About Me…just a little bit

I have completed several road marathons, a few ultra marathons 3 Marathon des Sables, and one Atacama Crossing. Fifteen years ago I would not recognise the person I am today. Running has become so many things to me, a religion, a relaxation, a way of reviving myself – my 3 Rs! With each training run, whether it was along the Regent’s Canal in London or now up and down the North Cornwall coastal path I seem to want to keep going for longer and longer.
My running life has had a big impact on my personal and professional life.  I returned from the Marathon des Sables 2007 as a Personal Assistant in the Property Development world. In 2010 I began a new career as a nurse at Guys & St Thomas’s Hospital, as I began my new career it seemed appropriate in my mind to sign up again for the MDS which I completed for the second time in 2012. Some of the people I met during the 2007 race, and out in Malawi at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital were hugely instrumental in helping me make this career change, whether they knew it or not. One has a lot of time to think during a marathon or out on a long training run – a lot of thinking led me to make this decision to become a nurse, a decision that still has been the best decision I have ever made.
So with 2 Marathon des Sables under my belt I began to look for another challenge. I said last time that I am by no means a super human or an elite athlete, but merely an ordinary person with still a strong desire to challenge my mental and physical limitations. If it had not been for an injury on returning from the race in 2007 I have no doubt that I would have embarked upon another physical adventure – fate played its part however, and I embarked on the adventure of retraining to become a nurse – a mental challenge of an entirely different nature, but a challenge nonetheless. However, I find myself now wanting to face the challenge of the desert again, still wanting to test myself mentally and physically. The challenges of taking on the Sahara Desert again in 2012 were harder and more exciting than the first time, it was tougher, hotter, more extraordinary, more exhilarating. In 2015 I was meant to head to Chile to compete in the Atacama Crossing desert race, but things in 2015 didn’t quite go as expected. 2015 last turned a bit on its head for me as my father was diagnosed with what turned out to be an aggressive and terminal form of cancer and my darling Daddy after a short brave battle died in September 2015.  The 4Deserts kindly transferred my race entry to 2016, but 2016 held a few surprises as well – a broken wrist, and toe, an emotional London Marathon, a change of job which including a big life change in leaving London after 18 years and moving to the heaven on earth that is Cornwall.  The 4Deserts kindly (and I think for the last time) have transferred my race in Chile to October this year.  But 2017 is my five year anniversary of the Marathon des Sables – yes, I am heading back to Morocco in April this year to run once again across the beautiful Sahara Desert and then just a few months later I will head to Chile to run across the majestic Atacama Desert…and for both races I will be raising money for Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders).

One response to “About Me…just a little bit

  1. Malcolm Molyneux

    Hi Harriet. Just been catching up on your training programme – looks pretty thorough! Some of your runs sound fantastic, especially those in Cornwall. Keep going – we (including especially Tiyanjane Clinic) will all be very proud of you. Today I collected a lot of cards that Jane Bates had left with Maggie Macriel – I will distribute them and plug your great challenge (and great cause).
    I’ve ridden up the escarpment a few times since you and I did it, and try to do on the bike what I can’t BEGIN to do on feet!
    Hope the nursing is progressing well. Love, Malcolm

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