25 Mar 12 by James Elson

Q&A with TP100 Winner Mimi Anderson

Following on from the Q&A with our mens TP100 winner Craig Holgate below are answers to the very same questions from our ladies champion Mimi Anderson. Mimi's experience in ultras is vast and if you have the chance to take a look at her blog you can read about some of the other epic adventures she has undertaken in the name of endurance running. 

Can you give us a brief summary of your running background and previous ultra experience?

I started running at 36 because I wanted thinner legs and as I had never run before I taught myself to run on a treadmill.

Over the last 12 years I have been extremely privileged and have raced in some stunning locations around the world. My main achievements to date are:

Female World Record Holder John O'Groats to Lands End - 840 miles
Course record holder for 6633 Extreme Ultra Marathon - 352 miles non-stop in the Arctic
1st and only woman to have done Back to Back Comrades in South Africa.
Fastest Female to run Double Badwater - 292 miles
3rd Female in Spartathlon - 153 miles non-stop
Female Course Record Holder for the Grand Union Canal Race - 145 miles

What was your average training mpw coming in to the TP100? 

My average training week is less than 100 miles per week.  I find this distance works well for me and helps prevent injuries.


What do you think is the most important element of running to include in training towards a 100 mile race? 

The most important element for my weekly training is the long run, its time on your feet and gets you used to running for hours on end.  However, unless I'm racing my longest weekly run is no more than 30 miles.  I also do double sessions which are tough. An example of this might be  that I run 30k in the morning and then 20k in the afternoon. 

What was your pre-race plan and did you manage to execute on race day? 

I always have a time that I work towards and will work out my pace between checkpoints, but I never tell anyone what my goal time is as it puts me under too much pressure and I do enough of that by myself!!  Did I execute my plan on race day - no! I was pleased with my time, although I had aimed for 18 1/2 hrs.  I went off too fast at the start which wasn't the plan, but as I felt good I just kept going.  Perhaps if I had gone out slightly slower I might have managed a better pace at the end, but who knows!

During the race did you have any particular low points and if so when/ where?

My first low point was at about 30 miles when I was feeling dehydrated as I hadn't been drinking enough, but after popping a Nuun into my water I recovered quite quickly.

The second low point was coming into Streatley.  During races I really struggle to eat as everything tastes so revolting, so basically I was running out of steam, forced some food down me, some more at the next CP and a gel and was fine again.  

What was your nutrition/ hydration plan for the TP100 and did you stick to it? 

I never have a nutrition plan as I find eating difficult.  I had taken some food with me which I ate and nibbled at a few things at the Check Points, mainly bananas as I can eat these without being sick.  My hydration plan was to put a Nuun tablet into my bottle every other Check Point, this I did, but didn't drink enough going through the first few checkpoints.

What has been your proudest running achievement to date? 

This is such a difficult question to answer, I am extremely proud of all my achievements for lots of different reasons and still can't believe what I have done.  

My World Record has to be one of my proudest moments and even now when I talk about it I can still feel the emotions I felt finishing my 840 mile journey and it still brings tears to my eye.  Double Badwater and Spartathlon also rank pretty highly! 

Where will you be racing next and which key races do you have planned for the remainder of 2012? 

On the Easter weekend I will be taking part in the Viking Way Ultra, 147.9 miles non-stop along the Viking Way which I'm looking forward to, then the Highland Fling; in May I go to the Jungles of Peru for a 7 day staged race which will be just amazing and on my return hopefully run the West Highland Way Race.

I have a big event planned towards the end of the year but I am still finalising the plans so this will be announced later in the year! Watch this space!!