Ok ladies, talk about inspiring. This week I have the honour of introducing another super galpal, Glamamama, Lucy Marriott. She is the mother of two, has a model figure and is a blonde bombshell to boot. Do I have your attention yet? This gorgeous creature is a true superwoman. Why? Well she pushes boundaries, both physical and mental. Lucy, recently completed the grueling RACE THE PLANET race in Jordan, AND… placed second in the Women’s category, AND placed 8th overall. Go on, pick up your jaw and read on…
Lucy in Red in Jordan 2012
GR: What race did you just complete?
LM: I just finished Racing the Planet’s Jordan Race. It’s 250km self- supported race over 7 days through Jordan’s deserts, including Wadi Rum ( the most famous and the most beautiful desert where Lawrence of Arabia was filmed) and finishes in the World Heritage site of Petra. It’s a marathon a day for the first 4 days and then a double marathon on the 5th +6th day “ the Long day”. It’s called an endurance race and the rating is difficult.
GR: When did you decide to start racing?
LM: I started doing adventure races about 8 years ago. I tried a small road race, the China Coast half marathon and even though I think I was the last to finish, I absolutely loved it. I enjoy the whole process of a race. I find one that interests me first of all. Sometimes I choose one for the location, and sometimes for the competition or the camaraderie (like the Maclehose Trailwalker in Hong Kong) and sometimes I sign up for little fun runs which I do with the kids.
The part I like the least, is training for a race, especially the long runs/hikes that you have to put in for an endurance race such as Jordan. You have to go out for about 4 hours. It’s time consuming. I have to get up at around 5am so I can be out running before the real heat of the day sets in and I feel that I never go out on Friday evenings anymore! Ultimately, training controls your life a little and I don’t always like it but it needs to be done.
The part I love the most is the competition itself. The excitement; am I fit enough? How fast can I go at the beginning? Where am in the pack? Who’s in
front of me? Who’s right behind me? The feeling of accomplishment at the end and the incredible endorphin high you get once you cross the finish
GR: How long did you train for this race and what is your usual training schedule?
LM: I’m lucky I have a pretty strong base level of fitness as I have done a few of these races in the last 4 years. So I probably start focusing about 2-3
months before a race like Jordan. I just make sure that I do a long run at the weekends ( say 25km-35km depending on the heat ) and mid-week I pretty
much keep to my usual routine: I run about 3-4 times a week for an hour or so (8-12km), out on the trails and then the other days I may go to the gym
or try and do some core exercises at home. I love Tracy Anderson’s work out method and I try and do parts of that as much as I can.
GR: Do you ever train with you husband, and if so is it a shared passion?
LM:Frank and I sometimes run together, but he much prefers road biking and seems to run with me less and less nowadays !
GR: What was the most challenging part of the race and what kept you motivated?
LM: The most challenging part of the race was the long day, it took me 12.30 hours, ( 85km) much of which I ran and walked on my own. Not only is the terrain incredibly challenging but it gets lonely and you need to remain so focused. A lot of people listen to their ipods but music reminds me too much
of home so I just try and eliminate the kilometers and think about my food intake. I needed to make sure I didn’t over heat, check I was getting enough
electrolytes to replenish the salts and minerals I was losing through sweat and to make sure at all times I was drinking enough. The medical director of
the race estimated we were losing approximately 5000 calories a day, so I also needed to try make sure I nibbled away at all my high energy bars and
gels, which taste horrid in the heat and when you are exhausted.
I go though huge waves of highs and lows when I’m racing. At my low points all I can think about is giving up or getting an injury so I’m saved and
don’t have to continue! But then I have enormous highs where I feel strong and I want to finish well and try and get a good place .
GR: Did you explain to your kids what you were about to do?
LM: I explained to them exactly what I was doing and that I was going to go Jordan to run a 7 day race and sleep in the desert. My eldest daughter Lily
who is nearly 11 and is at boarding school in England was able to follow me online and read the daily updates and the results board, so she was very
excited and full of enthusiasm for me. Her whole class kept track of me which was very sweet ( nothing like a bit of pressure!!) Sam my son who is 7
was a little less interested. He just wanted to know when I got back, simply if Mummy had won her running race or not (!)
GR: Were you able to keep in contact with them and if so how often?
LM: There was a cyber tent put up at our daily camp sites so when I had the energy I would go over and read emails from people and email out. A lot of
the time, I was feeling so exhausted and teary that I cried the moment I read a message. It’s sometimes easier not to have any contact with the
outside world when you are doing these type of races.
GR: Were there moments of weakness during this race?
LM: There are always moments of weakness for me. Why am I doing this again? What was I thinking when I signed up? How am I going to get through the 85km day when im this exhausted already? But they generally pass. It helps me if I break everything down into tiny stages. Check point by check point( they are every 10km). Then its one day down, and 5 to go and so on and so forth.
People say these races are over 50% mental races and I think that’s true.
GR: How are your feet?
LM: Your feet take a pounding. Mine were luckily quite blister free but I have lots of black toenails from all the down hill and rocky terrains.
GR: How did you cope with the heat?
LM: I put Anthelios 50+ every morning on my face, neck and arms and wore a hat at all times. I also wore 2XU compression socks to help my muscle fatigue and they helped keep the sun out as well.
GR: What did you come away with from the race? Do you recognise your strengths and weaknesses?
LM: I feel that my strength is that I will always finish. I mentally will not let myself give up, unless I collapse. My weakness is that I moan and whinge
a lot!! (people tell me this) I know that there a lot of people in the race who are suffering a lot more than me so I should learn not to be such a
vocal cry baby!! There was a Japanese lady who was 62 and was also doing it. She was on her own, doing the race for her holiday. She was so brave and
never complained so I must learn from her(!)
GR: Encounter anyone in particular who was very supportive on race.
LM: Your tent mates are hugely supportive. (We slept under Bedouin tents which were open air and we were 10 people to a tent). They become your little
family when you are out in the desert. We looked out for each other, we were always trying to help each other whether it be giving an energy bar here or
there, or going to get hot water from the fire for someone or making space for someone’s sleep space.
GR: When’s the next race?
LM: Not for the time being. I’m still recovering! Though I’ll probably sign up for some of the local races in Hong Kong in the fall. I love those.
GR: RACING OR RUNNING shoe of choice?
LM: Saloman S Labs (fabulous trail shoes) and Asics for my regular morning runs and gym.
GR: Shopping shoe of choice ?
LM: Manolos for the day and Louboutins at night
GR: First thing you did when you returned to Hong Kong?
LM: Threw my arms round hubbie and the kids! Then food: I couldn’t get to dim sum fast enough!
Lucy with her daughter Lily and her niece Isabella
Lucy with hubby Frank… not racing that night
Lucy and Sam, who was happy to see mummy home