Who we are

RACHAEL

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.

Running Credentials

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

 

 

TARA

 

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.

 Running Credentials

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.

SARAH

 

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.

Running Credentials

  • 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.

 

HELENA

Having lanky legs from an early age meant I had an advantage when it came to running but I didn’t take it seriously until after I finished university when I realised that stride length can only take you so far.  Like many women, I fell out of running for a time and took it up again to help with depression. What a feeling! I had no idea what I had been missing and set about investigating how I could get the most out of this natural ‘upper’. Cue a ten year love affair for which NOTHING can come before it; I run almost everyday, on my own, with others, to challenge myself physically or to socialise and support others.
Having cottoned on to my love of running, friends and family always buy me running related presents and after reading, Running with Kenyans, by Adharanand Finn, all I wanted to do was get on a plane immediately. A little over a year later, I flew to Kenya with 15 others from all over the world, wanting to experience the Kenyan running magic, where all you do is eat, sleep, run, repeat. Iten, though small and remote, is the Mecca of long distance runners, it is 2400m above sea level with miles of trails and red, earthy roads to run which are kind to the knees. The two weeks I spent running, training, eating ugali and learning how to rest were the best two weeks of my life.
For all of that, I’m not particularly competitive but every race presents an opportunity to beat my last time and shorter distances, 5kms and 10kms are my event distance. Park run is a great way of gauging my personal fitness; fast, but long enough that you have to hold on to that whole 20 minutes! I’ve also been concentrating on 10ks for the last two years and am aiming to break the 40 minute barrier.
I love running and want to bring my passion to help others; running makes me happy, it keeps me sane and helps me burn off all the cake that I’m renowned for eating!