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13
February
2015

Jo Meek talks about her 2014

2014 My year ended with the World 100km Championships where Team GB won gold and I came 4th to contribute to that medal. This race epitomised my year. It has been a fabulous one!

 

Starting in February I headed off to Costa Rica to run 225km through the rainforest in the Coastal Challenge.

 

It was a multi-stage race which saw me dominate the number position from day 1. I ran scared the rest of the week and by day 6 I was, or to be more specific, my quadriceps muscles, were toast. I had the luxury of recovering whilst holidaying out there with my husband- with a bit of white water rafting, scuba diving and sight-seeing!

My next race, the Iznik Ultra, was used as a build up race to my next main target which was 6 weeks later. Under the kind offer of Caner Odabasoglu, the race director, I travelled to Western Turkey to compete in the Iznik Ultra 80km.

 

The course was through the Bursa Province countryside around Lake Iznik from Orhangazi to Iznik and I won the race outright and broke the course record.

Six weeks later was the Challenge of Comrades which is the oldest, longest and biggest road race in the world. From the start to the finish it was an incredible experience with supporters lining the roads along the whole 90km route. I ran from Pietermaritzburg to Durban in 6hours 43mins and finished 5th. I was delighted with this result amongst an international line up.

I had entered the Mont Blanc marathon which was only 3 weeks after Comrades and so headed out to Chamonix but the results weren’t to be recorded. After spraining my ankle I pulled out of the race after only 10km and limped home. I was disappointed but it wasn’t meant to be.

 

Recovery, recovery, recovery….was the key before the next race. Lakeland 50 was to incorporate the UK trail running championships. I cross-trained really hard and then tentatively got back into running as my ankle would allow. My husband and I had done a recce weekend because the course is not marked and this paid off. The results were a success because I triumphed….UK Trail Running Champion. Yippee!

My next focus was to be the World 100km Champs in Doha, from which I qualified with my Comrades time, but I still had 16 weeks to go so incorporated a few other races into the plan.

The Transylvania Trail Traverse 106km in Romania was a unique experience. Lost World Racing inaugural race in the Bucegi Mountains saw me running for just under 25hrs. I had not fully appreciated the severity of the Romania Alps where I climbed just under 9000m and covered nearly 120km in the company of bears, shepherd dogs but luckily no sightings of Dracula.

 

One of my sponsors, SCOTT running, support a race in the Haute Loire region of France called the Le Grand Trail du St Jacques. It is 70km following the pilgrimage route to Le Puy en Velay through some really historical countryside. I was first female and third overall which was a great result for me and SCOTT!

My final race before my main target was the Mourne Mountain Skyline race, Northern Ireland, where I was to be pitted against Salomon runner, Stevie Kremer, the World Skyrunning Champion. It was 35km of tough fell running terrain so not an ultra in terms of distance but one in terms of time as I finished in 4hrs 30mins. It was a close race but I lost it to Stevie by 6 minutes. No hard feelings though over a Guinness later on!

My year has entailed road and trail races, ultras and anything down to 5km Park Runs and cross-country for my running club. I have pushed and pushed throughout the year so am enjoying December off as I plan for 2015.

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Categories: All topics, Athletics

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