Stephanie is a 34 year old Canadian human rights lawyer who discovered ultra running eight years ago.
After completing a year in Afghanistan with the UN in 2013, she took a job in South Sudan in 2014 assisting people who were displaced by violence, which required her to live in a tent in very basic conditions. That same year, she started a charity called Free to Run, which provides opportunities for women and girls to get involved in sports in conflict-affected communities. They have now been operating for two years in Afghanistan across three different provinces and have a refugee program in Hong Kong. Recently, she finished two years in Gaza working for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and is now based in Geneva, where she’s enjoying being able to access the mountains again.
Over the last eight years, she’s competed in eight 250 km self-supported footraces. The Tor des Geants, a 338km mountain race in Italy, remains her passion. In 2015 she completed the shorted course and went back in 2016 to finish what she started!
During this podcast we learn more about Stephanie, her journey into fitness and how she came to love running ultra’s.
Growing up in Canada and not being sporty at all!
Going to university and trying out for the rowing team
Being let down by her first marathon and not having that life changing experience
Getting the confidence to try a new sport
Her first Marathon in Alaska!
Climbing Kilimanjaro and loving the feeling of being outside
Her first ultra race in Vietnam and coming 2nd!
Dealing with the challenges which come up during an ultra race and why she goes for the unstructured approach to training.
The Tor des Geants, a 338km mountain race in Italy - the race that really pushed her to her limits
150 hr to finish the race - deciding to forgo sleep and only sleeping for 2.5hrs throughout the 4 days
Drinking straight olive oil in order to keep the body going
The terrible, soul crushing low points she had to deal with during the race
Training for the Tor des Geants while living in Palestine
Free to Run - What it is and how it came about
Developing mix gender sports in Afghanistan
The power of the ripple effect and why you can make a difference
Plans for the future both for, Free to Run and her own personal challenges
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