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What Running Means To Me by Sophie Carter

by Alexandra Parren

Sophie Carter athlete runner fitness

I am currently ranked number two in the UK for 100km ultra road running and second in the British Championships 2017 and 2018. I have run for England twice in the ultra distance and my next goal is to run for GB in the world championships. I have also run various other long distances on the trails and roads and won several marathons and ultra distance events. 

Running for me is a way of escaping from stress and I love the competitive side as it allows me to push myself and I like to always work hard to be the best version of myself and try and improve myself. 

Running has shown me that determination, hard work, consistency and passion will get you far. Whether it is in work, sport or exams. People say you’re mad... going out running all the time and why not do xyz but life is about finding your passion and purpose and sport has always been mine even if I didn’t know that to start with. Add to that self belief... listening to your heart and getting up each time you fail. Failure is inevitable but its learning from your mistakes and how you move on that makes for a good runner, or even a successful person. Evaluate and take responsibility for your actions. When times are tough keep the hope alive and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I started life as a solicitor and decided that although I could make a lot of money all I wanted to do was run, life was too short to be unhappy and most people thought I was mad and crazy but I knew I was not happy and had to change and I have no regrets. 

If you have a passion for something you will make it work. I became a personal trainer and runner and mother and despite the hard things life has thrown at me I know running has opened up the path to my purpose. I have a huge number of friends all around the world and have inspired and helped people to get fit. I have ran and trained with most of the best long distance runners and Olympians in the country and they are all just normal people with a passion and all of them are like you and me but have this drive and work hard for what they want . Exercise is a huge mood booster... it is probably the best anti depressant around.  

I love helping people.. I think running is such a metaphor for life... ultra running is such a mind event as well as a physical event and you learn so much about yourself and others. You learn to keep going when times are hard. 

Enjoy the social side of sport too and talking to others most of us think we are alone with our thoughts but we are not running and chatting allows you to talk so much more openly about anything. I have found that if I did not run I probably would not have been able to cope with huge life events such as the death of my mother, bringing up two children alone, the relationships I have been in and even my own childhood.

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