Tuesday, 21st March 2023
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Continuously testing the limits

by Editor
Tuesday 9th June 2015
Tags  Charlotte Love   |   ASICS Beat the Sun   |   ASICS   |   Beat the Sun   |   ASICS Outrun The Sun   |   Chamonix   |   Mont Blanc

Interview: We speak to Charlotte Love, who has been chosen to take part in the annual ‘ASICS Beat the Sun’ challenge, nature’s toughest challenge which will take place on June 21, the longest day of the year

ASICS Beat the Sun

A few months ago, ASICS launched a global search to find 15 Runners to take on the ultimate challenge – ASICS Beat the Sun. (HERE)

ASICS ‘Beat the Sun’ challenges amateurs and professional athletes from across the world to race against each other and the sun, around the iconic Mont Blanc, between sunrise and sunset. Following the success of the challenge last year, ASICS returns to Chamonix on June 21st for the longest day of the year (it’s only fair to give them as much chance as possible, it’s over 150km).

Crossing three countries, Italy, France and Switzerland the runners will experience a range of terrains, altitudes and lengths of running as they relay race around the entire circumference of Mt Blanc.  

The chosen amateurs were selected based on running ability as well as their motivation to take on the challenge. After much deliberation and fully deserved, ASICS UK have chosen Charlotte Love, a student from Loughborough University.

Diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkins Lyphom in her first year of university, Charlotte was determined not to let the cancer dictate her life. She had always been an active person but used running as a way of staying fit and healthy. She is an exemplary example of someone who strives to be the best she can be, isn’t afraid of a challenge and has a positive outlook on life.

Run247 sent some questions to Charlotte to find out a little more about the athlete:

ASICS Beat the Sun

Question You will be taking part in ASICS Beat the Sun. Please tell us a little about your running background to date.

Answer I started running about four or five years ago now, just before I was diagnosed with cancer, but I really began to get into it while I was ill.

Just like any beginner I started working up towards small distances and getting involved in 5km runs. Now I love longer distances, and challenging myself with speed and mixed terrain.

To date I have completed three half marathons and I have a full marathon coming up soon. I have also run around the island of Jersey which was 48 miles over three days, with a friend who also shares my passion for running and we hope to complete the Marathon des Sables together at some point in the next ten years.

Question How has your diagnosis with stage 4 Hodkins Lymphoma affected your life in general and your running in particular?

Answer Cancer can affect your life in so many ways, but for me specifically it really shaped me to be someone who is very driven. During my course of chemotherapy my doctors and University professors told me not to run and to put my University degree on hold. But I knew that I needed to keep running and that I would be able to keep up with my University work, so I did, and the drive to prove everybody wrong certainly helped me through some of the harder parts of my diagnosis. What I learnt from that experience I always carry with me, and I don’t mean to ignore professional advice, but to listen to my own body and look beyond the limits that something or someone may set for me.

I apply this running so I continuously test my limits and don’t become too comfortable with a certain distance or pace. When you can push your body and mind further or faster it is amazing how quickly it responds and I love to discover that in my running. 

Question Have you run in the alps before and what are your expectations of the event?

Answer I have never run properly in the Apls before, although I have hiked in parts of the French Alps so I know roughly to expect in terms of the course. However I am expecting the event to be a real challenge and trail running at this level will certainly be something new for me. But I am also expecting it to be a great opportunity to learn from the other runners involved and the expertise of the ASICS professionals. As possibly one of the youngest in the team it’s really exciting for me to have such an amazing group of runners and athletes to be around and gain experience from and I’m really looking forward to it.

Question How are you preparing for the challenge?

Answer To prepare I’m following the training plan we received from ASICS Team Coach Benoit Nave as closely as possible, however it has been complicated as I have also been studying for my university finals. So my plan has been consistency and making sure that I get as much hill training in as possible. This past week I was in Jersey getting in plenty of trail practice and breaking in my new Asics trail shoes. But I have also been speaking to my mentor Holly Rush to help me to mentally know what to expect and be ready for the big day. 

ASICS Beat the Sun

Question What are you worried about the most?

Answer As we have been set the challenge by ASICS to ‘Beat the Sun’ my biggest worry is that we won't do this! However I know that we have a strong team and everyone is looking forward to getting out there and running as hard as possible so we have the best chance to beat the sun. Last year Holly missed out on the record by thirty seconds so bring on the challenge this time! 

Question What are you looking forward to the most?

Answer As I mentioned I am really looking forward to meeting all the other runners and having the opportunity to gain as much advice from them as possible. It’s amazing that ASICS is bringing together runners from all around the world and it will be amazing to hear everyone’s different stories and what motivates them to run. As an aspiring ultra-runner I am looking forward to hearing where people have run around the world and getting some inspiration for my next running adventure.  

Running alongside Charlotte will be professional runner Holly Rush. Holly’s team narrowly missed the sun last year by 30 seconds, so this year is hoping to beat it!

Holly is an ex-international road marathon runner who has represented Great Britain and England over six times, but is most happiest running trail with her dog! Look out for our interview with Holly, coming soon.

Find out more about the ASICS ‘Beat the Sun’ challenge at beatthesun.asics.com/uk


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