Hailing from the Lake District of north-west England, Rosie Woodhams is part of an exciting wave of British runners making a name for themselves on the international cross-country scene.
Having represented Great Britain at the World Youth Cup in Italy, the European Championships in Macedonia, and the World Championships in Andorra, Rosie has already competed against some of the best mountain runners in the world and is looking forward to building on these achievements in the coming years.
This week we managed to catch-up with Rosie to see what she’d been up to and where she was going next.
Rosie, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Let’s start with early beginnings: how did it all start for you and what’s your earliest running memory?
"My earliest running memories are when I used to go out 'jogging' (more like walking) with a friend who lived nearby when I was about 11. I then eventually entered my first cross-country race in year 7 and came 2nd to last. A couple of years later, after slowly increasing how much I was running, I tried again and did much better - qualifying to run for Cumbria which I was ecstatic about."
When you’re not mountain running, you’re competing in track. How different is your training schedule for each event and which one seems to come more natural for you?
"When I'm racing both track and mountain in summer it can be hard to train efficiently for both. I usually end up just doing a mixture of track and hill sessions with a few easy runs in the fells inbetween and find this works reasonably well. Easy runs in the mountains are easily my favourite bit of training though, simply because of the amazing views!"
You’ve been lucky to represent both England and Great Britain at a number of prestigious events across Europe. What were these experiences like and did you ever think that running could take you so far from home?
"I've been incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to race in several different countries and every time it's been amazing and I've made the best memories. I definitely learnt a lot from each experience and never expected to get to race at that level. Especially last year, qualifying for both the Worlds and Europeans in my first year as a U20 came as a massive shock to me and I was absolutely over the moon to get the opportunity."
In recent years, we’ve seen a number of British runners move to the States on university scholarships where they're able to develop their running whilst keeping up with school. How great of an opportunity is this for the sport and is it something you could see yourself doing in the future?
"I think the chance for British runners to go to America with a sports scholarship is great for the sport as it enables athletes to gain experience running in such a high quality field and offers something different to the normal uni route. Having said that, after looking into it I decided that staying in the UK for uni was best for me. However, should I still be running in a few years time, going over for a masters degree is definitely something I'd consider."
A few short-answer questions for you Rosie…
What is your favourite pre-run music to listen to?
"Anything that's high energy to get me feeling motivated and ready to go."
What is your favourite Lake District fell to run up?
"Skiddaw. It never gets less painful to run but the views are usually worth it!"
The view of Skiddaw from the base of Derwent water.
Apart from running, which other sports do you enjoy?
"I like to do a little bit of cycling and swimming to help aid my running and would love to try a triathlon one day for a bit of fun."
If you had to pick one, who would your sporting role model be?
"I am spoilt for choice for role models from my club (Kendal AAC) with the likes of Sarah Tunstall and Rebecca Robinson."
You’re still really early on in you’re career and yet you have a lot of experience competing in both national and international competitions. What advice would you give to any aspiring runners reading this?
"Just make sure you enjoy your running. You'll never get anywhere if you're not having fun with it."
And lastly Rosie, 2019 is coming to a close. How has this year been for you both on and off the track/hills?
"This year has been incredibly challenging for me with injuries and setbacks but I learnt plenty and was lucky to still manage to still grab some great opportunities and make amazing memories."
Rosie, that's all from us. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!
On behalf of everyone at iceland_greenland_antarctica, I'd like to wish Rosie the best of luck for 2020 and we look forward to seeing her back on the hills again soon. If you would like to keep up with Rosie's adventures, be sure to follow her on Instagram and give her your support!