Freedom Racing Athletes
We are extremely pleased and proud to have excellent runners and outdoors enthusiasts as the elite Freedom Racing Athletes. They all share the same love for the outdoors, of running and challenging ourselves but also for generally having fun and loving life!
We are a close group of friends who support and push each other to bigger and better things, from the highly competitive Cornish road running races to international hundred mile races!
I started running in 2007 because I'd become a bit of a chubber! Although I'm reasonably quick (4:38 mile PB), i found the further i ran the more i enjoyed it. This inevitably led me along the path of Half marathon ,to marathon, to 50 miles and on to 100 mile Ultras. I started competing at races over 50 miles and have now made the leap to the 100 mile distance.
I prefer trail to road and mountains to Fens (I live in Cambridgeshire). I now run from 50 to 100+ miles a week taking in as much vert as possible. The thrill of descending a mountain at speed i find particularly addictive.
My motivation to run ultras stems from my desire to challenge myself and be amongst nature. Despite living in the flatlands my passion is to be in the mountains. Running provides me the perfect opportunity to travel and explore beautiful inspiring locations.
The way i see it is the more vert and the more miles, the more fun it is!
My big target for 2017 is a sub 21 hour finish at Pine to Palm 100 in Oregon. If my training goes well i will be tackling the Croatian 100km Istria Ultra Trail in April and potentially a hop over to the Canarian Ultra in June.
Bucket List stuff is Bob Graham Round, Western States 100, Hardrock 100, UTMB, UTMF, Wasatch 100, Alpen X, Transrockies… Too many to mention!
Some of Simons achievements;
- 3 x top 10 finisher in the GB Trail Champs
- 2nd Classic Quarter 2013
- Sub 24hr and 13th 2016 Lakeland 100
- 2nd Harmoors 55
- Top 10 in the 50 mile GB Trail Championships x 3 times
Simons blog with his Dartmoor 50 race report is at; www.simondarmody.com
I used to love running in my primary school cross country team and at secondary school I would always pick the long distance events for sports day, but until 2013 I hadn't run a competitive race. I started running as a way to improve my fitness for the mountain bike races I was competing in but soon I got addicted to the running and realised I was okay at it.
I really enjoy the freedom that running gives me and the places that it takes me. I'm always looking at maps to figure out new routes and I've found the most incredible places.
I like to push myself to see what I can achieve and I love that 'just keep going' feeling. Also through running I have met some fantastic people and made some good friends.
2016 was a great year for me, I came 3rd female at the Classic Quarter and was the 1st female at the Mudcrew RAT Plague 100k. I've also competed in the Cornwall GP Series and as well as getting 1st in my age category I was delighted to win the 'Most Improved Runner' trophy.
In 2017 my main focuses are the Jurassic Coast Challenge and the Lakeland 100, and I'm sure I'll find one or two other races to fill in the gaps.
I'm lucky that I have a really supportive family who enjoy coming along to cheer me on and make a great pit crew. Hopefully my running will inspire my children to enjoy sport the way I do.
When I'm not running, I'm generally thinking about running!!
I've always been the outdoorsy type, growing up and adventuring around beautiful Cornwall and having a passion for the coast. I was active in my school days participating in football, rugby, swimming, tennis and x country. I generally felt the need to be outdoors and could usually be found on a summers evening fishing on the pier until dark!
It wasn't until one cold Novembers night in 2011 that me and my mate were feeling a bit tubby and thought we'd pop up to Falmouths running club and give it a whirl. Re-discovering my love for running I signed up and a few months later was jumping into Falmouths first half marathon...from there I could tell I was going to be hooked!
I started racing the Cornwall road running grand prix circuit, the Cornish multi terrain series and travelling further afield to compete in other interesting off road races and marathons.
My main passion is running off road and this is where I have excelled, finding my strength is on the multi terrain, a proud moment for me was winning the 2016 Cornish multi terrain series. This was a year to remember for me with other highlights being winning the Dartmoor Highground marathon and the 20 mile Mudcrew R.A.T race, finishing 2nd in my home towns half marathon and travelling up to bonnie Scotland to earn my myself an elite time of 2.44.21 at Edinburgh marathon.
I love a race day and the nervousness felt when you wake up in the morning to the adrenaline that pumps through your blood as you go into battle with your rivals! I am well known for over doing it and just being too enthusiastic to race everything! I have a real competitive streak and am also really motivated by the team ethic in races, trying to motivate my team mates to win team prizes and most importantly my other passion...win red wine!
Running just gives me a buzz, I feel a real sense of freedom when just getting out there on a coastal run whether it be a glorious summers eve or a stormy winters day and doing this with your friends and the people you get to know through the running world makes it all even better!
Goals for this year would have to be stepping in to the ultra world and possibly competing in the 32 mile Rat race, the whole classic quarter and taking on an ultra distance at the Serpent Trail race in Hampshire.
So how could I say no when Tom (the gaffer) asked me to be to be one of his Freedom Racing Athletes! ...Freedom racing all the way!
Tom is also in Falmouth Running Club.
I was supporting my Mum and Dad at the Ironman in Sherbourne; them having trained for months to take on this challenge, me watching with a cigarette!
This was my inspiration for getting fit and changing my lifestyle, I didn’t want to be in my thirties continuing my life as it was at that point.
I wanted to get fit so joined a gym and started running up the road, counting lamp posts between walking breaks with my Sister. I started to feel better and was enjoying it a lot, having fun and getting better at it so I joined my local running club.
This helped me to get more into it and I was encouraged to try a race. Looking at the results afterwards I was amazed to see I had come 2nd lady and thought ‘maybe I could be alright at this’!
I did a few road races then a local Triathlon, then half , then full Ironman with no idea and very little training! I finished it but haven’t done a Triathlon since!
I found that I just liked running and going away with Mum and doing trail races as this is what I preferred. I met Tom when we both did the Classic Quarter in 2009 and then at other long races that summer.
I moved to Cornwall and soon joined up with our friends in Mudcrew, running as part of their Ultra Team for a few years.
My favourite race is the Lakeland 100 and I have been 3rd lady 3 times! But I have been 1st lady at the Classic Quarter, The Oner, Ultimate Trails 100k, Rodopi 100, Maverick Race and Jurassic Coast Challenge. In 2017 I’m training for Lakeland 50 as my ‘A’ race.
I love racing and being competitive, but running is about being outside - in the mountains, woods or on the coastpath, and the feeling it gives me!
I've always enjoyed being outside and active, and for that, I have my wonderful parents to thank! Whether it was my Mum running us three boys out down the beach, or my Dad teaching me to surf, we have always loved the outdoors. Alongside surfing, I grew up swimming, running, playing rugby; anything to be outside!
Surfing has enabled me to travel the world, which I am very grateful for. Equally, living in Cornwall, we’re constantly searching for surf, so running the coastal paths has been a normal thing for me since a young age!
I’ve always enjoyed running, and in particular, trail-running. For me, trail running is the best type of running anyone can do! It allows you to enjoy the beauty of being outside, whilst also providing a mental and physical challenge! Equally, it’s the freedom trail running has to allow you to relax, forget ‘minute miles’ and just enjoy the freedom running has to offer!
I enjoy competing, and recently I have enjoyed some podium success, but ultimately, it’s the challenge these events provide that attracts me to them. Whether it be Trail Running events, Open Water Swims or most recently, Swim Run events that incorporate trail running (running in a wetsuit takes some getting used to), each one provides a unique set of physical and mental challenges that help you, I believe, become a better athlete all round.
Equally, I enjoy running for pleasure with my wonderful wife, who also enjoys longer distance trail-running and knows the local bridle paths like the back of her hand from horse riding. We also go SUPing (Stand-Up-Paddle boarding), where she’ll help me improve my open-water swimming as I try (in vain) to chase her down (unsuccessfully) whilst she paddles.
My goal for next year is to have a go at upping my mileage from marathon distance to ultra-marathon distance, and I’d love to travel with my wife, surf new spots and climb / run a few mountains!
I intend to compete in the next Classic Quarter 44 mile race, and I intend to return to Dartmoor to have a go at the Dartmoor Highground Ultra (50 miles). A ‘billy-bonus’ would be if I was able to defend any of the podium finishes for the 10k Summer Sessions…we’ll see about that!
Ryans top results,
1st – Summer Sessions FR 10K Porthtowan
3rd – Summer Sessions FR 10K Poldhu
2nd – Summer Sessions FR 10K Godrevy
3rd - Classic Quarter Relay Pairs 22 mile Coastal Trail Run
3rd - Dartmoor Highground Marathon FR