Carla Molinaro | LEJOG world record

Carla Molinaro has broken the women’s record for Land’s End to John O’Groats, running the length of Britain in just 12 days, 30 minutes and 14 seconds.

The GB international ultra runner started her 874-mile journey on 16th of July when she left Land’s End in western Cornwall. She arrived at John O’Groats in the far north of Scotland on the 28th of July, with her time beating the previous world record of 12 days, 11 hours, 6 minutes and 7 seconds which had been set by Sharon Gayter last year.

We interviewed Carla below, asking her about her challenges and preparation for the record attempt:

Hi, I am Carla and I started running when I was 15. I competed in 800m and cross country at school and since then it is safe to say that my running career has spiralled out of control! I love pushing my body to the limits by running around islands, over mountains and recently running the length of Great Britain from Land’s End to John O’Groats setting a new ladies world record at the same time. I have represented Great Britain at the 100km World Championships and I currently compete for Team Massmart, an elite woman’s running team based in South Africa.

Was this a goal challenge before COVID?
  • Not really. I had heard about it but it was going into lockdown that got the wheels turning and saw me set it as a goal for myself. 
How did you plan when based in South Africa?
  • I spoke to lots of people that had done it before and got their advice and then just got set to planning a project as you would normally. The only thing that I couldn’t do being in SA was go and recce the route and there wasn’t time to do this anyway so it wasn’t a problem. 
When did you arrive in the UK before starting the challenge?
  • I got here on 1 June so I had 6 weeks in the UK before I kicked off. 
What were the main logistical challenges to get the challenge underway?
  • Getting the motorhomes sorted. We had two vehicles that we were going to use and we hoped to get all of the team insured on both vans. Unfortunately this wasn’t possible and it made the driving a bit trickier than we had originally planned but the team were great, ran with it and made it work!
Which memories of the challenge stick your mind?
  • A man walking his two pet turtles down the road. He just casually had one tucked under each arm. 
  • On the first day some primary school kids lined the sides of the road with signs and tambourines and it was awesome, it did make me quite emotional just seeing how excited they were. 
What was the toughest part of the attempt?
  • The last 24hrs was horrendous. The weather turned really bad and we ended up getting a northerly wind, my left leg didn’t want to play anymore which meant I had to walk 80km through the night to finish. But as it was the last day it was totally worth it!
How did you fuel during the challenge?
  • I had oats with berries for breakfast, a fried egg sandwich for brunch a toasted sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner and then every 30 mins I would alternate eating a CLIF bar with some normal food like fruit, yoghurt, sandwiches, nuts, sausage rolls etc. 
  • I had 2 water bottles 1 with water and one with NUUN and I would sip on these every 10 mins throughout the day. 
How was your sleep each day?
  • Horrendous! My legs were so sore and my muscles were permanently firing that I just couldn’t relax but I got to lie down for 5hrs each night which I think aided in recovery!
We hope you are recovering well, do you have any other plans for 2020?
  • I don’t have anything planned for 2020 yet, I am going to take a couple months off running and cycle instead. Once I am back up and running I will start planning some adventures! And I really hope we will be back to proper racing next year!

About the Author
CARLA MOLINARO
LEJOG Women's World Record Holder 
Check out Carla's website: www.carlamolinaro.com
Interview

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