When catching up with this weeks podcast legend James Stewart we were blown away by several wonderful things that he shared. Firstly that his story starts in the roots of so many others - being overweight, struggling with overall fitness/motivation and "turning back" to running as something which has helped in the past. Secondly he witnessed (what turned out to be an ultramarathon) a race near his home where the other runners weren't necessarily the lean machines that we associate with running races. His first few races weren't all successes either.
However at this point James threw himself into learning more about both himself and his ability to influence his own running. He read and listened to as much content as he could get his hands on (like many others the two books that stood out were Scott Jurek's Eat & Run and Christopher McDougall's Born to Run) but he took the time to speak to the people and this curiousity as well as dedication saw James catapult himself from beginner to Team GB athlete.
We also had the pleasure of speaking to the founder or joggingbuddy.com Tony Piedade. You could be forgiven for not instantly seeing the connection between a worldclass long distance runner and someone looking for a running companion on jogging buddy but as Camino founder Darren Strachan shares - "I think there’s a brilliant crossover story in the episode with James Stewart. He went from “seeing some runners on a canal” to “I think I’ll give that a go” to "GB international ultra runner" in the space of 4 years.
As the title of this blog post states - if you want to "go far - go together". This philosophy is steeped in the ultrarunning community. We are grateful to Tony and joggingbuddy for their promotion of safe and supportive running. Here are some thoughts from Tony: