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“It’s an amazing way to have an adventure”

Scottish ultramarathon runner Caroline McKay talks training, friendships and the joy of trails

HEALTH | FOOD | ACHIEVE | COLUMNS | CLASSROOM | INSPIRATION

COVER STAR

For someone who started running simply as a motivation to give up smoking, Caroline McKay, 34, from Edinburgh, has embraced adventure with open arms. In seven years, she has taken on more than 30 ultramarathons, including the legendary Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), twice. But just how do you go from unhealthy exercise-phobe to endurance athlete in a relatively short space of time?

“Like lots of people, I had an unhealthy couple of years at university”, Caroline reveals. “Afterwards, I really wanted to give up smoking and, as running and smoking are completely incompatible, I started training for a 5K. Then I discovered that I’m quite competitive…”

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About Women’s Running

Get inspired to take your running off the beaten track, with the July issue of Women’s Running, on sale 31 May. From our beginner’s guide to ultrarunning (including a 16-week training plan), to the lowdown on all things vertical racing, this issue celebrates adventure in running – and shows you how you can get a piece of it. Don’t fear, though, that doesn’t have to mean transforming into an ultra-athlete, running ludicrous miles in remote locations. We’ll show you how simply taking your runs off road and embracing the great outdoors can shake up your routine – and add some soul to your running. And if you need some convincing, don’t miss our interview with cover star and off-road enthusiast Caroline McKay, who tells us why the life-affirming nature of trail running has got her totally hooked. This issue also features our spring Ultimate Race Guide, compiling the best 100 races taking place from July onwards this year, so you can start planning your next adventure …