Member profile: Sara Black

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Hello. My name is Sara Black. I’m a 42 year old mother of 3 lively children aged between 11 and 3, married to Roger Black (not the runner unfortunately) and have a gorgeous Staffie called Daisy. We live in London with the wonderful Hampstead Heath on our doorstep. Up until I went on maternity leave with my youngest, I was a lawyer – Head of Legal and Compliance for the UK office of a large US company where I’d worked for 12 (loooonnnngg) years. After I had my youngest I decided to leave the City and the life of a Lawyer and re-train as a Personal Trainer.

My new career has enabled me to work in a field I’m passionate about and be around for my family. Now, I’m a lot less stressed and get great satisfaction from doing the school run, doing mundane tasks like food shopping and taking my hubby’s clothes to the dry cleaners as well as seeing my clients fitness improve.

Why and when did I start running

Have you ever been the kid at school that wasn’t in the “in crowd”? Well, that was me. I had friends and was popular in my own right in and outside of school but wasn’t part of the school clique. Despite loving cross country running and always being in the top 5 finishers I was never picked for the school team. A number of years ago – yet still is firmly fixed in my memory. I always loved sport and running in particular. I’d go out running on my own along the seafront near where I lived with my parents. However, it wasn’t until I was in my 20’s that I realised that I wasn’t too bad a runner. A few charity races here and there saw me in the top 10 finishers. Wow, I really can do this! I’ve always been passionate about doing challenges to raise money for charity and found myself doing marathons and other races (Ironman) to raise funds for worthy causes. Running to me is a bit like a packet of Pringles “once I pop, I can’t stop”!

What does running do for me?

Running to me is freedom. It’s just about me, what can I achieve today? What can I achieve in each and every one of my races? When you’ve been made to feel that you’re not good enough there’s a furnace inside that burns deep within and drives me to push harder, push further and achieve more.  I’m very competitive (I won’t or can’t lie about that!), once I’m on the start line it’s all pistons going at full pelt. I try to give 100% every time. I feel I can hold my head high with running and say “Yes, I can do this, Yes, I am good at this”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Olympian but I’ve achieved things in running (and sport) that I didn’t think was possible.

What’s your greatest running achievement?

Can I have more than 1 achievement please? Firstly, I love the fact that my kids see my dedication to training and the joy I get from running. I feel I’m achieving something great having kids that enjoy fitness and are willing to try new things. It’s important for me for my children to get out there and experience amazing things and live an active rather than sedentary life.

So, onto more specific running achievements…… Qualifying and be selected to represent Great Britain in the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championship in 2011. My other great achievement has to be qualifying for Boston within 30 minutes of the qualifying time. I was on for a sub 3 marathon during the race this year but the weather wasn’t on my side. With driving, freezing rain and a headwind all the way, I finished in 3:19 with hypothermia and being carted off to the medical tent in a wheelchair – I can honestly say I earned that medal!!

What has been most helpful to you?

Getting a Bob Ironman running pushchair after I had my 3rd – I’m sure running pushing a child has improved my fitness and performance! The running community are a great bunch of people and coming across DYRT has been wonderful. I love the fact that I posted “an advert” on DYRT asking for 2 people to join me to form a team to do at 12 hour enduro event from 7pm to 7am. Two lovely ladies responded – Teresa Roberts and Alice Paul. A couple of weeks later we met for the first time at the race venue ready to do the challenge. We got on amazingly well and worked super well as a team – so much so we came 1st and won the “ladies 3/4 member” team category clocking up an impressive 85 miles. With DYRT I don’t need to apologise for boring the pants off people with details of my training and races (good or bad). I don’t (and won’t) apologise for being me.

We’re all in this together regardless of age, gender, religion, colour of skin or ability – we’re all for one and one for all!


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