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My face swimming

About Me

Hi, I am Emmelia. 

Each year I set a challenge to embark on. I have never been one for sitting around and not doing anything but equally have not always been into competing in sports.


I was forced into all the sports teams at school as everyone is. Hockey, tennis, rounders and netball I was (at best) average at all sports and hated every Saturday match. Associating sports with being cold, being aggressive and having a teacher shouting at me did not  inspire me to spend more time exercising.


At university I had little interest in sports also, bar the occasional gym session to keep the excessive student eating in check. However, it was more sitting around playing on balance boards with friends than fitness...


After leaving university it was clear I had put on a lot of weight.

On graduating, I worked at a local racing stable and lost a couple of stones in the process, riding racehorses is pretty intense exercise! I felt better and enjoyed the energy that came with being fitter. At this time I looked for local gyms to channel the energy I had acquired. Having little money left from uni I opted for a small weight lifting gym near home, Bob Prowse. The trainers, Paul and Ian took me under their wing and started to get me lifting weights and doing strict workouts, not the floating around and going on treadmills I was used to.


After a year of being at Bobs, I understood more about exercise and was improving in leaps and bounds. Therefore, I opted for two fun runs in 2014. The first was for Cancer Research, a 5k around the local park. The adrenaline from the pumping music, the finish line and the supporters provided a real buzz. A few weeks after was a colour run with some uni mates. The atmosphere was once again amazing and it left me wanting more.  Two months later Paul at Bobs told me there was a spartan obstacle course race that the gym took part in every year and I should join in. Unchartered territory but it sounded fun! 


Turning up at the obstacle course race it was clear that this was a different breed of run altogether. There were a lot of people, louder music and huge obstacles. I immediately got butterflies of excitement. Lining up on the start line for the 5k everyone from Bob Prowse gym was joking and laughing, the energy was fantastic! The countdown began and then we were off! Now, I have never enjoyed running, but the obstacles broke it up, the mud made it fun and the pure elation of everyone around me made this the funniest hour of exercise of my life to that date. 

At the finish, I felt shattered and as if I had really earnt my medal, endorphin's charging around my body, I was on top of the world. Having only completed a handful of easy obstacles I was aware of the improvement that could be made. I began to aspire to climb a rope and complete monkey bars. I well and truly had the OCR bug and loved my new gym family. 

colour run 5k
race for life 5k

The Bug Continued

After my first spartan run, I may have gone a little nuts. I signed up for two more the following month with the friend I ran the first one with. One was a 15k the other a 30k beast. I loved them both as much as the first. They were more challenging in terms of obstacles, distance and the cold was beginning to play a part too. After completing these the adrenaline rush was so much more than the others because they had been that much more difficult. 


After a few runs with my friends from school, they began to lose interest in running through mud in the cold and climbing over things in the rain. 

It was here that a friend (Karen Hillman) and I got talking about competing in races properly and pushing ourselves to see what we could do. We set ourselves the challenge of getting placed in a few races and trying to qualify for the UK and World championships. A long shot at the time but something to work towards! 

the wall ultra marathon


Having agreed with Karen that we should aspire to be really good at OCR we had a goal to work toward. We went to training days to learn how to get over tricky obstacles. I started to go running once a week outside of events and we signed up for a silly number of races for the next year (56 I think my total was). We both qualified for the world championships and UK championships in a few races. However, I was jammy enough to qualify for the elite wave in Dubai spartan super coming 4th female in the entire event. It would appear I was getting quite good at these OCR things. However, my placement was largely due to everyone else dying of heat exhaustion in the desert and me being stubborn rather than my OCR talent! 

After Dubai, I was on a high regardless and had a huge confidence boost. I trained harder and became slightly better. I got cocky. 

Biting off more than I could chew I entered a 70mile Ultramarathon with a few friends and did not finish. This was a huge disappointment but also the reality check I needed. You can not blag all races, especially not harder ones. I vowed to go back and complete this race in 2017. 

Eventually, the day for the OCRWC arrived Karen and I felt confident. She competed in her age group and I competed in the elite female wave. Unfortunately, Karen became injured and I bottled it on an obstacle, so no podiums for us! However, it was a massive learning curve and what an experience! The thrill of racing next to the best athletes in the world is something that I will never forget. 

More Than A Bug

The thrill of worlds and the ambition to push harder made me realise that I had achieved some amazing things in 2016 and wanted to go out and do more. The larger the event, the more adrenaline. I wanted to try something harder than OCR, something that would push me even further. So I signed up for my first marathon (The Great Wall of China) and an ultra-marathon I had dropped out of in 2016.  These became my two resolutions and goals for 2017. 

China was hard, very hard. The Wall ultra marathon was also difficult, but both were conquered leaving me looking for something harder in 2018. Something completely different. From there it has been a case of trying new things, pushing harder and obliterating any sort of comfort zone. No longer is this a bug, it is a lifestyle, actively seeking new thrills and challenges each year. 

judgement day ocr
runstock ultra marathon
mud monsters ocr
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