with No Comments

10620725_10203432747191721_614508304735530651_nLiving in Seattle

I discovered my passion for running mountain trails and ultramarathons in the Pacific Northwest USA when I met my two best friends, who are veteran adventure racers and mountain runners. I’d always loved playing outside and exploring the outdoors, but I didn’t know about ultrarunning until I met them.

After telling me inspiring stories about running adventures all over the world and patiently answering all my newbie questions, they asked me to join them on a few training runs.

Before long we were like peas in a sweaty mud-covered pod, and they asked me to join them on a run around Mt Rainier on the Wonderland Trail (160 kilometres). I had NO idea what I was getting myself into, but I trusted them and they seemed to think I’d be ok. It hurt like hell, but I loved every minute of it, and it bonded the three of us for life.

After that trip, I started running local ultras and got to know the running community better. I absolutely fell in love with the sport and had some amazing adventures in the backcountry. From a 100 miler deep in the Cascade Mountains, to regular 50k’s and 50 milers in epic locations across the Pacific Northwest. All these events felt like festivals more than races—camping out with friends before the race, running hard in the mountains, and then hanging out eating lots of food enjoying a few beers afterwards.head shot

 Moving to NZ

Although I eventually left Seattle to settle in New Zealand, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a thriving trail/ultra running community in Aotearoa. I haven’t raced as often here, but I hope that’s all about to change. In October I’ll be running the inaugural Taupo Ultramarathon. I’ve partnered with WayWiser and Taupo Ultra and will be hosting a series of Auckland-based training runs tailored to the event.

1917332_1167718225485_6683474_nIt’s amazing how many ultrarunners there are in NZ, tucked away in the woodwork, and I love meeting more of the community and hearing their stories. If you’re interested in learning more about WayWiser and the training runs, visit https://waywiser.co.nz/.

And if you’d like to learn more about the Taupo Ultra, check out their website: http://www.taupoultra.com/.

I hope to see you on the trails!

You can read about some of my adventures here 

Instagram_App_Large_May2016_200

@Sophia Walker