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Sarah Douglas - Sponsored Athlete


 OMG I’m soooo nervous! With your toe on the line and the gun about to go there will be many thoughts going through your mind... Have I done enough training? How are my competitors going to race? Should I have had that glass of wine!?  Did I eat the right breakfast? Do I have the right gear? Does my bum look big in this? Having just completed the Motatapu Off Road Marathon, it got me thinking about doing the little things well on race day.


Have trust in the training you have done. Focus on your race plan and your goals. Remind yourself of why you entered the race to begin with. Bring to mind your family and friends who have supported you throughout your build up and are waiting to cheer you on at the finish line. It’s so easy for your mind to wander, to doubt yourself and question everything! Think mental discipline, be in the moment... DEEP BREATH!  You got this!!!


Now is NOT the time to try something new. Stick with what you know and are comfortable with. Eat your usual dinner the night before and breakfast the morning of the race, the LAST thing you need is an upset stomach (Nerves may do this.... don’t let a Vindaloo!). Only carry energy drinks and gels that you have practiced with in training. Try to figure out beforehand when you should take them during the race. Do not leave things to chance!  It’s all about great preparation.


Chances are if you are entered in an offroad marathon (or longer) race then it will be DING DING DING goes the alarm at Silly O’Clock. Make sure you allow plenty of time to get ready and get there. If you are lucky like me you have a partner poking you in the ribs saying “Sarah, Sarah, Sarah, Sarah, time to get up!!” Otherwise set the alarm and NO hitting snooze. If you are like me, you will need a coffee to wake up so have that ready to go the night before so you are not stressed trying to find the cups (or lucky mug!) and coffee in the morning. It is most likely you will not sleep well the night before the race, this is normal! So prep well! Sleep as well as you can in the days prior (avoid the happy hours for a week or two!) The night before, lay out the gear you will be wearing warming up and during the race. Pack your race bag and make sure you have all compulsary items if you are required to carry gear during the race. Take as much stress out of the day as you can...leaving things to the last minute will get you off on the wrong running shoe shod foot. Be familiar with race rules and the course as each race have their own. The Motatapu do not allow ipods, this is for safety reasons due to the amount of runners and mountain bikers on the course at the same time. They say it’s so you can hear the bikes, really its because they heard you singing Britney on the trail recently!


Don’t forget the people who make races possible. For us, it’s so hard, we can be so consumed by our own goals, our own pain...even just getting those feet one infront of the other that you forget these crazy loveable, grinning, cheering heroes. The dedication, enthusiasm and hours (some camp overnight for the Motatapu) that the volunteers give to allow us to do what we love is admirable. During aid station 3 of the Motatapu, when I was trying to say thankyou and drink at the same time (unsuccessfully!), a lovely lady told me “Just go, go!”. This sums up the amazing qualities of the volunteers, they give their all for us and expect nothing in return. The least we can do is say thank you to every aid station we run through.


The hours of training and prep...the early nights and sore limbs....the healthy eating and recycling of my ipod playlist worked! Some of the training was hugely enjoyable but I pushed myself and although it was really hard I did feel the benefit!!  I gave it my all and I am super excited to be the Motatapu Off Road Marathon 2014 winner.  Racing is not easy, it should be a personal challenge and the days when it comes right...are so rewarding that you forget about the hard bits and you forget about the mental pain! And that after race Massage...wow.  Let me take this opportunity to thank everyone who supports me and enable me to follow my passion. Thank you to my family, friends and lovely sponsors (wink) for the backing and care you have showed me which enables me to be do what I love and achieve what I have... MWAH XXX


Sarah Douglas - Sponsored Athlete

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