Stepping outside into the brisk autumnal air, you can usually find Victoria Thompson spending her free moments open water swimming, ski touring, trad climbing or long-distance running.
Striving to push herself to new limits, Victoria’s passion for adventure has made her excel in many outstanding events, including participating in half of the female team that won the 2022 Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) elite class. It was all the more impressive as a female team hadn’t completed the race since 2016.
“I love being outside and exploring new areas. Naturally, ultra-distance events mean you spend lots of time outdoors! I like moving efficiently over mountainous terrain; I find it rewarding when I can sustain it for long periods.”
Team Montane Athlete Victoria expresses that much of her joy comes from entering challenges she isn’t entirely sure she can complete. She cites her 2022 elite OMM race with Janie Oates as one of the times this went well; however, she says, “I’ve been part of events that have gone each way.”
“Earlier this year, I attempted a route in the Lake District called Abraham’s Tea Round. Unfortunately, I couldn’t complete it due to stormy weather and a persistent knee niggle. It was one of the first times I hadn’t achieved something I’d set out to do – it was a great learning experience.”
When setting a new challenge, Victoria recognises that it’s “going to be tough, and there will be things that go wrong that I won’t have anticipated – that’s part of what draws me!”
With a sense of ‘we’ll figure it out on the way’, Victoria states her Lakeland 50 race earlier this year didn’t go to plan when she faced gut issues around mile 30. Unable to digest everyday foods, Victoria had to rely on her experience and understanding of her body. She had gels and watermelon sweets on hand that fueled her to the finish line.
“On longer runs, I used to be able to stomach ‘normal food’. My go-to was cheese and avocado wraps or stroopwaffles. My body seems to lose the ability to take on normal food during races, so I’m all about the gels, tailwind powder, and fizzy watermelon sweets! For the Lakeland 50, I mistakenly only took six gels, although I did have many other snacks! In hindsight, I wish I’d taken more, as I had a mini bonk near Langdale.”
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