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Fetcheveryone Member of the Month

Our way of acknowledging the contributions and achievements of the Fetch community. Thanks to our sponsor Fitbit, our September winner will receive a Fitbit Charge 3.

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Interview with run free

pedroscalls asks: Congratulations on the MoTM, my question is, if time or money was no object what race or route would you love to do?

run free says: Thank you Pedros. I would love time to do non-stop campaigning and support many more events that want to reduce their rubbish anywhere in the world. I'd also only do the ones that would accept my tyre. Now I do need a sugar daddy who doesn’t want anything in return…..would you volunteer?
The Mighty Fleecy asks: congrats, run free! I think your campaigning is admirable! How many races now have you converted to plastic free/low plastic? How long do you think it will take before London sees which way the wind is blowing and gets on board?

run free says: Thank you Fleecy for your support & past excellent advice. At events, the focus has been on rubbish reduction with plastic being one of the biggest contributors as it is the one material that is most abundant at events and has very low recycling rates. Difficult to tell how many events have been converted to plastic free/low plastic.

DIRECTLY: about 12 event organisers from the USA, UK, Singapore, Italy and Thailand. Indirectly there are a number that have been influenced from what has been achieved. I know of 3 other event organisers in Singapore who have gone cupless and there are marathons in Italy that followed Rome. Singapore’s national newspapers and televisions have picked up the stories of the waste reduction at the marathon events, so now more events are asking for help *smile* Thankfully have a couple of champions in Singapore that am nurturing to pick them up.

LONDON Marathon - ignore calls, emails, responded superficially to FB message. My current plan here is to find more events to go cupless / use reusable water containers so that the pressure can be the call of the people.

Additionally the EU has announced a ban on certain single-use plastic like cups. So there will be increased pressure for London to fall in line, hopefully by 2020....or they fall behind. The trouble with being a WMM is that the franchise is an American owned company and thus may not care what the EU is doing especially as we head towards Brexit.

Noted that London Marathon has proclaimed that 100% of their bottles are recycled but the truth is it is not when you follow the recycling process bbc.co.uk

Additionally it should be noted that recycling plastic has a short life as it is normally downgraded to another product like a fleece garment = micro-fibres + eventually ends in landfill/incinerator/ocean when the fleece is worn out or the user is bored with the garment.
NDWDave asks: What advice would you give to someone new to ultra marathons and adventure races?

run free says: Depends on distance & type of event

My first ultra was 40-45 miles (Town to Tring) in 2008 after having completed two marathons in 2006 and 2007. I didn’t train much and was very sore after…..am still rubbish at training. However, having now completed several events, ultras hurt a lot less.

50K ULTRA: you could get away with doing marathon training and run the whole lot (depending on fitness and whether you have small hills, big hills or mountains). Nutrition and hydration are similar to a marathon though you might be expected to BYOB. If you have big hills, then certainly hill reps will help. If you have mountains, you need to train on mountains or find a tall building to run up and down the stairs. Have found hill training does not prepare you for mountains.

CHECK MAPS: of the route to see steepness of the hills/mountains so you can be prepared to practice for steepness / or walk down. Seen too many people injure themselves running down steep hills. At Rhonda Rollercoaster is up and down the Black Mountains in Wales, I passed many who were struggling with knee issues or had fallen down. The tyre helps to keep me more upright and is a nice anchor.

LONGER DISTANCES – depending on how much training you want to put in…..if you’re like me (enter marathons and do pilates occasionally) use a run walk strategy + learn to power walk. Think it is all in the Ultra Marathon thread *smile* fetcheveryone.com/forum__10360__2313__ultra_marathons

FOOD: Learn to eat real food to settle the stomach. My preference is fat and protein over carbs. Fat as it is a slow burner. Too much sugar can cause you to bonk (seen this with people who “snack” on gels). Protein because it settles my stomach better than just purely junk carb food. I eat veggie sausages as well as make fat protein dough balls to chew on, also carry a couple of protein bars and flapjacks. I regret on Arrowhead 135 for not having enough savoury type foods.

HYDRATION: I carry a hydration bladder for water, a bottle for a “sugary drink” + a cup for a hot drink.

MENTAL ABILITY: The longer the distance the more you will find yourself battling yourself. It is good for any distance to do visualisation of how you feel and see yourself at different mileage + think of the strategies you will use when you are feeling discouraged. I sing, talk to God and use gratefulness to having the time to be able to do an ultra and enjoy the natural world's freedom.
Velociraptor asks: Many congratulations on winning. Your assertive promotion of reduction in plastic use at a personal and corporate level is admirable. As an environmental campaigner, do you experience any sense of moral dilemma about travelling by air to race overseas?

run free says: Thanks V for your support. Glad you asked this question

Firstly I am a Reduce Rubbish campaigner. I mostly talk rubbish! ;)

I don't have a moral dilemma with travelling or about others travelling as it is important to understand different cultures & broaden thoughts and air travel will not be uninvented. At some point we will be travelling in space for holidays! However, others seem to have that dilemma for me and have judged me for it....

Whilst campaigning at the Rome Marathon expo, an Australian lady told me I was a hypocrite for flying in for the Rome Marathon and before I could respond, she walked away. I was actually working in Rome at the time so am glad you have given me another opportunity to say why travel for any campaigner is important.

As a consultant - am sent across the waters to help companies in different countries. Most of the overseas marathons/ultra events (over 90%) have been done whilst on a business trip. I use my own funds to extend my stay before or after a business trip to participate in the event as well as to reach out to schools & businesses about a circular economy and zero waste, making use of the publicity a strange lady that pulls a tyre receives.

I have enabled individuals, schools, organisations and societies to reduce the generation of rubbish. The long-term effect of that will be a reduction in resource destruction + greenhouse gases, which will far outweigh the flights I have taken and after when I have left this world. More organisations and individuals are taking action to reduce rubbish generation and participating in beach clean ups. More events that where I have personally spoken to the event organisers have taken positive actions to reduce the event rubbish generated.

I definitely would not have achieved this amount of action sitting at home rolling out commands across the internet as I did for the Singapore Marathon where I depended on key volunteers to take action on my behalf.

In addition to that I used to purchase carbon credits for my air travel.….and then found that was a bit of a sham, so then donated money to charities that focused on Sustainability. Hence found EarthWatch (who I raise funds for https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=tyrelady&pageUrl=2) a reasonable charity with 90% of the raised funds going back towards their charitable cause (see Charity Commissions).

Additionally:

I accept am imperfect and there will always be people who will judge and criticise me as if am taking my own plane to an event (I fly with commerical airlines). My intentions are well meaning for societies on our one planet. I could simply shut myself away from the world, make lots of money, have a peaceful life and do nothing to contribute to changing something that we can all do much more about.

Or do I try to help to create solutions to the crazy level of rubbish our societies generate from normalising convenience and throw-aways.

So the red pill or the blue pill?
westmoors asks: Congratulations. If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?

run free says: Thank you Westmoors. As I talk to God a lot in events and escaped many “bad” situations where I probably should be in the other world but am not.....so I would love to meet Jesus in the flesh to have a chat about my purpose on this world. Otherwise would like to chill out with David Attenborough just because I think he is awesome.
Wombling Plodder (Welsh Womble) asks: Congratulations and well deserved. Apart from dragging me and a tyre around Bedfont, what is your most proudest moment? You rock xxx

run free says: Thank you WW for your continuous support through all these years as well as helping to make Bedfont Parkrun awesome. We love you there and you totally rock xx

So many proud moments this year: Helping Cheltenham Challenge and proving that a cupless and zero single use plastic events can work for events over 1600. I smiled that whole day.

Other proud moments is for the volunteers who went along with my plan and helped me to reduce the amount of landfill rubbish in two major marathon events (Singapore Marathon and Sundown Marathon) in Singapore of 50,000 and 25,000 participants respectively, and this drew attention from a government body and other non-running organisations.
Ness asks: Congratulations, run free. I admire your target for marathon running so I would like to ask which race has been your favourite marathon so far, and why?

run free says: Thanks Ness. Marathons (meaning 26.2 miles) there have been many – Singapore for being my first, Garden Spot Village Marathon due to it being run in Amish community and felt like stepping back in time, Rome marathon as this is the first large event that actually implemented the small recommendations I gave to them.
Curly45 asks: Well done run free!!! What has been your favourite race to date?

run free says: Thank you Curly. It is a toss up between Rovaniemi 150 and Arrowhead 135 due to the natural wonders whilst out on the event + the survival aspect + the fun of the snow and ice ;)
HappyG(rrr) asks: Many congratulations. I think I first read about you as Tyre Girl, do you still train like that, would you recommend it for anyone (i.e. additional strength training to improve running, vs just people who only do running) and what injury avoidance techniques would you recommend. Congrats again, :-) G

run free says: Thanks HappyG. I graduated myself to Tyre Lady when I completed 50 marathon/ultras ;). The aim is to complete at least 100 tyre pulling marathons / ultras by the end of 2020, and encourage as many organisations to reduce their waste generation by going plastic free or to move towards a zero waste event.

***STRENGTH TRAINING***: Pulling a tyre would definitely improve strength and would suggest it is performed over a short distance of say 100m or 5K at the most depending on what you are trying to achieve. There are elite professional athletes who use tyres and parachutes for strength training. Additional benefit is pulling a tyre can help to coach other runners to run in “Pose”.

***INJURY AVOIDANCE TECHNIQUES***: As a fellow pose runner, have found learning Pose technique and the biomechanics of running has been my Ace card especially learning about proprioperception which means I can correct whilst on the run. However, as have got older, have had to do more stretching (yoga) and core strength training (pilates). Have not really been injured from running since learning about Pose running
milemonster asks: What is your favourite post run food?

run free says: Soup and salad + lots of fluid
run free asks: Can the Fetch community BYO hydration kit to all events (e.g. bottles, cups, bladders)?

run free says: Whaddya think Fetch? Would you be able to add to the reviews?

- Was this a BYOB / cupless event?
- Were cups provided?
- Were bottles provided?
- Were recycling bins provided? or how extensive were the recycling facilities?
(provided basic recycling or provided extensive recycling)
- Were event vehicles choking you with fumes or pleasant to be around

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