Meet Pat, the ultra marathon walker who has done 17 XNRG events (Oh, and 108 marathons!)
‘I was 54 when I started running, I was a late starter. I’d got the all-clear from breast cancer, and a friend gave me a marathon entry as a present. After that, I was hooked.’
Pat Clatworthy, now 68, is a regular walker at ultra marathons, with 17 XNRG events to her name. ‘I hadn’t run since my school days,’ says Pat. ‘I’d done loads of hiking in the mountains, and I know how to use a map and a compass — so I’m not afraid of venturing solo into the countryside. I’ve explored the Lake District and north Wales. I just love going off for the day, just me and my rucksack.’
These days, Pat comments, she’s not as fast as she used to be, and loves the way that XNRG treats everyone the same way, whether running or walking the courses, elite or last. ‘A lot of runners think they have to run it,’ Pat says, ‘but they can miss a lot, it’s ok to walk when you need to. And although I enter as a walker, I walk, shuffle and jog along!’
‘My first ultra marathon was the XNRG Druids Challenge over three days. I was really nervous but Neil and Anna and the team really look after everyone. Although I go on my own, it’s a great community. There are all ages and abilities, everyone supports each other — it’s amazing.’
Everyone supports each other — it’s amazing.
Pat’s favourite race is the Druids Challenge, which she has completed four times. ‘It’s a big challenge because it’s across three days. The elites run it in the most incredible time! It’s along a ridgeway and very muddy,’ she says. ‘It’s a great way to walk to ridgeway.’ Alongside her seasoned-XNRG status, Pat also has a pretty amazing secret. ‘I’ve completed 108 marathons,’ she says. ‘A friend gave me my first marathon entry as a birthday present. I didn’t say a lot!’ she laughs. ‘But I really enjoyed it. I did it, and went back the following year and did it again. Now I’ve run marathons all around the world. Last year, I did four marathons in four days. I really felt that one afterwards! But after a few glasses of wine, I was fine.’
‘I love the fitness and the sense of achievement I get from the events I do,’ Pat says, ‘It’s liberating, you have two choices in life, do it, or vegetate on the sofa instead. XNRG are the best to me because Neil gathers everyone together, cheers everyone in and stands at the end with a bottle of beer! It’s a real family affair, if I had to sum it up in two words, I’d say ‘they care.’
‘In two words, I’d say “they care”.’
Whilst it’s clear that Pat loves the event organisation, there’s something in particular, she says, that she keeps on coming back for. ‘Nothing can beat Anna’s rocky road,’ Pat says. ‘She’s got the knack.’
XNRG events are open to walkers and runners alike. Our philosophy, ‘You just do the running, we do the rest’ ensures that you’re well looked after.
XNRG events are open to walkers and runners alike. With no cut-off times, they offer an excellent challenge for any ability, and what's more - beautiful surroundings. To find out more about the events check out the events page here.