From the streets of Mumbai to the mountains of the Himalayas, and from the south coast of the England to the west coast of Cambodia, I’ve run in many incredible places and met amazing people through running. I set up Girls Run the World to help empower more girls and women through running, and to hopefully create a network of female runners worldwide who can meet and run wherever they are on the globe.
But Girls Run the World is more than this; it is also a coaching service providing expert advice to female runners by female coaches. From how to run, to how to get fitter, faster and stronger along with courses about how to return to running from injury or from having a baby. We provide face to face coaching, mentoring and a library of online digital content which we aim to grow and add to every week. After years of only seeing male experts talking about running, we decided it was time to build a network of expert female coaches.
I’ve run for over 20 years, and coached for nine of those years, helping women to not only to get fit to run but to become better runners, stronger, fitter, faster and injury-free. I’m also a qualified yoga teacher, a strength and conditioning coach and have expertise in women’s fitness at all life stages.
When I’m not running or coaching others, I’m to be found interviewing experts and writing about running, fitness, nutrition and well being for national magazines including Marie Claire, S magazine, Runner’s World and Women’s Running. You can read my features here.
My goal with Girls Run the World is to help empower more girls and women through running, which means not only learning to run but becoming an informed, conscious runner so that you can continue running right the way through your life. Because running not only makes you feel strong and confident, it is an incredible way of seeing the world and meeting the people who live in it.
South Downs Women’s Relay Winners, 2017
Fort William Marathon, 3rd female 2015
Mumbai Marathon, 1st veteran female, 2013
Personal Bests: 5km: 19.45//10km: 41.40//13.1miles:1.33//26.2miles:3.16
The best decision I ever made was deciding to run the first Brighton marathon in 2010. As a new runner I threw myself into training, ignoring the warnings about not increasing mileage too quickly and predictably developed a serious case of shin splints. But somehow I made it to the start line and finished my first marathon in 4hrs 48 minutes.
Since then I’ve run several more marathons including London and New York. I’ve improved my own marathon PB to 3 hours 9 minutes and have helped others to achieve their goals by being a 3hr 30 minute pacer at Brighton marathon. That first marathon remains the most special though, because it was the day I found out that I was capable of something that had previously seemed impossible and from that knowledge I have continued to push myself to achieve more than I ever dreamed.
So what’s the secret to my improvement? Training consistently every week and following a carefully structured training plan, with the right balance of hard work and easy sessions. This has helped me, and the clients I train through GRTW, avoid over training whilst pushing the body so that it can adapt and improve.
I’ve studied barefoot, Chi & Pose running techniques and have used these methods to transform my own running. I now help coach and transform other runners from ‘Sunday Shufflers’ into ‘Racing Gazelles’!
But personal bests aside, running has bought me so much more, from exploring the streets of Brighton and Hove to the downland trails of Sussex and beyond. I’ve become part of a thriving community of runners and have made several great friendships.
Sussex 10km Road Racing Champion in age category 40-49.
Personal bests: 5km: 18.22, 5th fastest parkrun in age category 45-49, in the UK 2017//10km: 37.45//Half Marathon: 1.26 //Marathon: 3.09.
As well as being a UK athletics Coach in Running Fitness, Tara heads up Brighton Goodgym, which encourages runners to give back to their communities by doing good while keeping fit.
I run everything from parkrun to 100 mile ultra marathons but I started out running in my thirties, just managing to run one mile around my local park. Although I enjoyed sport at school, I spent most of my twenties partying in London and only took up running after going travelling and deciding I wanted a change. Within a few months, I was running three times per week and managing eight miles, then I tried my first half marathon and my races have just got longer and longer until I did my first ultra in 2013.
I love running because it helps me to see the world from a unique perspective and I’ve been incredibly lucky to race in some incredible places from the Alps to the Atacama Desert in Chile right the way through to the Andes in Patagonia. But equally memorable as the places are the people I meet on my training runs, such as the local children who ran alongside me through the villages of Madagascar and the locals off to morning prayer as I ran in Lhasa, Tibet. But my husband, Tom and I love running in England just as much, taking our camper van off with our dog, Lottie.
Before I stared doing ultra marathons, they seemed almost mythical but I soon learned that the skills that you need when running shorter distances, such as the quality of your training, learning how to pace yourself and nutrition apply equally to ultra marathons. Plus, you don’t need to run crazy long miles; I recently mentored a woman to her first 100 mile race, and we fitted in what she needed to do alongside her business and being a mum to four kids.
I hope to inspire and help other women who are thinking about running ultras to realise that there are no limits to what you can achieve with consistency in your training, determination, a bucket load of enthusiasm and a big smile.
- Racing the Planet Patagonia, 155 mile stage race (1st lady)
- Racing the Planet Ecuador, 155 miles stage race (1st lady)
- 4 Deserts Atacama Crossing, 155 mile stage race (2nd lady)
- Thames Path 100 miles (2nd lady)
- Berlin 100 miles (3rd lady)
Alongside her mentoring for Girls Run the World, Sarah is a level 3 Pilates teacher.