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Cab9 Crew // Josie Adams: Ultra Marathon Runner
This week, discover Cab9 Team athlete, Josie Adams, who became an ultra marathon runner “by just falling into it” and enjoys 150 miles race in red-hot deserts as she finds them “easy.” Did we also mention that she owns a business as well and somehow juggles everything?
Hi there! Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit more about your "sports career”
Hello, I am Josephine Adams - a born and bred Dorset girl - now 27, living in Bristol. I am an ultra marathon runner and also own a speciality coffee business. I appreciate that saying “I just fell into ultra running” sounds odd, but the whole thing really has happened pretty organically for me.
By the time I was at university, I was running road marathons, amidst too much partying and with no real training plan but somehow I was getting surprisingly reasonable results!
One day I discovered this race: the “Marathon des Sables”… A seed was sown. I get these ideas and when they root, I just have to follow through with them.
The race itself was a dream! I really did love it and I think that’s why I find it ‘easy’. This feeling, along with the confidence of finishing in the top 20 women, meant I knew ultra-running wasn’t a bucket-list activity for me. I had found my niche and it was such an exciting feeling. I wanted more.
Now 18 months on, I am still fitting in as many races that my working life (and body!) will allow, and I feel I’m only just scratching the surface. I’ve run another two international, multi-day races, both in very hot environments (which my redhead genes surprisingly adhere to) and others in the UK. I’ve started to play around with different distances and race formats and was pretty surprised to place 1st and 2nd female respectively, in a couple a non-stop 80 milers this summer.
Tell us a little bit more about what you have been up to recently
2018 has been pretty full on! We’ve had a busy events calendar and some exciting developments within our coffee business, so that’s taken up a lot of my time and sees me moving around a lot. It has also been a case of fitting in running where I can as well as trying to maintain a normal social life - tricky both geographically and with the restrictions of ‘being an athlete’
I seem to find myself focussing intently on the business for a few months or a season, then training and ‘hermitting’ for a particular race, partying my way through recovery for a week and repeating the whole process… I guess you could sum it up as work, run, rave….repeat?
I’m a big believer in balance and have only really succeeded in things where I’m following my heart.
You're also an entrepreneur, how do you balance your sport and professional career?
Having the freedom to organise my own working hours lets me train when I want to, whilst at the same time the demands of running my own business - both passionately and financially - mean I don’t dedicate too much time to running, stopping me from burning out in either.
Work commitments often mean I can’t overtrain, which is a good thing. But I also frequently find myself feeling a little underprepared for races and find it hard to say no to doing things. I winged a 60 mile non-stop race in the height of the summer heat, going straight between big events with The Coffee Gondola… and paid the price.
You've been trying our new "The Edge" sunglasses... how did that go?
Brilliantly! With the incredible summer we’ve had, I’ve been running in Cab9’s for most of my training and racing. I wore The Edge for 10 hours straight and they were a joy to run in. It’s great to finally find a pair of sunnies that do the job well - they’re super comfortable and perform well in changing light conditions. I’ll run through everything from bright open fields, dappled woodland and into direct sunlight so it’s really important to have crystal clear vision (especially when the rest of your thoughts are starting to blur), so as not to trip on roots or miss a turning. Plus, I’m enjoying having a pair of sports sunglasses that look good and not like I’m out of an 80s ski advert… I’ll confidently wear them around town and to the pub after a run which is great.
What is your advice for someone who would like to get into running?
I think it’s easy to feel the pressures of social media and fitness apps. Take yourself off somewhere quiet in an old t-shirt and any comfortable shoes - you definitely don’t need all the latest gear on your first run! - Don’t worry about tracking your miles or how many steps you’re doing. Just have a little jog and see what it feels like. Run to enjoy it: get the freedom and connection with your body and start to understand what the movement feels like. Don’t force yourself to run if you’re hating it, walking is also fine!
So what's next?
The Wadi Rum Ultra is just around the corner - another multi-day, desert, 150-miler which I’m super excited for! Following that, the Endurance life Dorset ultra in December will kick-start my winter training which is going to see me in a seriously head-down phase in preparation to go back out to Morocco for the MdS in April…
We’re trying to line up some Alpine-work over the winter too, which would offer up some great running playgrounds - wading through deep snow is perfect for sand training!
We wish Josie the best of luck on her next adventure! Story and pics to appear in Cab9 News soon.