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.
Notes and resources: