Dec 2016 - Sally Ford (UK)
The winner of GlobalLimits Cambodia – The Ancient Khmer Path - , Sally Ford (UK), tells us about herself and how she liked the race in Cambodia.
I’m often asked if I’ve always run but apart from the odd 10k my running career didn’t really get started until 2011 when I was 34 when I entered the London Marathon on a charity place. Not long after I entered an event scheduled for 2012 which involved running 10 marathons on 10 consecutive days and so a year of training began. Fitting training in around family life and work is always tricky but if you want it enough you find the time. That event in particular led me to meet more
like minded people and become involved in the world of marathon and ultra marathon running. I became the Guinness World record holder for the fastest female 10 marathons in 10 days, although maybe that’s because few are daft enough to try! It’s a great thing to tell the kids though.
From there the events I entered started getting longer, more frequent and more extreme and the races I’ve entered have taken me all over the world, from multi-day races taking in the length of the river Severn and across Arctic Sweden, multiple 100 mile trail races in the UK, running up and down the hills in the Lake District, the Great Wall of China, Iceland, the length of the Welsh/English border, the Alps and much more.
I’m also part of the 100 Marathon club (my total is somewhere around 130 now). I train about five times a week now but usually races form part of that training - fitting in marathons whenever we can. It’s also important to train on consecutive days when preparing for races like this, to get your body used to recovering and getting going again the following day.
I entered the Ancient Khmer Path partly because I was looking for a multi day race somewhere a little warmer than the UK and partly because it coincided with my 40th birthday. Not everyone’s ideal way to spend their birthday but it definitely appealed to me. I can’t rate this race highly enough. Yes it was tough in that heat and humidity but that’s what ultra running is all about, pushing your body to the limits. It wasn’t just the running that made this race special though, I feel I’ve seen and experienced the real Cambodia. We ran through many small rural villages, the highlight of which was meeting the many small children who came to greet us and offer us flowers. The locations Stefan picked for our overnight camps were incredible. From local villager’s houses and Buddhist temples to sleeping under a blanket of stars outside the ancient ruins of a temple and finishing one stage by a huge waterfall, the perfect way to cool off after a tough day running.
The finish of the race was something special also - finishing inside the incredible Angkor Wat temple. It’s been an experience like no other and the camaraderie between the runners felt like being with family. The race in Bhutan is now firmly on my bucket list.