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New Year - New Challenge for Jennifer

17 January 2018

We've often featured Jennifer Smith in our Newsletter – she's hooked on doing feats of endurance - but this year she's attempting one of her biggest challenges yet.

Jennifer started long distance walking in 2011 when she agreed to join a Springfords team to complete the Caledonian Challenge – walking 54 miles in 24 hours along the West Highland Way, and that was her hooked. Every year since, Jennifer has set herself new challenges, from the LDWA 100 mile walk, (walking 100 miles in 48 hours with no sleep), to running the Edinburgh Marathon.

So what now? Jennifer has done her research and has come up with The West Highland Way Race, a running event where competitors have to run 95 miles in 35 hours. There is no automatic selection for this Race, you have to qualify to enter the ballot by competing in one of the qualifying events. After completing the 2016 Edinburgh Marathon Jennifer entered her first ultra (33 miles) in November 2016 and in May 2017 completed the Cateran Trail 55 mile Ultra. She could now enter the ballot for the 2018 West Highland Way Race.

Entries for the ballot opened on 1 November – only 300 places were up for grabs but there were 417 entries, so no guarantee of a place. The ballot took place on 10 December – Jennifer opened her email with mixed emotions – she really wanted to do the challenge but had some doubts about whether she was up to it. In the end she was overjoyed, excited and nervous when she was accepted.

So what's in store now for Jennifer?  Training, training and more training, getting as many miles under her belt as possible. To help with motivation Jennifer is entering various race events over the next six months and hoping to remain injury free. All being well, on Saturday 23 June at 1.00 am Jennifer, armed with her midge spray, will start the 95 mile run to Fort William and we will let you know how she gets on.


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