#153: Mimi Anderson from Reluctant Runner to World Record Holder [Podcast] - Sparta Chicks

#153: Mimi Anderson from Reluctant Runner to World Record Holder [Podcast]

Sparta Chicks Radio

Dec 13
Welcome Mimi Anderson to Sparta Chicks Radio

(c) Mikkel Beisner

I couldn’t see why I couldn’t do it

My guest this week on Sparta Chicks Radio is a woman who has been described as the world’s most inspirational distance runners, Mimi Anderson.

You may not recognise her name but I don’t think you’ll forget her.

It has been said of Mimi - 

She is living proof that in extreme ultra-distance racing women can be men’s equal and in this case can quite possibly kick ass too” -- the Race Director of the 6633 Extreme Ultra Marathon.

Mimi started running at the age of 36 (after a long battle with anorexia).

Over the next 20 years, she went onto set multiple Guinness World Records.

Her achievements include:

* the Badwater Double; the return trip from Death Valley where the race starts to Mt Whitney, and back - a journey of 469km,

* winning the 6633 Extreme Ultramarathon outright; a self-supported non-stop race over 560km in the Arctic Circle in which you drag on a sled everything you need to survive that took her almost 6 days to finish. 

*Guinness World Record for the fastest time by a female running the length of England and the record for a woman running across Ireland.

Now it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.

In 2017, she attempted to set the record for running across America - that’s over 5000km.

Sadly, that attempt ended due to injury and it also brought to an end to her ultra-running career.

But you can’t keep a woman like Mimi down for very long!

So in her late 50s, she learnt to ride a bike, overcame a life long fear of open water and finished her first triathlon.

In this conversation, we discuss:

* how bullying at school led to an eating disorder from the age of 15 that plagued her until her late 20s, 

* what prompted her to get into running at the age of 36, 

* why she decided to do Marathon des Sables (MdS) - a 6 day stage race across the Sahara Desert - as her first Ultramarathon just 2 years after she started running,

* where the confidence to commit to MdS came from and how the experience changed her, 

* the strategies and visualisation she uses during the most difficult times during a race,

* how she navigates the ‘failures’ and heartbreaking disappointment,

* her transitions into triathlon in her 50s which included overcoming a lifelong fear of open water, 

* the Imposter Complex, 

* her experience through menopause, and

* why she thinks women are better suited to ultra-endurance events.

Click here to listen on iTunes.

Notes and resources:

iTunes | Stitcher | Spotify

To find out more about Mimi or to say hello, you can find her on Instagram, Facebook or via her website

Mimi's menopause story

Her books:

  • Beyond Impossible: From Reluctant Runner to Guinness World Record Breaker - Amazon
  • Limitless: An Ultrarunner’s story of Pain, Perseverance and the Pursuit of Success - Booktopia