March 2022 - Harri Washington/UK -The female winner of the 3rd GlobalLimits São Tomé
Harri Washington (UK) is the female winner of the 3rd GlobalLimits São Tomé and she was GlobalLimits volunteer for 7 times before. Did she prefer the life as a GlobalLimits runner or a volunteer? And what was her encounter with a stranger with oranges in the jungle of São Tomé?
1. Please introduce yourself.
I am Harri, originally from the UK although I haven't lived there for almost a decade now. I started running just before I left the UK and fell in love with it as a way to explore while living in Gabon. After moving to Cambodia 6 years ago and volunteering for GlobalLimits Cambodia, I was inspired to take my running to the next level and now I love nothing more than setting off for a day of running and exploring hills and waterfalls, with my dog or with friends on bikes.
2. You volunteered in Sao Tome in 2020. How would you compare your experience as a GlobalLimits runner and volunteer?
You definitely get a lot more chance to rest and relax as a runner! Volunteering is super fun, but as you're out all day you get to know a few people (mainly the team) very well. As a volunteer I love being able to support the runners as they come through each checkpoint, but obviously they don't usually stop for long so I really enjoyed having more time this year to get to know the runners better when we were all in camp together in the afternoons.
3. What brought you back to São Tomé?
I loved the scenery and the vibe when I volunteered in 2020, and I had been very curious to know what was hidden in the jungle before the checkpoints - for example on day 5 I was on checkpoint 1 when I volunteered, and watching the runners materialise at the top of a slope coming out of the trees and making their way down what seemed like a non-existent path made me so intrigued about what was up there. I can confirm now, having run it, that it's a lot of fun back there in the jungle!
4. Share your unforgettable experience in the race with us, please.
It's quite hard to choose between two, so I'll share them both with you. The first was when I had been running on a long stretch of road (it probably wasn't that long but I really hate road running so even a few hundred metres feels like an eternity) and I was bored and grumpy, when two little boys appeared at the top of the hill, rolling hoops along the road with sticks held in their hands. As they ran past me down the hill they grinned and saluted! The second was in the technical jungle section on the long stage. This was one of my favourite parts of the race, but I was craving some kind of tangy snack, which I definitely hadn't packed. I heard quick footsteps behind me and a local man appeared, racing through the jungle in his rubber boots (moving a lot faster than I was!). He overtook me and soon took a different path, leaving the marked route. Then, he quickly came back and handed me an enormous green-skinned orange, and turned around and left. I'm not usually even a fan of oranges but this was some of the most delicious fruit I have ever eaten!
5. Do you think that living in Cambodia was of benefit for you in the race in Sao Tome as you have similare climate in Cambodia?
Cambodia is a little bit hotter than São Tomé but nowhere near as humid, so living in Cambodia definitely helped me with general temperature adaptation but I still found that sweating didn't have much of a cooling effect!