Name: Sarah Morwood
Age: 32 years
Hero status: uses running to manage her depression and has gone from a size 18 to 12
Hero kudos: current female record holder of Dixons Carphone Race to the Stones
2017 challenge: taking on a range of running races including Race to the King
To celebrate World Health Day we are heroing some of our incredible participants taking part in this year’s Threshold Trail Series. Read more about Sarah’s story here.
Sarah Morwood, 32, is a junior doctor at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. She won the women’s Race to the Stones 2015 in 9 hours, 14 minutes, 17 seconds, setting a new women’s course record. She started running 10 years ago, when she was a size 18, to help manage weight loss and to cope with her depression. In 2016 she fractured her patella twice. Her recovery has been slow but she came 5th in a race in Spain this week, just four minutes slower than her pre-accident time.
“It’s tough when you first go out, but it’s nice because it’s such a positive thing to do and it’s so much nicer than dieting. I lost a lot of weight in the first six months and got down to a size 12 quite quickly.
“I ran my first marathon in Milton Keynes in 2012. The course was flooded and it was freezing – I ran with a pair of socks on my hands because I’d forgotten my gloves – but I loved it.”
Since then Sarah hasn’t looked back and gradually increased her distances. She lives on Dartmoor which she describes as a giant training playground. She also weight trains to protect her joints and prevent injury and enjoys swimming and cycling occasionally.
It certainly wasn’t always like that. She jokes that at school she was usually put in goal because she filled the space and didn’t need to move very far. “Now,” she says, “I run because I just love it.”
In 2014 Sarah ran four 100 mile races (she won three of them and in the fourth, she was the first British woman across the finish line), a 32 mile race and a 45 mile race called the Plague, which she ran with a friend at a good steady pace and they beat the male field who had set off too hard.
“I like long distance trail running,” she says. “I’m training quite hard at the moment, but once you get onto longer distances it becomes a game in your head rather than your legs. It’s all about being in the right head space. I’m not fast – I run purely for enjoyment – but I’m very good at running up hill and that’s where I made my gains in Race to the Stones.
“It [Race to the Stones] was a brilliant day, absolutely fantastic,” she says. “I’m so glad I did it; everything was perfect – apart from the head wind. Everyone was so nice and the support and the atmosphere were amazing. There were so many different people taking part for different reasons and it felt very good to be a part of something that was so inclusive. It’s a beautiful route and there were times when we were so high up I felt like I was flying.”