Lenka took up trail running to cross train between ski instructing and rock climbing, and because she enjoys it. Somewhere along the way she discovered she was very proficient at running up hills and there has been no turning back.
I first fell in love with mountains thanks to my love for downhill skiing, which I have done from the age of three. It’s a sport that I can never give up even if I don’t do it as regularly as many other hobbies. Currently I spend most my time rock climbing, practising yoga and running.
As a teenager I gradually got into hiking. Through my passion for hiking I have ventured up various mountains on a few different continents. Some of the most memorable moments have been scrambling up the In Pinn on Isle of Skye, Scotland, hiking in Jasper, Canada and El Cocuy, Colombia. Most of the time it’s less about reaching a peak, and more about the journey and seeing nature change as I make my way through the landscape.
My hiking has also taken me along coastal paths, deep forest and across tropical sand islands. The love for the journey has in recent years made me develop my daily cycling into a passion for cycle touring.
From a young age I enjoyed running and remember representing my elementary school at some local events. I always liked it, but it wasn’t until some five years ago that my relationship to running became more serious. A few years later, after gradually increasing the distances I would run, I decided to participate in my first actual race; the Helsinki City Marathon. Just within the last year have I discovered the wonderful world of trail running, and can positively say that this is the new direction I want to take for my running. I have had the pleasure of running in a few Maverick Races, as well as a Cannonball Trailblaster event.
Forever the adventurer looking for a personal challenge has seen me swim 7km around an island in the Finnish sea, go on a 4 day portage trip in Canada without any previous canoeing experience, or join a two week sailing crew that travelled from the North of Finland to Copenhagen, Denmark. Now I am excited to see how I can challenge myself with trail running!
Des Rhule has been running in the snow, rain and hot sun on trails and off- road, since he was 9 years old. Starting off in x-country and orienteering events at school, he went on to race in regional and national championships. It was in the snow at Oxleas Wood in 1977 that he won his first x-country race, despite falling over!
Regardless of what form he's in, Des enjoys running for the pleasure of it. Preferring to run in the mountains or on the coast, he discovered mountaineering during the 80s, and found running to be perfect cross-training.
Besides his ultra distance running, Des has summited several 4000 metre peaks. He still races for Kent AC and Kings College London.
Sport has always been part of my life and pushing my body to its limits has been something I've loved to explore since I can remember; it started with training six days a week for hours a day with my county's fencing team and gotten to the point where, once an idea is in my head, I have to see it through.
The big turning point for me was moving to Sheffield in 2014 to study a journalism degree and living ten minutes away from the Peak District. That was when my addiction for the trails really kicked in. I remember a night run somewhere cold and boggy in the Peaks, my head torch the only light around, the wind silencing the sound of my own breathing and my legs covered in mud, and thinking that I wasn't going to look back at road running - this was way more exciting.
That primitive feeling of being alive, of giving our body a purpose, and improving - I live for that. Not only with running, but also mountain biking, climbing, skiing and multi-day trekking. I have completed a self-supported, self-guided hike around Mont Blanc, hiked to Annapurna Base Camp, and skied the Vallee Blanche in Chamonix.
I just love the feeling that being outside fills me with; to push myself and end up filthy, knowing that that was a brilliant session. Of course, the people I've met along the way are also one of the best parts of it!
My professional portfolio includes publications in Like the Wind, Adventure Travel, Passion Passport, Trail Running UK, APL Media's publications and My Life Magazine Nepal.