Image for Walking with the Wounded News - Meet the MdS Team 2020 - Katie Hislop

Meet the MdS Team 2020 - Katie Hislop

Since its inception in 1986, the Marathon des Sables (‘MdS’) has attracted thousands of runners from across to world. The ultra-marathon takes place across 6 days and challenges participants to run the distance of 6 regular marathons back to back. This year, Walking With The Wounded are taking its biggest team yet to the start-line.


As part of our #MeetTheTeamSeries, we are introducing you to some of the people who will be running to raise funds and support those who served. Next up, Katie Hislop. 

  1. What inspired you take on the MdS, dubbed the world’s toughest foot race?

Shortly after I joined Army in 2000, I completed the Marathon des Sables with two colleagues and together we became to first British All-Female team to complete it. Since then I have always intended to come back and do it again because it was such an incredible experience.  So, 20 years later, here I am back to challenge myself again, make some more friends for life and perhaps have a little ‘me’ time away from phones/computers/work and busy modern life!

  1. How are you training for it?

 I have looked at it as much as a physical challenge as a mental, tactical, technical and health challenge and tried to spend an equal amount of time preparing for each aspect. When I trained for it in my early twenties, I simply ran for miles and miles, but this time I have done more strength training, prepared my kit well, visualised the race and come up with a plan as to how I will organise my kit in the evenings and prepare my meals.  I have also spent more time stretching and making sure I eat well so I stay fit and healthy right up until the start line.

  1. The race is physically challenging, but it will also test you mentally. How are you preparing your mind for the event?

During my training I practice trying to simply be ‘in the present’, so not worrying about running the next mile, but thinking about the scenery right now, and the step I’m taking at that time, rather than worrying about how I might feel in 10 miles time.  Just one foot in front of the other.  Getting to know the WWTW team and helping each other prepare will also help when we are out there; we all need to remember we are not on our own!

  1. What do you envisage being the most challenging aspect of the MdS?

There will be a lot of time between the stages when we are in the bivouac site, so it will be making sure I make the most of this time to recover and prepare for the next day; making sure I eat well, drink enough and get enough sleep!

  1. Do you have any tips for other runners aspiring to take part in the race in the future?

Believe that you can do it; come up with a training plan that suits you and do not be put off by others who you think are doing more, training better or who are fitter and stronger.  Everybody completes the race in their own way. It is not a sprint, so simply keep putting one foot in front of the other, and count each step as a small positive achievement.

  1. What is the first thing you are going to do after finishing the MdS?

 Smile, sleep and swim!

  1. Why have you chosen to support Walking With The Wounded?

 I love that the charity genuinely helps veterans to regain or retain their independence; all of us who serve will become veterans at some stage and it is great to know that there are brilliant charities like WWTW that can provide help if needed.   I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to lose independence and, to know that WWTW works tirelessly to address this is hugely reassuring.

 

Click here to donate to Katie's fundraiser and support those who served