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September 20, 2018 Comments (0) All Posts, Athlete Stories

Inspiring trio flying the flag for female off-road runners

Nicky Spinks inov-8 at UTMR by Adina Zwaklen www.alphafoto.com

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…)

Jasmin Paris. By iancorless_GlencoeEXTREME-09775

Jasmin Paris getting to grips with the extreme mountain terrain in Scotland. Photo: Ian Corless

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.

jasmin paris inov-8 skyrunning at glen coe. photo by Andy Jackson

Jasmin Paris on her way to second place at the Glen Coe Skyline race. Photo: Andy Jackson

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.

Victoria Wilkinson by Olivier Vin

Victoria Wilkinson flying over the rocky trails at the Skyrunning World Championships. Photo: Olivier Vin

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.

Victoria Wilkinson by iancorless_GlencoeSKY-07460

Victoria Wilkinson working hard on a steep descent at the World Skyrunning Championships Scotland. Photo: Ian Corless

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 Spinks at UTMR by Adina Zwaklen www.alphafoto.com

Nicky Spinks on her way to winning the spectacular Ultra Tour Monte Rosa. Photo: www.alphafoto.com

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.

Related link: How Nicky Spinks – How To Run Further Than You Thought Possible

Nicky Spinks at UTMR by Adina Zwahlen www.alphafoto.com

Nicky Spinks wins the 170km Ultra Tour Monte Rosa in 37hrs 11mins. Photo: www.alphafoto.com

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.

Jasmin Paris by iancorless_GlencoeEXTREME-09759

Jasmin Paris – always smiling no matter how tough the challenge! Photo: Ian Corless

Jasmin Paris:

Victoria Wilkinson, quite literally flying at the Skyrunning World Championships. Photo: Scott Seefeldt

Victoria Wilkinson:

Nicky Spinks UTMR by Adina Zwahlen www.alphafoto.com 5

Nicky Spinks looking relaxed and happy during the 170km Ultra Tour Monte Rosa. Photo: www.alphafoto.com

Nicky Spinks:

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