having taken time off training, put on weight and I remember trying to run 10k on the treadmill in the gym in first week back at work after the festive season and I couldn’t do 10k…I was in tears!

TF: What did you learn from this?
LL: Not to fall back so far, you work so hard for your gains, you need time off of course, but be careful as you know how hard it is to work yourself back up.

TF: What do you think of when the trails get tough?
LL: All sorts of things, sometimes I think of loved ones, like my husband and cat, other times I think of what I am seeing in terms of scenery and stunning vistas or what food I am going to eat when I finish!

TF: What is your next big adventure?
LL: I have got UTMB at the end of August, and my first ever Vertical Kilometre on 16th September, and 100km Nordmarka ultra on 30th September in Norway.

TF: Who (or what) is your running inspiration?
LL: Dion, my husband, is my entire inspiration not just running, he inspires me to push myself past my perceived limits.

TF: What three words would you use to describe your relationship to running?
LL: Love, addiction & respect

TF: What one piece of advice would you give to others?
LL: Believe in yourself, you are capable of so much more you give yourself credit for you just need to dare try!

Lucja joins us at TrailFest2 to present Run Pink: the story of her epic 500k in 5 days challenge.

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