TF: When did you start trailrunning?
VG: 4 years ago I took up running, myself and Ian started going to the gym and one day Ian went out running told me how much he enjoyed it and that he would take me out. He took me out, it was 2k and I moaned and cried at how hard it was. My first ever time on trail was for my first 5k race I didn’t know there was a difference between road and trail I just said sign me up! The race was twice round the trails in Dawsholm Park, really hardwork and I actually ran the hills!
TF: What do you run for?
VG: Started running for losing weight and started to sign up for races which
made it exciting. Soooo I run for fun, but I also like a challenge.
TF: What’s your proudest running (or running-related) achievement/moment?
VG: Probably when I completed The Highland Fling for the first time. I never thought I could ever run 50+ miles in one day.
TF: What’s been your darkest/bleakest moment/time running?
VG: Would have to say this year, 2017. I fractured my foot during The Highland Fling in April, so I haven’t ran much since which is frustrating to say the least. I’ve only just started going out for short runs, slowly getting there again.
TF: What did you learn from this?
VG: To have patience, take time and heal. I tried to continue running and it wasn’t making it any better. I ran Devil o’ the Highlands in August which just made it worse.
TF: What do you think of when the trails get tough?
VG: I find it tough during races, I think about “why the hell am I doing this?” and then I think about how I’ve asked my team in work to give a “guess my time” and then I think “better get a move on then” I guess I think about all the people
rooting/believing in me.
TF: Does trailrunning help you in other areas of your life?
VG: If so, how? Yes it’s like therapy, if you have a crap day at the office or just feeling under the weather, some time for yourself is nice or a good chat along the trails with a friend always helps bring you back to a calm place.
TF: Who (or what) is your running inspiration?
VG: Angela Shartel, she used to be overweight and totally changed her lifestyle and now she’s winning 100+ miles races. Also Sally McRae, she seems really down to earth, I think she has a great outlook on life and always has a smile on her face (which I try to do, except I have resting b***h face haha)
TF: What’s the one big race you’d love to complete?
VG: I really fancy the Tarawera Ultramarathon in New Zealand.
TF: Do you prefer morning or evening trailruns?
VG: I prefer the morning, for sunrises. However night time trails can add a whole new level of fun when your imagination gets carried away with what might be hiding in the bushes.
TF: What season do you enjoy the most for trailrunning?
VG: Autumn or Spring, the sunrises and colours are my favourite.
TF: Where’s your favourite trail/area to run?
VG: There’s so many places I like – probably Ben Lomond on a quiet day, sections of the West Highland Way, The Mell circuit and the Lake District.
TF: What are your favourite trail shoes/what are you running in just now?
VG: Inov8 Trail Talon 250 or Nike Wildhorse.
TF: What three words would you use to describe your relationship to running?
VG: Challenging, fun and silly.
TF: What one piece of advice would you give to others?
VG: Have courage and be kind.
TF: What’s your trail style:
- Buff, headband or trucker cap? Buff
- Shorts, tights or compression? Capri tights
- Singlet, tech t-shirt or windshirt? Tech t-shirt
- Bumbag, rucksack or race vest? Race vest
- Headphones or the sounds of the trail? Either, depends how I feel on the day.
- Energy gels or homemade sandwiches? Sandwiches.
- Jelly babies or TUC biscuits? Jelly babies
- Instagramming or disconnected? Instagramming, I love capturing those moments of beauty.