A Fife runner is celebrating reaching an ultra marathon milestone after finishing her 100th event. Pauline Walker crossed the line at the Glen Ogle 33 alongside her twin sister to reach her century.
The 55-year-old has been thrilled to be joined on many of her ultra runs by her twin sister Fiona Rennie, who has 70 ultras under her belt and has set her sights on catching up on her sibling.
Glen Ogle was Carnegie Harrier Pauline’s ninth ultra of the year – she completed eight in 2016.
After completing her milestone race, she said: “It has been a huge year – and a fantastic way to finish my 100th ultra. I could never have known when I started this sport what I would go on to achieve.”
Finance director Pauline ran her first race in 1994 to improve her stamina for karate, but has rarely looked back since catching the running bug.
She said: “I only took up running in my mid-20s as a way to improve my stamina for karate. I enjoyed it and I did some half marathons and then got into marathons. I have done 64 marathons over the years.
“Then, when I was about 30, I heard about a local race, the 36-mile Two Bridges, and thought I would give it a go. The first time I did the Two Bridges, I was delighted to finish in just over six hours. It felt like quite a step up from a marathon but I enjoyed the challenge and I decided I wanted to run it again the next year to beat my time. I continued to do this every year until it closed and I even came home first woman in 2002.”
Reaching 100 ultra marathons is far from Pauline’s first feat in running. She has excelled in 24-hour-racing, representing in both the world and European championships – as well as setting various Scottish records for that discipline.
She added: “I’ve been very fortunate. I believe in rest and recovery as well as consistent training miles and I include yoga and swimming into my regular routine. I have got slower as I have got older but I now see my running as more of a social outing. I don’t follow any special eating regime and in races I drink ginger beer – left to go flat – and eat sweets or biscuits.
“I still love ultra running as much as I did when I started and although I am slower now, every race feels like an achievement.
“Running is one of the best ways to see the Scottish landscape and to spend time with friends. To be honest, I can’t see a day when I will stop running because it is so much part of my life.”