June 2016 - Véronique Messina (France)
Véronique Messina (France) is the first GlobalLimits runner who had won all the three GlobalLimits races in Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. She has just received her GlobalLimits Heritage Site Runner Series Award and her champion trophy for Bhutan – The Last Secret. She is currently living in Cambodia.
1. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
I am french, 37 years old, working as a speech-therapist in Phnom Penh, Cambodia since 2007. In France I lived in countryside near Lyon, worked a lot, had a nice routine, but then I wanted to change my way of life. So I decided to leave France for Asia a few years ago. And I did not regret it !
2. When did you start running?
I did not remember exactly, maybe when I was 25 years old. Starting to run in the neighborhood first, then I joined a trail club in France where we trained in forest twice a week. I loved running in nature, with friends; it's fun and relax after work. Then when I arrived in Cambodia, I had to run on asphalt road, which is less funny. And on early morning because of the heat... But as I have much more time for me, I trained more and started to win some races here, that it encouraged me to keep running.
And seeing the sunrise on the Mekong every morning when the city is still quiet is a daily award :-)
3. Can you give our readers some winning training tips?
I could tell about what is good for me: sleep well, eat less fish and meat, a lot of fruits and vegetables, do yoga to stretch your muscles, be focused on your goal, listen to your body. Smile and have fun!
4. Which is your favorite GlobalLimits race? Why?
Each one is special for me : Cambodia is the first one, the hardiest for me as my body didn't use to run so much. But it was on my "terrain", I loved to camp inside temples who are normally forbidden to public at night time. And the last stage with the sunrise on the countryside of Angkor Wat is an unforgivable memory.
Sri Lanka race is flat like Cambodia, but I remember it was like in a garden as we could see a lot of animals: peacocks everywhere, snakes, birds, and... Wild elephants ! So happy (and scary) to see them the last day. People were so kind, cheering us everywhere, and giving us banana and coconut.
Then Bhutan is an exceptional race in a country I would never expect to visit. It was my first mountain race, so I was very focus on the trail. But I enjoyed all : the mud, the rice fields, downhill, uphill, river bed, suspensions bridges... Even the lichees ;-) Much more fun than asphalt in Phnom Penh!!!
5. What’s next ?
Maybe a race in China, the Ultra trail Gobi race at the end of September (400 km non-stop); and summer holiday in France.