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“I felt like the whole of Ireland was behind me” – Sophie Power on record-breaking 350-mile run

Jonathan Turner
News Director
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Friday evening saw British ultrarunner Sophie Power rewrite the record books as she knocked more than three hours off the previous best female time for running the length of Ireland.

She clocked three days, 12 hours and eight minutes for the 350-mile (563km) trip from Malin Head in the north to Mizen Head in the south.

You can read all about the epic achievement – and the motivation behind it – in our report. And the plaudits have been pouring in ever since.

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‘It couldn’t have gone to a nicer person’

One of the first to offer their congratulations was fellow Brit Mimi Anderson, who had held the record since 2012.

That was one of Anderson’s many ultrarunning achievements, which included being the female world record for John O’Groats to Land’s End, which she held for 11 years from 2008.

This Irish record lasted a similarly-impressive length of time but Anderson, who was one of 41-year-old Power’s inspirations when she took up ultrarunning in 2010, was delighted to see the baton pass and had even helped with some of the preparations.

Anderson said: “Massive congratulations to Sophie. She was focussed, determined and just did a really amazing job so I was cheering her on from Kent.

“Really, really fantastic and the record couldn’t have gone to a nicer person.”

Inspiring others

Sophie Power makes her way to the finish at Mizen Head Photo credit: PH Balance | Phil Hill
Sophie Power nears the finish at Mizen Head [Photo credit: PH Balance | Phil Hill]

Power of course has done so much herself to inspire women and girls to follow in her footsteps and this latest challenge is raising funds for SheRACES, a platform she created to break down barriers for women in sport.

And that was very much to the fore of her mind as she began to process this latest achievement.

Writing on Instagram the morning after finishing, she said: “I’m back!

“Where do I start…. I don’t even know.

“My body had about 2 hrs sleep over 3 nights so is still in shock. Finally in a proper bed I still woke up last night every 30 minutes thinking it was time to go 🏃🏻‍♀️ again.

“I can’t process the run yet. All I can process is my overwhelming feeling of gratitude. By the end it felt like the whole of Ireland was behind me. My crew went well beyond their limits to keep me safe and my hubby’s family rallied around in so many ways.

“Chasing the record wasn’t what kept me going. I knew that would never be enough to overcome the pain!

It was just the hope that other women and girls might see me striving and reconsider their own limits.

“Get a sprinkling of confidence to take on a challenge. Try something they might fail at to gain strength throughout their lives.

“So many people came out to run and support saying they were inspired by the message – I still have the sounds of all the schoolchildren in my head saying they want to run this one day!!

The fundraiser for @she.races is still open (the link is here) so please support if you can 🙏.

“We have a lot of important work to do!”

Sophie Power at the finish at Mizen Head after setting a new world record photo credit is PH Balance | Phil Hill
Sophie Power at the finish at Mizen Head after setting a new world record [Photo credit: PH Balance | Phil Hill]
Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  

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