Sophia grew up in many different places around the globe but her earliest years were in Kenya on a farm near the base of Mt. Kenya. She then moved to Idaho with her family. When she left home, she travelled quite a bit but them settled down in the Pacific Northwest USA for several years.
Sophia always loved playing outside and exploring the world around her. Growing up in Kenya and Idaho instilled a love of the mountains and open spaces in her at an early age, and she feels at home in the outdoors because of it.
I never really considered myself an athlete until my mid-twenties when I started climbing, mountaineering and trail running.
Sophia’s first trail running race was a revelation. It was called the Cutthroat Classic, on part of the Pacific Crest Trail deep in the Cascade mountains of Washington State, and it was like something just clicked. She says she had a blast. Right there and then, she decided to put more of her energy and focus into trail running.
Of any sport, trail running is the one that I always return to and thrive on the most.
Sophia says she started running and racing trail ultramarathons when she met her two best friends in Seattle, Washington.
She says, “I’d never run more than about 20km in one go. After telling me inspiring stories about mountain running and adventure racing all over the world, they convinced me to join them on a run around Mt Rainier on the Wonderland Trail – 160 kilometres of burly mountain terrain over three days.”
“I had no idea what I was getting into. I was hopelessly undertrained, but I loved every second of it and it bonded us for life.”
After that, she started joining them on more training runs and entering local 50km trail races. It built from there as I started discovering races in inspiring places and looking for the next challenge.
Some of the biggest challenges Sophia has faced in ultrarunning are burn-out from overtraining.
Because I love it so much, it can be tempting to overdo it. It is sometimes hard to know where that line is between pushing through a low-point and being stupidly staunch.
“Toughening up” has a time and a place, and I’m still on the journey of figuring out when to really push hard and when to ease up and just have fun with it.
- Weekdays : 1-2 hrs Training (depending)
- Weekends : Half day or Full day
- Rest: One day totally off from everything and just chill out and pamper myself, and the other non-running day I’ll lift or do something strength-related.
Her trusty Ultimate Direction Wink running pack. She says it has seen her through so many adventures, from 10km jaunts to 150km missions, and she’s always seem to be able to cram everything she needs into it. She has definitely put it to the test, but it’s holding up great.
Sophia’s Trail Running Bucket List
The top five are: