Hundred thousand mile total expected before 2019
It’s difficult to read anything about Catra Corbett without discovering something amazing, although her upcoming statistical achievement is taking things to the next level.
Logging her running miles since she started her incredible running journey in 1996, the 53 year old is closing in on six figures, with an incredible 100,000 miles soon to be reached. It sets her a long way from the runner who started amid an alcohol and crystal meth problem, and a journey that has given her course records, a full recovery from substance abuse and notoriety as one of the most exciting and inspiring runners in some of the most demanding events.
The milestone comes shortly after she releases her book ‘Reborn of the Run’ which details her recovery and transition. It highlights the change which saw her not only change from a destructive to a healthy lifestyle – of which veganism is an integral part, but also from a goth seen in monochrome black and white clothes and make up to the technicolour figure as she has become so recognisable.
Among the almost 100,000 miles are over a hundred races at her favourite distance of one hundred miles, typically day-night events that she completes in around 26 hours. These races alone have seen her run the equivalent of an East-West San Francisco to Washington US crossing four times. Running has become a way of life that’s taken her to longer races of 200 miles and more, and overseas to the Marathon des Sables. She’s averaged over 15 miles per day, 460 miles per month and 5550 per year. The combined distance and the total experience has been epic. She has run every day since November 9th 2012 – approaching 2200 days.
“Some would say I switched addictions and I say at least it’s healthier” Catra told Great Vegan Athletes. “I’m not hurting others and I’m not involved in criminal activity to fuel my need to run. Running has saved my life and has helped me with my anxiety as depression. So it’s a good thing for me.”
In exploring the great outdoors she’s used nature as a therapy, and her love of routes such as the John Muir Trail has been obvious from her social media posts. It clear that it’s created a new life which she so desperately needed.
“I had to discover running if I didn’t I’m pretty sure I would have got back into drugs” she says candidly. “So I would be in jail or dead had I not found running.”
While ultrarunning is a sport with numerous vegans, Catra actually went vegan before she started serious running. “So it’s just part of who I am” she says. “Eating clean and being vegan helps me with recovery and keeps me healthy.”
While the countdown is on for the 100,000th mile, Catra expects it to be on her annual birthday run. On this run – on December 24th, she invites friends to join her in running one mile for each year, so this year it will be 54 miles. Meanwhile she hopes her story will reach other people and enable her to do the other thing which she does as well as running – inspire people.
“It was extremely important to share my story with others” she says of her book. “I know my story has helped so many already. A lot of people feel like they are alone in their struggles. They read my story and realize they are not alone and they can heal and move on like I did.”
How far is 100,000 miles?
3816 standard marathons
Four times round the world
The length of Great Britain, by road, 119 times
London to Florida over 22 times
Over 14 times round the moon
San Francisco to Washington 41 times
Anchorage in Alaska to Buenos Aries 22 times