The Joy of the Outdoors

I love the outdoors, so I trail run, sea swim and mountainbike.  Most of all, I love to run trails.  I like hills and gnarly back-county – with the big ups, the challenging downhills and the amazing views.  I love exploring new places and the feeling of freedom and adventure, but mostly, being in the outdoors reminds me that I’m alive.

I’m running my first ultramarathon in 4 weeks.  To add to the challenge, I’m running Kepler which is a 60km mountain race. The race is about 30km of climb and descent (including an 8km of continual uphill grunt to 1400m – that will be tough), and the rest undulating.  My race day pack weighs about 7kg, as I’ll be carrying water, food, and technical clothing.  My body likes food every 30 mins and water every 15, and likes a mix of cheese sandwiches, cashews and pouches of baby food.  I reckon it will take me about 10 hours (that’s 18 items of food!) and it’s going to be tough.  But Kepler’s on my bucket list so why not give it a go?

Before you think I’m a superfit experienced endurance athlete, I ran my first off-road marathon last year as my 50th birthday present.  I’ve never run a mountain race.  Last year I learnt to mountain bike and sea swim.  I met Ray about 2 years ago after recovering from a major health trauma.  My bucket list was born while lying in HDU (amazed to be alive) and Ray has given me the confidence and fitness to try things I never thought I could.  Running trails makes my heart sing and everyday I’m reminded that I’m alive!
Heather Collins

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