Mimi Anderson – known by her blog alias Marvellous Mimi – Picked up running at the age of 36 back in 1999, having never previously been interested in sport. She has spent the last 14 years dedicating herself to this passion – with 3 World Records to show for it. Recently she has directed her fantastic charity fundraising efforts towards the 10 Million Metres campaign, aiming to raise £1m with a group of like-minded runners – this on top of existing charity work for a range of other causes, from leukemia to eating disorders. With these fantastic goals, and a habit of achieving them, Mimi is a SportPursuit Member of the Month:
First things first, how did you get into running?
I got into running by accident; I didn’t like the shape of my legs and a friend told me that the quickest way to change them would be to start running, so that’s exactly what I did! A couple of years after I began running I entered my first Ultra the Thames Meander 54 miles which I used as a training run for the Marathon des Sables a few months later – that was it, I was hooked.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in running?
Get yourself a good pair of trainers then start by doing a mixture of walking and running and over the next 4 weeks increase the time you are running and spend less time walking, making sure you warm up properly first for about 10/15 minutes.
Follow a training plan this will give you a solid base on which you can build, as well as helping to keep you focused. Try and train a minimum of 3 times per week.
Running with a friend helps to get you outside if the weather isn’t looking very good!
Increase your distance slowly as this will help to avoid injury.
You’ve just completed an incredible 290 miles in the Double Grand Union Canal Race. What motivated you to complete this challenge in the first place?
My motivation for doing the DGUCR was twofold. Firstly it had never been done before and only one person can be the first to do something and secondly although it’s a flat race it’s a tough race not just physically but mentally. I love to push myself and see what I’m capable of doing. I didn’t want to just complete the double my aim was to try and do each leg in a good time. 31 hours 50 for the first leg to Birmingham and 36 hours 49 for the return leg to London finishing 5th Lady and 23rd/88 starters so very happy.
When the going gets tough, what keeps you going?
I always keep a picture in my mind of the finish line with my husband and crew there to see me finish and when the going get’s really tough I think of all those people who think I’m going to fail – that keeps me moving!
You’re part of a group aiming to raising £1 million for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust. Why did you decide to support this cause?
I met Alex Flynn who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 36 and he set up the 10 Million Metres Campaign to raise £1 million for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust to help find a cure. I was so inspired by Alex’s story so wanted to get involved in helping raise money for this as yet incurable disease.
What is your essential piece of running kit you don’t leave home without?
Apart from my running clothes (which would be embarrassing!) I always have my Buff, which is multi-functional. It can either be used as a bandana, sweatband, protect you from wind, bugs and sand or if necessary a strapless top!
Tell us about the next adventure you are planning…
In August I’m taking part in a 5 day staged race in Colorado called the Mountain Ultra organized by a company called Beyond the Ultimate that I’m really looking forward to. Then in September I am heading out to Greece where I will be taking part in the Spartathlon, a 153-mile non-stop race from Athens to Sparta in under 36 hours. Once I have completed the race I will attempt to be the first woman to do the double – running back to Athens.
What would be your key tips to running that little bit further than you thought you could?
1: Once you have chosen your race give yourself enough time to train properly for it, building up the distances slowly.
2: Try and pick an event that is nearer to home, that way your family and friends can be there to support you and cheer you across the finish line.
3: Test your kit out on your training runs to see it works well and you’re happy with it.
4: Practice your nutrition and hydration strategies for race day – everyone is different so what works for one person may not work as well for you.
5: Enjoy the journey!
We are always looking for amazing and inspirational people here at SportPursuit. Do you think you’ve got what it takes to be a member of the month? Let us know