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RUN247 / Running News / Ultra running star Sophie Power to run across Ireland in ‘UTTERLY BONKERS’ Guinness World Record attempt

Ultra running star Sophie Power to run across Ireland in ‘UTTERLY BONKERS’ Guinness World Record attempt

Katherine Brook
Trail running writer
Published on
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Next Tuesday (May 28), ultrarunner and women’s inclusivity in sports campaigner Sophie Power will attempt to become the fastest woman to run 341.19 miles across the length of Ireland. 

The current record was set by British endurance athlete Mimi Anderson, way back in 2012. Starting in the north, in Malin Head, and finishing at Mizen Head, in the south, Anderson completed the run in 3 days, 15 hours, 36 minutes. Power will be running the same route as Mimi.

To beat Anderson’s time, she will have to run almost non-stop for the entire distance, sleeping just 20-40 minutes per night and covering over 100 miles per ‘day’. Just consider that for a moment.

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Running for women

As a passionate campaigner for female inclusivity in sports, Sophie is using the challenge to raise funds for SheRACES, a platform she created following the viral photo of her breastfeeding her three-month baby at the 106-mile UTMB race, as – at the time – women weren’t allowed to defer their places due to pregnancy. Power was a key influence in this change.

SheRACES aspires to break down barriers for women in sport and get more women on start lines so they can achieve their goals and empower others.

Sophie Power UTMB Aid Station Breastfeeding
Sophie Power feeds her baby at an UTMB aid station (Photo – Alexis Berg).

‘It’s utterly bonkers’

While Power has been running for 10 years and has completed over 50 ultramarathons, including 24-hour races, even she says this challenge is ‘utterly bonkers’. She will be crewed by a team of friends and family, including her two sons, aged six and nine. 

“It’s a personal challenge: If it was all about breaking a record, I wouldn’t have the kids. But I want this to be an adventure for them too,” says Power

“I’ll be dropping my three-year-old daughter in the south of Ireland with her grandparents and running back to her as quickly as I can! My husband’s family are Irish and it is an incredible opportunity for my two boys, who will be supporting me, to connect with their heritage.”

Jam sandwiches, wraps and hockey pitches

During the world record attempt, Power will attempt to eat as much real food as possible, explaining: “I have a good stomach; I can eat pizza while I’m running”. Power’s go-to will be jam sandwiches, avocado and hummus wraps, chips, and Precision Hydration gels and chews, alongside Rawvelo bars.

As a mother of three young children, Power says she doesn’t have as much time to run as others, which means she fits it in wherever possible, alongside strength training.

“I will run to and from a lot of appointments or days out with the family – my husband taking the kids in the car – and if my son’s got hockey training, I will drop him off and do laps around the pitch until he finishes,” adds Power.

Power has also been spending time in the sauna a few times a week to help with heat training, as even though the weather looks to be 10-20°C degrees, the body will heat up during the hours of running.

“I don’t know if this will be my only attempt at this world record. For me, it’s about the experience and raising awareness. And if things don’t go to plan the first time, that’s Ok. I will be back again.”

Sophie Power

Sophie will have a tracker attached to her and would love to see people on-route supporting her.

Katherine Brook
Written by
Katherine Brook
A copywriter and journalist by profession Katherine is a passionate trail runner and often to be found challenging herself across the UK & Europe. 2024 will see her take on a triathlon challenge.

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