Falklands Ultra’s 5 Minutes x 5 Questions
with runners, reviewers, racers & coaches
These 5x5 come from Susannah Gill. In February 2019, she became the fastest woman to complete 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days – in a total time of 24 hours, 19 minutes and 9 seconds. Her book about her experience, Running Around the World – How I Ran 7 Marathons on 7 Continents in 7 Days is an inspiring read.
Susannah believes that anyone who puts their mind and hard work into something, they can achieve anything and be amazing - “just imagine what you can do!”. We asked her five not-so-random questions to discover what she’s about….
1. As a Racing to School Ambassador, how do you believe children who are more exposed to the fun of running, (including track, cross country, running clubs), benefit from it?
I think it’s so important to get young people moving. We take for granted that we all know how to move but we forget the simple joy of walking and running if we spent too long sat down, which is very easy to do in modern life. If you can learn from the outset in life the great feeling the outdoors gives you, combined with the endorphins created by exercise and camaraderie racing and competition creates I think it sticks with you for life.
2. You love your trainers and we notice that you like them to be in sets of three - like the ghosts of Christmas Carols' past present and future - the ones you loved, the ones you wear and the ones still in the box. How often do you typically upgrade your running shoes?
Too often! I probably get through about 6 pairs a year. I love putting on new trainers and the extra spring they give you – always makes me smile.
3. Excitement and adventure, running can take you to some amazing places. Where have been your top three favourite places to run (race or not)?
I have been lucky and gone to plenty of wonderful places – my idea of a holiday is somewhere interesting with a marathon. My top three would be Antarctica as it’s such a unique place, although I’m hopeless on ice, and then the Great Wall of China for some breath-taking scenery, and a lot of steps. Much closer to home I am always amazed by the atmosphere of the London Marathon – I’ve run it a dozen times but it still creates spine tinkling moments when the crowds carry you up the Embankment towards Big Ben. No other city marathon can quite match London.
4. During your World Marathon Challenge, evening/night racing was more frequent. Some people love night running. Have you added some nocturnal runs to your schedule?
I like to do any hard training in the evenings but when it comes to racing I don’t mind when I run. Once I’m in race mode it’s just a case of pressing go! In preparation for World Marathon Challenge I mixed up my routine a bit just to see how I responded. For example, one weekend I ran on Saturday morning, then raced a marathon which started at sunset and followed it up with another run the next morning. It was a great way to get lots of miles into my legs in just over 24 hours but also allow for recovery as part of the training.
5. How does the feeling that 'anything is possible' after conquering an epic physical and mental achievement, make you see life in a new light?
It’s made me realise how we’re all capable of a lot more than we imagine, but to achieve these things you’ve got to put in the hard work. There aren’t any shortcuts, but equally there aren’t any great secrets either. We can all be amazing.