MEET MENNA EVANS….
In a couple of weeks Menna will be flying to New Zealand, setting herself the challenge of running from one end to the other and also breaking the current record, no pressure then! Last week we caught with the self employed dog groomer from Llansadwrn in Carmarthenshire to find out a bit more…
This is quite a challenge, what made you decide to run the length of NZ and attempt to break the Guinness World Record at the same time?ME: ran the full length of Britain – John O’Groats to Lands End (JOGLE) last year and loved every second of it. I dreamt of the next challenge (NZ) with a week still to go. When I did a bit of research into it later I found the current record and thought – “I can beat that, why not!?
How long have you been running/ how and where have you been training?
ME: I have been running since March 2017. My Dad sad passed away at that time and I decided to run JOGLE in his memory. He wanted me to walk it with him, but his health decreased and wasn’t well enough to do so. So I decided to run it as walking would take too long. On the lead up to JOGLE, I entered a few Ultras and found out that my body actually coped very well with distances… just as well really!
In preparation for NZ this year, I ran 8 marathons in 8 days over the summer which incorporated a marathon on a treadmill in Cardiff Tesco Extra on day 1 and then Offa’s Dyke from day 2 to day 8 carrying an 8kg pack. Since the summer, I have adjusted my body (and mind!) to running on tarmac (I’m usually a keen trail runner). My typical week involves yoga, circuit training, a speed session with the Swansea Harriers and I alternate between back to back long runs and a very long run on the weekends. I’m on my feet all day with my job and train 6 days a week to ensure that my body can cope with the daily endurance.
Who currently holds the record?/ How long are you hoping it will take?
ME: I don’t know who currently holds the title, only that the time to beat is 52 days and 15 hours. I’m hoping to beat the record by running it in less than 40 days. I will be averaging 35 miles every day, with no days off this time round! I found that when I stopped for a day, that the body started to feel niggly! Adapting to the routine and mileage is key.
Are you planning on staying at the bothies or will you camp, or a bit of both?
ME: I will be sleeping in a support vehicle/motorhome that will meet me at the end of each day.
Are you doing this completely un supported or will you have a crew?
ME: I have a friend/supporter who will be with me for the duration, plus my Mum and 6 year old son will join me for the first half of the challenge.
Nutrition and fuelling on your challenge is going to be key, what will you be packing?
ME: Tailwind, For Goodness Shakes, Fulfil Vitamin Protein Bars, dried fruit, – yoghurt raisins are a favourite!
Have you started obsessing with the weight of your pack yet?
ME: Hmm.. not yet. But I only need to carry everything I need for the day.
What’s the luxury item you have to take with you?
ME: My phone! Whenever I had wobbly moments last year, I found the support from social media incredible. I never expected it to take off like it did. Video blogs were intended as a diary entry for me to look back on, but they actually became a way of calming me down in panicky moments and also sharing in some of the crazy during moments of madness.. of which were quite a few!
What’s on your playlist?
ME: Imagine Dragons, One Republic, Jurassic 5.. generally positive music with a good beat!
ME: “Your body will tell you it’s got nothing left when it’s still miles from breaking. The only true war you’ll ever fight is with your own head. Allow yourself to believe you can do it.. and you will.”
Follow Menna’s journey here:
Menna will be running for Mind – mental health.