Updated: May 3
Sometimes the universe just serves up something so beautiful that it's vital that you do everything possible to make it thrive.
Annie Bee is that to Camino.....and much more.
Maybe only Annie knows the mechanics of how the Universe brought us together but it has been clear to everyone within the Camino family that Annie is special. From Day 1 Annie has always brought our community together, she has always put herself right in the challenge mix and wanted to be someone to help guide and mentor others.
We feel blessed that Annie came to us looking for some guidance on getting her Run Leader qualifications and that this gave us both the opportunity to get Annie more meaningfully involved in the Greenways and now Blueways.
In terms of her own running - Annie never started this journey thinking she was an ultra-runner and perhaps there was some beautiful oscillation between Camino and her other Run Community allies convincing her that she could do this and her own self-belief.
We are grateful that Annie has taken the time to reflect upon her 'first ultramarathon' experience and shared some wonderful insight in her journals below. Annie is always present in everything that we do at Camino - so if you want a slice of Annie wisdom just pop along to any of our next set of events.
BIG LOVE ANNIE xx
“I ran through the unknown, with a blindfold on, following my intuitive compass for guidance. That’s how I achieved the impossible, that’s how I ran my first 50km ultramarathon.”
It felt surrrreeeeal, honestly after time to process it felt bloody A W E S O M E! I’m so blown away by this feeling!
Is running an ultramarathon easy? No, it’s not. It’s a rather challenging experience. Running an ultramarathon takes a significant amount of training and dedication. But is it doable? Yes, it is. I told myself “𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗰𝗮𝗽𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝗺𝗮𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗲.”
Days after this 𝗘𝗣𝗜𝗖 𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗲 I’d still not returned down from cloud ☁️ nine! My first ultra, The Lea Valley 50k truly did not disappoint in any shape or form!
Although new to running (since 2021), I find so much enjoyment in the sport and never would have believed it if you said to me that I would be running longer distances? I would have definitely questioned it!
However, I am going to be honest with you. A week before the race I had a meltdown! I had a momentary lapse in my OWN self-belief and caved, that’s exactly what I did! I had scheduled a run with a great mate, 22 miles needed to be banked. 17 miles in, I was weak - plus I had fallen 0.2 miles into the run and hurt my left elbow terribly!
Coming home I sat on the floor of the tram and weeped. I called my husband and asked him to collect me off the tram because I didn’t even think I had the strength to walk home! Interestingly enough though - I DID! I forgot I called him and went home and crashed!
What happened next amplifies why I love Camino Ultra and the strong team behind this unique company!
I reached out to David and Paula and within a couple of days we had a zoom meeting to discuss my momentary lapse. They never left a stone go unturned and the discussions held help me evaluate my upcoming race and recognise that I had prepared for it and the things I needed to do prior to the race! Their patience, love and kindness shown made me recognise that I could do it. I made my race plan and knew I so had this race in the bag!
Photos by Gigi
✨ 015 ✨
This was my race number! This number right here signifies new beginnings and is a number associated with progress & change. This was the number I needed! 📈
Quite fitting for me, the one who believed for a long time they couldn’t run long distances, now an #ultramarathon runner! 🏃🏽♀️
My Lea Valley Ultra highlighted to me that important moments are all around us, I took a look around and found beauty in every step I took all 68,274.
I say I but no it was we….𝗪𝗘 𝗗𝗜𝗗 𝗜𝗧! It was a team effort, it took a village - those who got me to the start line, through the course (especially Mile 28) and through that beautiful pink arch at the end. Simple magical!
This is 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝘂𝗹𝘁𝗿𝗮 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗻 to complete when embarking on this amazing journey of running longer distances! This event stands out for so many reasons and is such a breathtaking challenge providing unforgettable experiences/ memories! The energetic atmosphere is none you’ll ever experience! This is present from the moment you collect the race bib to beyond the finish line! Surrounding you are individuals who are wanting you to win, to soothe any worries and give you the confidence that you can do it! They fully take you out of your comfort zone to experience the magic and enable you to smash your goals!
Honestly the Lea Valley Camino 50k has something for everyone. From a newbie like me to the ultra world to a seasoned pro looking to set a new PB! This amazing Camino team have thought of everything to ensure that you have the most enjoyable and life changing experience. From the personal touches in communication to the well-organised fuel stations; coupled with the enthusiastic volunteers who cheer you, the energy of this race inspires and empowers you to push yourself to the max!
This race showed:
☑️ there was an incredible display of love 💕
☑️ the community feels were everything 💯
☑️ the display of gratefulness was 🔥🔥🔥
☑️ we all 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗱 𝘂𝗽 and shared joy✨
Thank you Camino for making my venture into the ultra world the best ever!!!