Jasmine is an ultra runner originally from Cyprus who aspires to one day run the iconic Western States 100. She talks to Sundried about training and racing.
Have you always been into sport?
I hated PE at school but I’ve always loved proper sports. I was lucky enough to grow up in the mountains of North Cyprus and spent a lot of time out either rambling or cycling. Being part of the track team at school, I loved running the longer distances but I wasn’t allowed to compete in them so I lost interest until a few years ago when I ran my first marathon and ever since then I've been hooked.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
Probably the 3-day Druids Challenge along the Ridgeway. I’ve run it a few times now but the first time in 2015 was my favourite. Everything lined up perfectly, I had a great weekend and came tenth but most of all I got to enjoy the company of some amazing runners and the beauty of the trails for 3 whole days!
And your proudest achievement?
My first ever 50-mile race (which was actually something like 53 miles) – I’d never run the distance before and I finished third after running basically the whole day with the top two ladies. We chatted and supported each other the whole way round, I was so proud to be part of that field and to make a connection with those two brilliant women. The race was called the 50 Mile Challenge down in Kent (England) and it doesn’t exist any more but the distance is definitely my favourite to run.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
I’ve made two attempts at the North Downs Way 100 Miler and both times DNF’d at 66 miles. Both times I let myself get badly dehydrated and couldn’t eat for hours, it was so frustrating to make the same mistake twice too. I was massively underprepared both times and it’s given me a real motivation to learn from those mistakes for the next attempt.
How do you overcome setbacks?
By getting back on the horse – failures are commas not full stops. Of course I get a bit down but I have to use that experience to learn and improve. I never want to DNF the same race twice again! But if I have to try it a hundred times before I finish it I will...
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
Always remember what you’re here for. If you want to win, picture winning. If you want to finish, picture the finish line. If you can remember why you want to compete you can forget all the voices telling you to stop. And above all, adaptability is better than invincibility.
What are your goals?
My main goal is to one day qualify for and run the Western States 100 but I’m a few years off that yet. For me, it’s always to run further, for longer, and to show women they have every chance of being on that podium as men do. You can’t be what you can’t see!
Who do you take your inspiration from?
Courtney Dauwalter is my absolute hero – it’s not just what she achieves but her infectious smile, love for the sport and for life. I could write an essay about her but I’ll leave it at that!
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
I’m very uncomfortable with consuming a lot of “disposable fashion” – not interested in cheap running tops that cost £5 and go straight to landfill within a couple of months. Given the impact that fashion has on the environment and how avoidable this is, it means a lot to me that Sundried’s kit is both ethically sourced and produced and is also SO durable – if we can’t avoid buying kit altogether then we should be buying kit that lasts the course. I’ve got a pair of the Capri leggings that are still basically box fresh two years on and I know they’ll last for years to come!