It was never about the racing. It was so much more than that.
I was intrigued. Intrigued to explore more of nature, of cultures, to meet people and see new places. I wanted to see what was over that mountain, around that corner, or up that river and running was the perfect way to see places that I might have never found otherwise. The races were just a great excuse to go somewhere new and meet people who would usually end up as a part of my meandering family. They had the same intrigue to see more. We would end up traveling to races together seeing everything in between from cities to mountains, trains and planes.
I was born competitive; my big sister was my motivation. I wanted to be just like her. She was so good at everything so I followed her every step much to her annoyance. Our main sport was field hockey. I remember the feeling of determination and grunt, the pure drive when my legs had no more energy and my lungs were burning. I wanted to achieve so much, so I would push even deeper. It was this competitiveness I took into running. Sure, I wanted to see what it looked like at the top, but I also wanted to see how fast and hard I could push myself. And that was how racing for me began.
My first international race was in Italy in 2004. It was the World Mountain Running Championships and I was the 4th counter for the New Zealand team. I raced with eyes wide open and a huge smile across my face. The cheering rang through my mind, the taste of blood was in my mouth, this was where I belonged, I was hooked. I was hooked to the culture. The feelings. It didn’t really matter if I finished in the bottom half of the field. I wanted to do that again. So as I explored more and trained harder I began placing higher. It was a buzz, sometimes on the podium, sometimes not. But what always kept me coming back was the huge sense of achievement. I had worked hard for this and it had paid off.
People often ask me what it is like to win a race. Well, it is awesome. But more than winning is the enormity of what I have achieved. When I have worked so hard for something and there is the finish line coming up, for me it doesn’t matter whether I am in 100th or first, the fact that I have done it, is massive. When I stand and watch a finish line, in my mind and in their eyes, I can see everyone has won a battle of their own, and that is more inspiring to me than anything else.
Running has been my career and will always be because it is something I am passionate about. I have now begun focusing my running energy on our small company “Trail Run Adventures.” It is a chance for my husband and I to share with the running community the amazing places and people we have found along our journey of running and racing. Trail Run Adventures aims to give people an experience of not only running, but the best parts the destination has to offer, canyoning, surfing, yoga, horse riding, biking, local cuisines and wine tours, plus so much more. We have trips in Bhutan, Madeira, Ecuador, Telluride Colorado, Norway, Greece and other inspirational places. The trips are for anyone interested in trail running. We always provide options for longer or shorter runs as well as different levels of adventure. I am always excited to see what is coming next in my running world. It is a place of so many opportunities. I hope you can join us on one of our trips soon.
WIN an all expense paid Trail Run Adventures trip to Ecuador with Merrell Athlete Anna Frost for you and a guest! Trip dates are October 9th – 17th 2018.
Grand Prize Winner receives:
- “Ecuador/Andes to the Amazon” (Oct. 7-19) hosted by Anna Frost and Trail Run Adventures, LLC.
- Round-trip airfare to Quito, Ecuador + airport transfers from Quito
- Lodging (double occupancy)
- Daily runs, boxed lunches and dinners
- Outdoor activities (horseback riding, tubing, rafting)
- All the Merrell gear you need for the trip
Additionally, 9 Finalists will receive $130 virtual gift cards to Merrell.com
Contest begins 00:01am August 15th and ends 11:59pm August 29th.
Click here for more details and how to enter!
Editors Note: This article is sponsored content.