Joanne Fowlie recently took part in the gruelling Spartan Beast race to raise money for Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity. Read more for her top training tips and why more people should take part in events like these.
We caught up one of our team marvellous challenge event participants, Joanne Fowlie, who recently took part in the gruelling Spartan Beast race to raise money for us. Described as the “world’s best obstacle race”, Spartan events encompass a serious of beastly obstacles. The Spartan Beast which Joanne completed in Perth, Scotland, included 30 obstacles over 20km and participants are told to expect steep climbs, fast descents, heavy carries, and maybe even a swim. Joanne raised a fantastic £500 which will help more seriously ill children lead a marvellous life. Joanne tells us what to expect from events like this, why she chose to support us and her top training tips!
Can you tell us why you decided to take on the Spartan Beast and what it involves?! Growing up I was never particularly active, however as I entered my 20's I really started to realise how important it is to look after your body and mind, for not only yourself but for your loved ones too! I also really wanted to see exactly what my body could achieve if I trained and nurtured it correctly and I can hands down say that I’m really proud of myself. I've achieved so much while training, and on the day, that my past self would not believe it. My grandfather also developed a disease called Cerebellar Ataxia which has meant he has very limited control over his mobility and speech, so I think it's important not to take for granted our bodies for granted.
What was the experience like on the day? The atmosphere of the event was fantastic - there was such a wide variety of people there that made the place feel very inclusive and welcoming. Spartan events are known for testing your abilities, especially in situations where you don't know what is coming - and I really didn't know what was about to hit me, so I was pretty nervous. The fellow Spartans taking part in the event were really nice, with many offering help to others and chatting on stretches of the race. The volunteers were exceptional - I perhaps would not have passed the final obstacle if it were not for three of the volunteers and my dad cheering me on and urging me to reattempt the obstacle when I failed (I think it took seven attempts to get over it!) but the feeling once I finally scaled it and was over the finish line was very emotional.
What are your top training tips? First, I'd tell myself to stop stressing! Trust the energy that you’re putting in. Naughty eating days, and days where training may just not be possible, happen. Months of progress are not lost in the odd day of naughty eating and missed training days - just always remember to try and stay consistent and get back on track when possible. Lastly, TRAIN UP HILLS! The course was much hillier than I could have imagined, and all my training was essentially road based.
Why did you decide to support Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity? I've always loved reading, and for me it's been a marvellous way of escaping day to day stresses and a way of understanding the world and visiting worlds unlike our own. I think so many of Roald Dahl's novels have great messages to tell, and in a world where technology is so prevalent I would hate to think today's children are missing out on the experiences that I had growing up. Spreading awareness of Roald Dahl's novels is just a secondary benefit of choosing to support this charity as they of course do such wonderful work for sick children, and I think that this is always a worthy cause to be behind.
Why would you recommend others get involved in events like these? I think it's really important to occasionally step outside of your comfort zone and really test challenge yourself. You will realise things about yourself that you never would have, and it can be a real life-changer. Sometimes not everything you try will be for you but trying and experiencing the world is so important in living a full life. It can often be the case that we get so caught up on our daily stresses and responsibilities and work and at home, that we forget to enjoy and experience life! Taking part in events like this can be a real eye opener - and training in general is so good for our bodies and brains! *Release the endorphins!*
If you’re inspired by Joanne, why not take part in a challenge event to raise money to help seriously ill children? Check out our challenge events page for more info.