Something popped up on my social media feed, it was record-breaking stuff, ultra-marathon stuff. I don’t really know much about ultra-marathons. I know they are crackers crazy and it isn’t for me, but this one I needed to know more about.
Jasmin Paris had just done what? She had just raced the Spine Race, the Pennine Way. She had just raced 431km in 83 hours, she had just won it outright, not just the female category, Jasmin had broken gender barriers and made history in an epic way and I can imagine the ultra-running world was going bonkers.
I wanted to know more, but the information was conflicting. What I desperately wanted to know was, how did she do it? Not just physically, clearly she is an exceptional person, but how did she manage to fit it all in? What was a typical 24 hours like for Jasmin.
Everyone was talking about this normal person who is a first-time mum, a vet who is also completing her PhD. That in itself sounds enough to handle. But was she really just an everyday person who decided one day to run an ultra?
Yes, all the information buzzing around had been written quickly after she had crossed the line so facts were a bit iffy. Some said she was running 30 miles a week. Only 30 miles a week? Some said she got up at 6am to run, others said it was 4:30am, which is more believable.
But what was consistent was that this was just someone like you and I. Had Jasmin just suddenly found a talent by accident?
She hadn’t attempted the Spine Race before, she actually decided to do it as a form of motivation. Apparently, Jasmin was struggling to get out of bed in the mornings to go training, so entering something epic gave her the nudge she needed! That is inspiration in itself.
I hadn’t heard of Jasmin Paris before. Google her and she isn’t just an average person. She is far from normal, she is well known in Great Britain as a fell-runner, says her Wikipedia page. Yep, she has a page. She has competed in UTMB, she got bronze at the skyrunning world championships. She holds records for things like the Bob Graham Round and Ramsay Round. Jasmin does inspirational talks; the list goes on.
Fitting all of these achievements around a job, a family and life in general makes it all the more impressive, in fact it doesn’t seem possible. Maybe in all the excitement the news was missing the stuff behind the normal.
But Jasmin you are something phenomenal, there is talent there, there is huge commitment. You are not the average person, you are an inspiration. You have mental and physical toughness that is beyond what most of us are capable of.
A huge motivation for so many people, not just working mums, and now a record breaker that will go down in history. This is not everyday or ordinary, this is in no way average.
Photographs by Yann Besrest-Butler/Montane Spine race