Joanna Zakrzewski from UK stood second in 2011 International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) 100 km World Championships at Winschoten in Netherlands. She also stood third in the same race in 2014 at Doha Qatar. She started out as a race doctor, but was convinced by a friend to “try it from the other side”, and so she took part in a multi-stage race across the Atacama Desert in Chile. During this trip, she discovered a love for running and have never looked back, now competing at an international level over various distances on various terrains.
More than 35,397 runners from 164 countries took part in the first ever Wings for Life World Run on Monday on 5th May 2014. The race format involved runners of all abilities and ages competing simultaneously in 32 countries spanning six continents and 13 time zones. Unlike most races, the event did not feature a static finish line. Instead competitors were chased by the official World Run Catcher Cars which began advancing towards participants 30 minutes after they left the start line. The Catcher Cars eliminated runners one by one as they overtook them until there was only one remaining competitor in the UK and eventually one person left in the whole world. The UK event began at 11am on Silverstone Circuit, and stretched out in to the surrounding countryside. The last remaining female to compete in the UK race was Jo Zakrzewski of Dumfries Running Club who outran the car for 45 km.
The Lochaber Marathon on Sunday, April 14 2013, saw the women’s record shattered by more than four minutes,despite the heavy rain and strong wind,as Joanna Zakrzewski, Dumfries, crossed the line in 2hrs 45mins 55 secs. Joanna Zakrzewski completed the The Aspire International 6:50 Open Race 50k Ultra race Trophy Ladies on Oct 31st 2014 She completed in a time of 03:33:23 for an overall 2nd position.
Joanna Zakrzewski is winner of Silver medal in IAU 100km World Championships 2011 and Bronze medal in 2014. She is in conversation with Namita Nayyar President Women Fitness.
Ms. Namita Nayyar:
You started as a race doctor, but was convinced by a friend to “try it from the other side”, and so you took part in a multi-stage race across the Atacama Desert in Chile. You stood 1st in women’s category in the gruelling Atacama Crossing in the dry desert of Chile in 2010 where she led the women’s race from the start and completed the entire 250km in a superb time of 33:37:30. The list of your winning and competing at international level over various distances on various terrains is endless. What factors you consider were responsible that made you achieve that?
Ms. Joanna Zakrzewski:
I’m not sure really – I think a lot of it comes from just being willing to give it a go. I had always thought that I was unfit and “bad at sport”, but then I found that I loved running, especially when it was about running in beautiful places! I’m not speedy but I think I have the ability to keep going which helps in the longer distance races. I enjoy meeting new people and seeing new places and not being afraid of trying different distance and terrains has enabled me to do that. Several people have commented that it is, in fact, my amazing ability to eat, that has helped me achieve the results I’ve had. I have seen people fade in many races, as they cannot stomach enough calories, or they restrict themselves too much – whereas I’ve never been one to limit my intake 🙂
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