Meet Ruth Laenen. Our Facebook followers may remember Ruth from a post last year, breast feeding her baby during the Blackall 100 event. Having recently become a mum myself and realising the challenges of getting back into ultra running post baby, I am inspired by people like Ruth. So this week we put the spotlight on her with our Q&A.
How long have you been trail running for and how did you get into trail running?
About 5 or 6 years I think. I started a new job where I met Tamyka Bell and she got me interested in trail running. We did Kokoda together in 2010 and I got hooked.
If Trail Chix could snap our fingers and send you to a trail anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Somewhere in the Canadian Rockies.
Who is your favourite person to run with? All my running buddies are awesome, I can’t just pick one! My favourite running buddy was my German Shepherd, Kaiser, but he passed away last year. He was great because he was even more inclined to walk hills than me. I also felt very safe running with him at night.
Trail Chix is Australian based. Tell us one thing you LOVE about Australian running/running culture/trails?
I have always experienced a positive, friendly and encouraging trail running culture in Australia. I have met some of my best friends through trail running. Every race people cheer each other on and nobody cares that I am just plodding along up the back of the pack. I also love the beautiful places that I get to run.
What is one piece of trail gear you can’t live without? Why?
My trail shoes. I am pretty certain that if I didn’t have them then I couldn’t run.
What is your go to post trail run meal?
It really varies these days. I used to love having a vanilla milkshake, but now I find myself craving all sorts of things at the end of a run. Today it was hot chips.
How do you keep motivated?
I just love trails so I don’t really need to do anything to motivate myself to go out for a run. Motivating myself to run fast in another story.
What are your goals for 2015?
I am just getting back into ultras after having a baby last year. I really want to finish a 100km race. I have signed up for TNF100 so hoping I can do it there. I also want to run a 50k pb at some point.
If I am brand new to trail running, what is the best tip you could give me?
Walk the hills, although I hear some people run up them but I think those people are a different species to me.
What is your greatest personal achievement in running (doesn’t have to be a race/event)? Finishing Great North Walk 100mile – my first and only 100mile. The last 20km or so were so tough. My feet were so sore and swollen and I hadn’t been able to keep much food down from about 90km.
Somehow it was still fun though and it was such an amazing sense of achievement. Tamyka paced me from 100km and we had lots of fun together. I would love to do it again someday.
Ruth, you are just awesome and that happy “can do” attitude is what Trail Chix is all about. Good luck at TNF100 and we look forward to following your future adventures.