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#whywerun - Claire Maxted

Claire Maxted | Trail Runner | Youtuber

We were lucky enough to catch up with Claire who is the Co-founder & former editor of Trail Running Magazine and the creator of the popular Wild Ginger Running YouTube channel.


- Tell us about yourself and where you're from:

I'm Claire Maxted, from Coventry, now living in Stamford near Peterborough, having moved there in 2005 for my first job as a journalist on Trail the hiking magazine. I'm the co-founder and former editor of Trail Running magazine. I am very chatty, friendly and I have bright red hair, which is why I named my YouTube channel Wild Ginger Running

- When did you first get into running?

I became phobic of running at school as it was always flat out and competitive which hurt, and was embarrassing as I went bright red with the effort and people teased me about it. However at uni I started to get a bit of a beer gut! And I also wanted to do a triathlon and some adventure racing as I was a keen swimmer, cyclist and mountain walker, so I had to start running. I forced myself to get over my running phobia by just doing it. I would panic all day if I had a run planned, but I still made myself do it, slowly. A 10k, a 10 miler, a half marathon, and now I run ultras. Still slowly, but now I enjoy it. 

- Did you start as a treadmill / road runner, then get into trail?

I did start on the pavements and the odd treadmill session, but as I was a hiker, I quickly moved on to paths and bridleways - trails. It seemed the obvious thing given my background, but I know that not everyone finds it so straightforward and I love to help show them how great trails are. 

- Any adversity or injuries along the way?

Yes, I had plantar fasciitis after deliberately losing a lot of weight and training very hard for a 6-day race in Costa Rica in 2015. I would not recommend trying to get skinny to anyone who is not naturally built that way as although it will make you faster, going too far for your own body is not sustainable and it will come back to bite you in the bum. I didn't run much for about 18 months after my injury and I am still managing the condition now by wearing shoes with more of a heel pad to them. 

- A chance to brag about your home town....What's the running scene like and the community?

Stamford is an awesome place to be a runner - I'm a member of the friendliest running club in the world, Stamford Striders. They are a wonderful bunch and very active on the roads and trails around our beautiful area. We organise the 30k Valentines race every Feb which is a very popular marathon training run, and I am launching a new 10 and 20 mile Nene Valley Trail Races Sat 13 June which probably will have to be postponed due to the current world health situation.

- Your time at Trail running Mag and YouTube...tell us how that has been and what you have learnt?

Trail Running magazine was amazing for doing so many cool races all over the world. Nowadays I'd have more of a problem with that due to the carbon emissions, but back in the day it was an incredible way to explore the planet. I was proud of 3 things - using real runners of all sizes, backgrounds and ages as models, awarding an ethical/eco award in the gear tests, and providing equal coverage to men's and women's running achievements. During my last few years on the mag I very much enjoyed launching the #Run1000Miles challenge which gave me more of an immediate link to the readers via social media. This was why I then decided to leave and set up Wild Ginger Running, my trail and ultra running advice and inspiration YouTube channel. I really like the immediacy of contact with your audience that you get with YouTube and social media. You can respond to breaking news and people's ideas, needs and comments more quickly (for example my current Covid-19k Challenge here and really feel like you are helping and being a useful part of their trail running journey. Take a look here

- Any clubs / charities you're working with?

I don't tend to work with charities as I wouldn't know which one to choose. I give a monthly donation to a homelessness charity and a women's equality charity, and last year I ran a race for CALM in memory of my cousin's husband who died aged 37 and was very grateful to all who sponsored me. But in the main I don't really like to foist my charity choices on others as it's often very personal who people like to raise money for. And if I did every run for sponsorship people would get bored (and broke!) very quickly! 

- What are your goals for the future?

This summer I hope to run the UTMB (Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc) 100 mile race course over 6-days before the race. You can join me on that here

I'd also like to do the King's Trail in Sweden that Emelie Forsberg has the record for (over more like 2 weeks!) and I've always wanted to hike the GR20, a very scrambly route over the mountainous spine of Corsica. 

 You can follow Claire on Instagram HERE

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