Robin and Caroline in their long distance running kit posing on top of a hill

Moving mountains: Meet the ultra-marathon duo who are tackling gender inequality in sport


When Robin and Caroline reached out to us with the news they were running an ultra-marathon to raise money for Women in Sport, we were – amongst many things – awestruck. 

Not only had they pledged to run 50km (non-stop!) amongst some of the hilliest terrain in Europe, but they had also signed up having only known each other for two weeks.  

To push yourself to the limits of comfort and capability takes a lot, even with a trusted friend you’ve known for decades. But to embark on this journey with a stranger takes guts.  

Safe to say, Caroline and Robin are no longer strangers. They met at a local running club in October and since then have been training for the UTMB Wildstrubel 50K ultra marathon coming up on 16th September. 

Here, we chat to the duo about their motivations for the race, what their training looks like and what they hope to achieve through raising money for Women in Sport… 

Robin running

What do you love about long-distance trail running?  

Robin:Going on a run gives me the space to relax where I can focus on being present and satisfies my intrinsic need for play. In moving to Scotland, where I didn’t know anyone, relying on joining a sports team or running club to make friends has never failed me, especially as that’s how Caroline and I met.” 

Caroline: “Trail running is an epic way to explore wild places. It’s stopping to eat cake on top of a mountain with a friend, yelling at the top of your lungs as you zip down the hillside as fast as you can. It has connected me with a much more effortless way of living and taught me not to take myself so seriously.” 

Support Robin and Caroline on their epic adventure

My relationship with trail running, and the women I have met, has completely changed how I approach exercise, sports and my body.”

How are you feeling about the race? 

Robin: “The excitement and nervousness of tackling the longest distance with more elevation gain than I have ever run before is exactly what I wanted! With support from Caroline, my friends, and family, having 50K worth of stunning nature to enjoy and appreciate will be special no matter how the race goes.” 

Caroline: Whilst I don’t put any particular importance on the specific outcome of race day, I’m most excited to see how my attitude and mindset can hold up once I hit the inevitable pain and fatigue that comes with never having run this far or climbed so high in the mountains. This race is the first of many steppingstones to pushing my limits further in the future – one day I hope to do a 100 miler!”

What does your training look like? 

Robin: “What I love about training for distance events is the physical and mental demand. Thanks to strength training at least three times a week, I’ve stayed injury free while my weekly running mileage has increased from 56 km to 120 km. I’ve also grown to tolerate and even welcome discomfort which will inevitably arise during the race and in life.” 

Caroline: “Whilst training has involved a lot of hill repeats and strength training, it’s also included scrapping a week of running in order to go on a cycling adventure in the Scottish Islands, going to live in a tent in the forest in France, going on climbing trips with friends and eating as much as I want whenever I want it.” 

I’ve grown to tolerate and even welcome discomfort which will inevitably arise during the race and in life.

A landscape image from one of Robin and Caroline's training runs

What has your experience been of being women in sport? 

Robin: “I’ve found the trail running community is the most welcoming and accepting group of people out there! Rather than conversations comparing running paces, they are replaced by stories about knee-deep bog trotting and where the best wild swimming locations are.” 

Caroline: “I know what it feels like for exercise to be only a way to change your body, to punish it for existing and to try to whip it into submission. My unfurling relationship with trail running, and the women I have met in the community, has completely changed how I approach exercise, sports, my body and how I choose to show up in the world.” 

What do you hope to achieve through the race and fundraising? 

Robin: “We chose to support Women in Sport so other women and girls could have the same opportunities to build confidence in themselves and friendships as we have throughout our athletic careers.” 

Caroline: “I know what it feels like to say no to adventures because it feels too far above your level. I’m raising money for Women in Sport because I felt the effect that toxic masculinity had on my willingness to explore what I could do or how I could show up in running as a sport.” 

We wish Caroline and Robin the best of luck with their epic adventure, we’re sure it will create some amazing memories, funny stories and build an even stronger friendship. 

If you would like to support Caroline and Robin in their mission to make active spaces more welcoming for women and girls, you can donate to their fundraising page here.

Support Robin and Caroline on their epic adventure