The story of ultra runner Sophie Power, who stopped mid-race at Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) to breastfed her three-month-old son has gone viral this week. News stations and publications across the world are all telling Sophie’s inspiring story, with fellow female runners also adding their support. One of those is inov-8 ambassador Jasmin Paris, who wrote on Twitter: “Flying the flag for ladies worldwide, fantastic stuff Sophie”
What a modest Jasmin hasn’t posted on Twitter is anything about her own inspiring achievements this past week. Indeed, together with fellow inov-8 ambassadors Victoria Wilkinson and Nicky Spinks (photographed above by (www.alphafoto.com), this unassuming trio has served up so much recent inspiration that we could probably write a book on it (now there’s an idea…)
The Champion Running Mum
Just nine months after giving birth to her first child, this past weekend saw Jasmin win silver at the Skyrunner World Series race held in Glen Coe, Scotland. The race was shortened due to poor weather but that didn’t deter 35-year-old Jasmin, who raced hard over the technical mountain course and was only narrowly beaten by top American athlete Hillary Gerardi. After 4hrs 17mins of racing, just seven seconds separated the pair at the finish line!
But this is just half the story. Earlier this month Jasmin wrapped up the 2018 British Fell Running Championship title by placing second behind Victoria at the Ben Nevis race up and down Great Britain’s highest mountain. Rewind further to April and the first of the four races that made up this year’s championship, and Jasmin was victorious at The Mourne Highline. This was just four months after she’d given birth to baby Rowan. Incredible and inspirational in equal measures.
Related link: Jasmin Paris – Becoming A Running Mum
The New Veteran Getting Better With Age
At the same festival in Glen Coe, Scotland, Victoria took part in the 29km Ring of Steall event which was classed as the official 2018 Skyrunning World Championship race. Runners tackled 2,500m of ascent over a gnarly course that included plenty of ridge-running, before descending back down to the finish in Kinlochleven.
Victoria ran strongly throughout to take a world championship silver medal in (3:54:01), seven minutes behind winner Tove Alexandersson, the seven-time world orienteering champion.
The result caps a fantastic 2018 season for Victoria, who over the past nine months has broken several long-standing women’s course records at fell and mountain running races across the UK (watch iRunFar video interview).
And all this has been achieved in the same year that has seen Victoria, a remedial and sports masseur, turn 40 years of age, becoming a ‘veteran’ in running age category terms. Incredible and inspiring in equal measures.
Related link: Victoria Wilkinson – Breaking The Ben Nevis Record
The legend winning races at 51 Years Young
Like Jasmin and Victoria, Nicky has enjoyed a superb September, the highlight being her win in the women’s race at the Ultra Tour Mont Rosa (UTMR). Held shortly after UTMB (at which Nicky crewed for 5th placed ‘Underdog’ Damian Hall), the UTMR is a 170km race through the Italian Alps which includes a mammoth 11,300m of ascent.
Nicky finished 7th overall and 1st woman in 37hrs 11mins. She was greeted across the finish line by race organiser Lizzie Hawker, the five-times winner of UTMB (watch the video).
Nicky writes in her blog post: “I think it was one of those dream races where everything goes right. There were things that could have been better (like not forgetting to put my spare head torch in the correct aid station drop bag) but overall it was all great. The Ultra Tour Monta Rosa is a classic ultra race, much like a classic fell race.
“The organisers (Lizzie and Richard) put so much thought and work into it and the result is a race where you feel nothing has been left to chance. The route is very hard and the logistics even harder. The checkpoints are staffed by volunteers and the whole feel of the race is of a very small, very friendly and very hard-working community. I hope that the UTMR grows into a race that is sustainable and worthy of Lizzie and Richard’s efforts, because it so deserves too.”
For 51-year-old farmer Nicky, who has survived breast cancer, victory at UTMR comes in the same year that she became the first person to complete a Double Ramsay Round. Incredible and inspirational in equal measures.
Favourite running kit used by the inspirational trio
Check out some of the favoured running shoes, clothing, packs and equipment used by Jasmin, Victoria and Nicky in their recent races.