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Maggie Dempsey - Ambassadors during Lockdown

Maggie Dempsey - Ambassadors during Lockdown

MagsMay Dempsey founder of Play in the Wild UK is a mountain running athlete and coach who has been continually building a wider trail running community throughout the UK for the past 4-5 years.
Mags has been involved in the trail and mountain community since 2015 where she ran her first 50km race and found her love for the sport, this ignited her passion to become a running coach which has expanded into a trail running business supporting those wanting to transition onto the trails or to advance their skills/knowledge through workshops, coaching and guided runs. 
Her journey started through road running and triathlons in 2009 which led to her setting bigger goals on the ultra scene, she has since ran many distances in the mountains and placed herself within the top ten of female finishers. Since 2017 Mags has been on the Salomon Running and Suunto Ambassador UK team which has allowed her to be apart of an even bigger running community and to provide events within the Chilterns and the Lake district.
To find out more about Mags and Play in the Wild UK visit here.


What are your personal bests?

I don't have PB's as such, but I am aiming to set bigger goals and to push my boundaries within the mountains. I am always looking at what my body can do and how I can mentally go beyond outside off racing. Planning challenges is my next step as I want to see how I mentally prepare and physically achieve. These are my personal goals but they have been inspired by my athletes who I coach as they have been stepping outside of their comfort zones to achieve bigger things during lockdown, my business PB's are to build a wider athlete team and to support others in achieving their personal PB's.

What have you been doing during lockdown?

I moved to the Lake District during lockdown so for me I had a new playground to explore, I had the opportunity to run on my local hills and trails which are under 1km away as I couldn't drive to the bigger mountain ranges until things lifted. I love running on the mountains and trails but during lockdown I found my love for cycling again which gave me more time to explore the Lakes without impacting others. I also set a challenge for the running community through Play in the Wild UK to help keep them strong and connected with each other but to also have a goal as all the races had been cancelled, we climbed the height of Everest over the 30 days of April which entailed stairs, running, cycling or walking. We also raised money for the NHS charities to say thank you for their hard-work and dedication during COVID-19.

Did COVID-19 affect many events / training?

Yes, it effected many events, I was due to run my longest distance ever (Spine race 268miles) and I had started training well with reccing the route and carrying a 6kg pack as this race is pretty much self-supported. I provide guided runs and trail running workshops through Play in the Wild UK and had to cancel all planned events, I was in the process of planning a trail running weekend in Scotland which would have taken place in May but again it had to be cancelled. I coach online and 1:1, online continued with new home workouts which I launched through my website/YouTube channel but the 1:1 coaching had to stop until further notice.

How did you cope with training during lockdown?

At first I coped pretty well as I utilised my home gym equipment for strength training and having somewhere new to explore but then I lost my mojo, I struggled for a few weeks with lack of motivation, fatigue and feeling a bit lost for what I should be training for along with losing the community aspect through my guided runs and workshops. I didn't realise how much this had impacted me until it came at the same time which gave me time to step back, stop running and recover before coming back to running again.

How have you found being an ambassador for XMiles?

Being an XMiles ambassador has been fun as I am part of a team who love to challenge themselves and inspire others. This gives me more motivation to keep going and a great way to be apart of the wider running community. The other side is having access to new products and reading other peoples stories through the email updated that they send.

What do you have planned for the future?

I have a running business called Play in the Wild UK which is based in the Chilterns and most recently expanded to the Lake District, we provide guided runs, trail running workshops and coaching for all abilities, distances and terrain. I have a challenge in September (not many people know) I am aiming to run/hike the height of Everest on Pen y Fan in 24hrs.

About the Author
XMiles Ambassador -
Follow Maggie on Instagram: @magsmay_d & @playinthewilduk
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