Q&A: Lowri Morgan

We caught up with the ultra runner, adrenaline junkie and TV presenter on what drives her to keep seeking new challenges.


by Annie Rice

What has been your favourite memory from your running journey so far?

Running has given me some of my best memories; the beautiful countries I have had the privilege to race in, pushing the boundaries beyond what other people consider normal and lastly the people I have met along the way who have inspired me, made me dig deeper, strive to be better and believe in myself.

However, I think my favourite memory has to be running a local 10K race with my parents. They introduced me to running. I used to run around the village with my father when I was 10 years old. He and my mother had never raced before so when they were 65 years old a few years ago they decided to give it a go. We stuck together and crossed the finish line together in under 50mins. I was so very proud of them both.

What has been the biggest challenge?

The 6633 ultra Arctic race. Some races are humbling. This one stripped my soul bare, but it also rebuilt it. It was the toughest thing I had done physically, mentally and emotionally, but it was also one of the best adventures and experiences of my life

What inspires you to take on such extreme challenges?

Challenge drive us all, for me it is about seeing how far I can push my mind and body. I just want to push my physical and emotional limits and see how far I can go.

Do you have your sights set on any future challenges?

There are so many races I'd like to complete, and there are a few challenges - not necessarily races I have planned for 2014 and hopefully will be made into film documentaries. However, the reason I run is not for TV, it's because I enjoy the adventure that comes with running

 You’ve overcome some massive injury set-backs, how did you keep your focus when your running future was in doubts?

Many people have asked me that – well, it was something my mother always told me whilst I was in school. I had failed in some of my exams when I was about 14 years old. She told me about that the tortoise and that it always gets there in the end. If I was willing to work hard, persevere and was determined enough, I could get there in the end.

When they told me I wouldn't be able to properly run again, I used those words to keep focus , keep going. That might sound obvious but when your soul is stripped bare during a race and you feel at your lowest ebb, one foot in front of the other is very hard to do both physically and mentally. But by concentrating on one step at a time, it means being one step closer to the finishing line.

Do you do much strength and conditioning training?

I don't do much but try to do one session a week of Pilates.

What does your current training consist of?

Trying to fit in a 85-110 mile week, as I used to, has been quite hard this year since I have been travelling around the world making TV documentaries in very remote places with indigenous tribes for S4C. However, at the moment, my week might consist of 40 miles a week then another might be an 85. It all depends on my working life schedule.

How do you motivate yourself to keep running when you’re mentally and physically exhausted?

I try to zone out and find a quiet place and white space in my head. If my mind wants stimulation, I often find myself trying to solve mathematical problems. You've got to have a lot of patience when running ultra marathons. During a long run or race, you feel like you want to get to the finish line straight away. You get panicky. You're not doing what you want to do, and you've got to just let it go and let it come and you'll get there. "Be patient, you'll get there". That's what I tell myself.

How do you fuel yourself when you’re training and racing?

I'm sponsored by Daionic and find that the convenience of having a ready made protein shake post training very handy. When I'm racing - if it's a day/24hr event, I carry fresh food - sandwiches, sweet potatoes dipped in salt. If I'm on a self-sufficient race, it tends to be dried food. Weight is paramount, so I always weigh my food before races and try to find the lightest and most effective.

What do you do when you’re not undertaking extreme challenges?

I was born into the world of adventure. My parents taught me from an early age to embrace life, to try new things and that adventure is only a state of mind. So I'm often doing some sort of extreme challenge. However, when I'm chilling I love listening to music (I'm a Music graduate), enjoy spending time with my family and friends and going to the cinema.

Other than running, do you train in any other sports/physical pursuits?

I'm a keen skier - trekking up a mountain and skiing off-piste all the way down is something I really do enjoy. I have also competed in Ironman competitions, but I'm not a strong cyclist but I used to swim competitively when I was younger, so I do try to get into the pool or sea as often as possible.

How important is wearing the right kit in the kind of sport you do?

They say that nobody plans to fail, they just fail to plan. I know I may not be the fastest, strongest or most experienced athlete but I can be the best prepared athlete on a start line and by having the right kit and systems, it's helped me win and complete a few races. I've also seen many stronger runners fail because of not having the correct kit, so yes, it is vital.

Lowri Morgan is an official ambassador for Merrell, the outdoor footwear and apparel specialist.  For the latest products and ambassador news, visit www.merrell.co.uk


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