WIN! Welcome to our Queens of Speed giveaways

Fancy getting your hands on some of these fab prizes? Read on to find out how you could win some Girls Run the World booty, including a goodie bag of Pukka Herb products or our top prize, the Hoka One One Mach 2 road shoe, which hits the streets in March**

The Hoka One One Mach 2

launches in the UK this March and is perfect for road running, being both responsive and cushioned so that it absorbs the impact without sacrificing the ‘feel’ of the road to help you maintain your pace. It’s a low weight shoe and has an upgrade from last season’s Mach with the addition of a dual density ProFly midsole, which means a softer heel with a more responsive forefoot for a better take off. Perfect for all your Spring road marathoners out there. Price: 150 euros

And the amazing people at Hoka One One have offered the Girls Run the World Queens of Speed participants the chance to win a pair. (If you’ve missed out on our Queens of Speed virtual challenge this year, read more here and make sure you’re ready for 2020).

How to win the Hoka One One Mach 2, £125: 

Run 5km with each 1km being progressively faster than the last, ending with a final 1km at your 5km pace PB, or as close to it as you can. You will need to share an image of yourself with your post run glow, and a screenshot revealing your kms split to us on Instagram with the #grtwqueensofspeed plus @g_r_t_w and @hokaoneone. The winner will be the runner who most accurately showed a progressive run consistent with their running ability.  Closing date: Feb 14th 2019.

 

Pukka Herbs Goodie Bag

Win a goodie bag containing Feel New Tea, £2.99, a Pukka mug, £11.99, Turmeric Active Tea, £2.99 and Turmeric Gold Latte, £4.99.

This goodie bag contains the kind of drinks that are perfect for winter running, with delicious ingredients like turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and saffron which can help relieve inflammation and hence your recovery after exercise. Plus, these ingredients are delicious and warming too, perfect for post winter runs.

How to win the Pukka Herbs Goodie Bag  

All you have to do to get your hands on this bounty is share a picture from one of your runs or post runs, and tell us how running makes you feel. Include the hashtag #grtwqueensofspeed, and tag us @g_r_t_w and @pukkaherbs. Best response will be awarded the prize. You can enter as many times as you like. Closing date: January 31st 2018

Badger Sleep Balm

Running is fantastic for your mind, body and soul but fitting it in can be tricky, which is why we often find ourselves having to run after work or just before bed. Which is not great as it gets the adrenaline pumping and the cortisol levels rising. Which is where the fantastic Badgers Sleep Balm can be useful, containing Lavender and Bergamot to help you relax and sleep.

Apply to your pulse points and add some of our Running for Yoga stretches and workouts from our channel YouTube and it could help even more.

How to win the Badger Sleep Balm 

Share a picture on Instagram which sums up your way of relaxing post run. Include the #grtwqueensofspeed and @g_r_t_w @badgerbalmUK. You may enter as many times as you like. Closing date: 31st January 2018.

Bare Biology Lion Heart Pure Omega 3 Fish Oil, £47.50

The Daily Telegraph dubbed this oil ‘the Rolls Royce of fish oils’. This is because, unlike many other other fish oils on the market, this contains high grade fish oils from wild fish meaning that it gives you over 2000mg EPA and 1000mg Dha per teaspoon dose.

It’s perfect for runners because it works as an anti-inflammatory, is great for mental health, heart and blood pressure.

How to win BareBiology Lion Heart Pure Omega 3 Fish Oil

Let’s have fun with this. Share an image on Instagram or Twitter from your run that illustrates best your courage on a run or route – your lion’s heart! Include the #grtwrunuary and include @barebiology and @g_r_t_w.

 

**Please note these competitions are only open to participants of the Girls Run the World Queens of Speed virtual challenge. 

 

 

Welcome to the new wave in women’s running

Two things happened last week which made us all cheer (and swear a little too) at Girls Run the World HQ.

Firstly, Jasmin Paris became the first woman to win Britain’s most brutal race, The Spine Race, beating the the overall course record by 12 hours.

If you don’t know much about this race, here’s some facts; it’s 268 miles taking in the Pennine Way and has over 37,000 feet of climbing and you have to carry your own kit.

It took Jasmin 83 hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds, with just seven hours rest, during which she also breastfed her 14 month old daughter Rowan.

It is one of the most outstanding achievements in female ultra running, even more impressive when you consider the fact that Jasmin is not a pro runner. While she is sponsored by Inov-8, she works as a vet and is currently studying for a PhD.

Reading this, you are probably wowed by her achievement but may also be thinking, ‘I could never do that.’ But to our minds, she’s an everywoman.

 She fits training in around her lifestyle, and entered the race as a way of gaining motivation and inspiration after having a baby.

Maybe as a consequence of contentment, my motivation to train took a definite nose dive,’ she said. ‘I found it harder and harder to leave my bed for the cold darkness outside, and realised that I needed a new focus.’

And how did she manage the training? Like most of us. Juggling all the demands on our time.

A lot of running has taken place really early in the morning so that’s kind of the how I squeeze it in and still balance it with spending time with my daughter.’

Jasmin is indicative of the new wave of female runners who have the confidence to aim high, set their goals and work towards them.

And the other news that showed that female runners are now demanding more and believing in their ability  is the response that Ironman UK received when they launched IronGirl UK, a 5km evening ‘fun run’ last week.

In a statement to announce the event they said: ‘This particular event opens up the Ironman weekend to even more people – not everyone wants to do an Ironman but some might quite fancy a 5k run with their friends.

It caused outrage across the UK, amongst runners including ultra runner Susie Chan. One female runner responded on the organiser’s event Facebook page:

On a day a woman has not only won, but beaten the course record, in the MIXED Spine race, you decide we are only good for 5ks? This woman had a baby 14 months ago and was pumping milk at rest stops by the way.’

Other, such as Jackie Hassan Twitter poked fun with this comment:   “Ooh fantastic! Can I stop half way to do some knitting and put my husbands dinner on? I may need to redo my hair ribbons and make up too! Absolutely shocking concept. Sort it out.’

And they did. Kind of, rebranding it as a 5km evening run for everyone.

But this notion that women are only capable of a ‘fun run’ and that we don’t like a challenge is endemic amongst many race organisers. Just take a look at Rat Race UK’s event Girls Get Fizzical.

A 5km or 10km race with ‘top flight’ obstacles, which judging by their website includes wading through soft balls like at a baby’s soft play area. But hey, that’s alright because you can finish with a glass of Prosecco. God forbid we might actually want to race for the challenge and sense of achievement.

Thankfully, things are beginning to change. Maverick Races for instance are doing their bit by having a female trail running division to help encourage more women to hit the trails.

And it’s why we launched our virtual Queens of Speed Challenge this month, inviting women to become the best runners they can be with our online training to improve speed over the month of January.

But as female runners we can do more and make our voices heard by using our feet, and running in the kind of events that challenge and help empower us while inspiring other women to participate.

Jasmin Paris is an inspiration to us all and illustrates exactly what you can achieve if you define your goals, take ownership and work towards them.

(Psst. And as the temperature drops around the UK, it might be worth knowing what Jasmin wore in her race, which can see lows of -20 Celsius and 45 mph winds – it was the Inov-8 Long Sleeve Half Zip Mid-layer, £55 under the Inov-8 AT/C Protec-Shell Waterproof Jacket, £270.)

Review: Hoka One One Torrent

If you’re looking for a great trail shoe to get you through your training to the Spring, then look no further…

Features

  • Open engineered mesh construction
  • PROFLY midsole
  • Multidirectional lugs
  • Protective outlays
  • Weight: 254g (size EU 42)
  • Forefoot height: 18mm
  • Heel height: 23mm
  • Drop: 5mm
  • Colourways: Lichen/seaport, sodalite blue/very berry, nine iron/steel grey (wouldn’t you love the job of coming up with the colour way descriptions?!)
  • Price: £105

At Girls Run the World, we’ve always been fans of the Salomon Speedcross but on our recent training camp to Ethiopia in November, which saw us taking our runners out into the eucalyptus forests and trails around Addis Ababa, we tested out the Hoka One One, Torrent, £105.

Created as a trail racer, it is lightweight helping you to stay agile while also boasting cushioning, which is useful for long, steep downhills. Plus, unlike many trail shoes, it offers enough traction to make you feel sure of your footing on rocky and muddy trails alike, without being so pronounced that running on anything else feels uncomfortable.

And yes, we appreciate that not everyone gets the opportunity to run in Ethiopia (although, you can you know…join us this November for our next training week), but the Torrent is also great on the muddy trails of the UK too.

 

Rating

Style: ****

They look a tiny bit clunky, even though they are lightweight. But then, that is a characteristic of Hoka One One shoes.

Performance ****

Best suited to those who need some cushioning comfort when they run. If you’re a mountain goat, these may feel a little bit constrictive.

Terrain: *****

A great all rounder, as great on rocky trails as the red earth of Ethiopia and the very muddy trails of the UK countryside in the winter.

 

Introducing our #grtwproject26.2 runners

At the end of 2018, we ran a competition to win a virtual marathon training package with us. These are the four women who won and who will be sharing their marathon training journey with the GRTW community over the next four months…

 

Kerrie Flippance, 43, legal executive and mum of three, Warwickshire 

Instagram: @kerrie.runs.26.2

Goal race: Manchester Marathon

Target finish: 3 hours, 50 minutes

Why Kerrie applied: Support in juggling training with being a mum of three

It’s my first marathon and I so I’d love some help and support to know what to do and how to train, particularly around my job and juggling family life.

This will be my first marathon. I am scared but excited. I am worried about hitting the wall, about being away from my family for far too long whilst training and also whether I actually get to cross the finish line without being taken away in an ambulance. I also thought these things for my first half and now it’s my favourite distance.

My dream goal would be to one day get a good for age for London.  I want to do something for myself but hope that this will also inspire my children.

Current PBs

  • 5km 22.12
  • 10km 49:02. 
  • Half Marathon1:49:01

Marie Knight, 40, export manager wine industry from Brighton 

Instagram: @wightyknighty

Goal Race: Brighton Marathon

Target time: 4  hours, 35 minutes

Why Marie applied:

I have a busy work schedule that involves travel and time away from home so I need help with a flexible training plan, that will offer support when things change at the last minute! My previous training plans for half marathons have fallen down when I’ve become ill and slipped behind and lost confidence.

I have always said I would never run a marathon and I now find myself 16 weeks away from race day. It honestly still feels like something I could never do despite having watched so many fantastic runners of all different levels complete the Brighton marathon this year. I’m genuinely terrified and that in turn makes me even more determined to train properly, complete the 26.2 miles and enjoy every moment! I was also asked by a friend of mine to join in fundraising for their 3 yr old daughter who needs a life changing operation to give her the chance to walk. Little Ufi was born 3 months premature and suffered severe brain injuries which mean she cannot walk amongst various other learning disabilities. There’s a little girl determined to walk, and it feels like there is no good reason for me not to show the same determination to complete a marathon to give her the chance to walk. 2019 is the 10-year anniversary of the Brighton Marathon and having started running in 2016, I would be super proud to be running my first marathon in my home town. Running has been an important part of settling into a new life in Brighton, making new friends with an amazing and inspiration group of women of all ages and fitness. I’ve been lucky enough to run with the GRTW runners at a huge variety of events and always been encouraged to give everything my best shot and supported even when I was one of the last runners the finish line. It would be great to start 2019 with a clear and focused ‘end in mind’ plan to get me to the point of crossing the finish line feeling strong, happy and knowing that I’d raised money for a fantastic cause.

Obstacles: Work travel often puts pressure on ability to train / run as I planned. Usually week days with tempo / speed sessions but occasional weekends which then impacts long slow runs. Previously with half marathon training I’ve struggled to ensure strength training happens as well as the running part of the plan.

Strength – enjoy speed work / tempo sessions. Weakness – technique on hills, overstriding, can talk myself out of a long run when on my own.

Personal Bests

  • 5km, 27.38
  • 10km, 1:00:43
  • Half Marathon, 2:12:45

Catriona Ward Sell, 31, a soldier in the British Army, Ipswich  

Instagram: @_thiscatcan_

Goal Race: London Marathon

 

Target time: 3 hours, 17 minutes

Why she applied: Wants to get faster

 

I started running more seriously last year, and improved quickly with a 19:18 5km, 40:28 10km and 1:29:15 half marathon. Now, I’ve stalled and I don’t know how to progress.

Also, I wanted to be part of a female running community as only 9% of women in the Army are female. I can give the guys a run for their money, but ultimately their training styles, intensity and routine is different to my own. They don’t understand what it’s like to have short legs and a faster cadence, nor do they understand certain monthly cycles that we females have to deal with.

Personal bests

  • 5km, 19.18  
  • 10km, 40:28
  • Half Marathon, 1:29:15

 

Rachel Sparkhall, sales and marketing manager, 43, Bedfordshire 

 

Instagram: @rachel.sparkhall

Goal race: Paris Marathon

Target: 3 hours, 59 minutes

Why she applied: How to juggle training with work and migraines

‘Running my first ever marathon and would like to do really well, but I suffer from migraines and juggling work commitments so need  guidance to get me there.’

I enjoy it but it has also really helped with my general well being, having suffered with chronic migraine for +20 years. Exercise helps to keep them under control.

Recent PBs

10km, 49 mins

Half Marathon, 1.47.48

 

These women will all be sharing their trials and tribulations with us via their Instagram channels and via our blog once per month. 

If you are interested in receiving virutal marathon training with us, please get in touch. Rachel and Cat are being coached by Tara Shanahan and Kerrie and Marie by GRTW founder, Rachael Woolston.