Meet the RfL Runners & Riders: Jodie Gauld

1. Tell us a bit about yourselves, where you’re from etc. And tell us about your history of running and cycling.

I've run all my life, in the past few years have fallen in love with the trails and ultra distances. I was first inspired by a handful of older friends that I met through a circuit training group. Especially, one, saw my passion for running and suggested I join them for the epic Lakeland, some run the 100 miles, I signed up for the 50 miles, having never run any competitive distance above 1500m, especially crossing mountains, I was blown away by the mentality of ultra runners, all so supportive and friendly, I even became part of a group to pick up one 100mile runner suffering from serious dehydration in the extreme heat, turns out we lived down the road from each other and have stayed friends since (2014) I have not looked back on these events and love it and the people involved.

2. What you’re taking on is probably one of the most difficult things you’ll have ever done. The kind of thing most people think is crazy. So what made you want to sign up?

I must confess my initial reason is mainly selfish, to challenge myself.
However, from running with the guys from Tribe and understanding their original mission and other events they have done, I always wanted to be part of any epic events they had planned next. I would also hate to miss out on such a journey with some amazing people that have become great friends.
I am too inspired by Tom, Rob and Guy's passion for anti-trafficking. And believe it will be an incredible way to see the countries.

3. If we don’t let it stop us from starting in the first place, healthy fear can be a really good thing. What are you most afraid of on the upcoming route?

Not finishing and lasting injury.

4. Beyond the benefits for your physical health, are there any deeper motivations you have for doing these things?

Running is my meditation. It is also where I have met some of my closest friends and a method I use to explore new places.

5. How do you train? Is it mostly a solo thing, one person alone in the elements, or do you prefer being in company?

My training is a mixture of solo and group training, especially for longer or intense training sessions. However, sometimes you just need to thrash out the miles alone or to some good music.

6. Can you think of any happy or sad or motivating thoughts that get your through the particularly hard times, that drive you on when you’re on the brink?

For different instances I have different motives. Mostly I just love running. It's a social activity. For longer distances I'm inspired by others or the scenery or support/marshals. For certain races I am motivated by previous times I'd like to beat or to get a good position if there are more members of my club running and we're in chance of a team victory.

7. Once people discover it, running and cycling can become a completely indispensable part of their lives. Can you imagine your life without it?

I hate to imagine a life without running, it is such a big part of my life.

8. Some of you are taking on the whole challenge, all the way through to London. Others are just doing either the running or cycling legs. Why have you chosen one or the other?

Running is my passion, I use cycling to get from A to B or slowly with friends so the cycling was never a option in my mind. But from day one I had said I would do all of the running, no matter the distance. I'm super excited to be part of such an incredible venture with such amazing people.

9. Are any of you attempting this feat with someone else in mind? Are you any of you running or cycling for someone else perhaps?

I run not only for personal ambitions but also because I am inspired by what others have achieved. There is one person I always have in mind, since last year, when running who did pass away and was a keen runner, so he will for sure be in my thoughts and help me keep going.

10. Lastly, apart from the finish-line, what are you most looking forward to?

The camaraderie, the bonding and meeting new friends, lots of food and the scenery. Oh and I'm sure there will be some hilarious stories when we are delirious!