Today we kick off a run of new interviews with our team of Breo Heroes. First up is Sarah Morton talking about her love of trail running, how she got started, her proudest achievements and tips for anyone wanting to take it up as an activity.
How long have you been trail running?
I only really took up trail running just over a year ago, I tried it a few times before that and although I really enjoyed it I never seen myself as a runner. It’s still a bit of a shock when I realise how short a time it’s taken me to become a long-distance trail runner.
How did you get involved?
There were a number of factors that prompted me to get into trail running – the first was that I wanted to become a better climber, and running was the advice for increasing fitness, so that really pushed me to give running another go. I was also looking for a way to help me recover from a particularly long and difficult struggle with Lyme Disease (from a tick bite) – I never expected running to help with this, if anything I assumed I’d relapse and be exhausted all the time, the opposite was true – all that fresh air and sunshine gave me more energy than I’d had for almost two years! In terms of actually getting involved – I just laced up my trainers and started running. To find trail and hill routes, I used reliable online sources, guide books and maps.
What’s your proudest achievement so far?
I’m not really sure – I’m not hugely into races and competitions, so I don’t have an impressive collection of medals and race times, but I do like ticking off routes and it’s always nice to add another hill or summit to the list. Recently, a few people have said some really nice things, given me feedback, or mentioned that it was my pictures or a blog that inspired them to try running themselves – that sort of thing makes me far happier than winning a race.
What motivates you?
In general, I just like having stuff to do – I think I’m quite easily bored and it’s better when I’m busy doing things I enjoy. In terms of trail running – I love how great I feel when I’m running, and as a natural intrepid explorer it’s been the perfect way (and excuse) to spend lots of time in the wilderness enjoying all nature has to offer. I realise how lucky I am to have seen some of the wildlife and landscapes I have done – that probably wouldn’t have been possible if I wasn’t a trail runner, and that’s a pretty big motivator!
Who’s your hero?
I don’t really have one – but I have a lot of respect for people who make time to help, support and encourage others.
What are your hopes for the future?
I mostly just take each day as it comes, but I do travel a lot and it’s exhausting! So, I guess, it would be nice to be a bit settled somewhere for a while – I get itchy feet, so it’s hard to figure out where would be the perfect location that could hold my attention for more than just a couple of months. I’d quite like to finish my Ph.D soon – it’s been a long three years and I’m excited to see what comes after it. At the moment, it’s really all I can see, so it’s difficult to think about anything that’s happening more than a few days from now!
Any tips for aspiring runners?
Just go out there and do it – all you need are some good running shoes and somewhere to run. The worst things you can do are – feel self conscious or concerned with what people think (at least you’re making the effort!), push your body too hard – especially running too far too soon, and make it into a chore – find nice places to run, and you’ll be desperate to get out.
How would you spend £1 million?
I’d give a significant amount of it to a charity my pals set up just a couple of years ago – Yogability (visit the Yogability wesbite). But I’d also have to treat myself a few pairs of running shoes – a girl can never have too many, right?! And a camper van would come in pretty handy too.
Sarah is soon to embark on a 700 miles challenge, ‘Running North’, around the rugged North West coast of Scotland. Find out all about it the website.