A British ultra runner made a pit stop to breastfeed her three-month-old son during a 43-hour endurance race…
Sophie Power is a regular competitor of endurance races, but after giving birth just three months ago, the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc – a 106-mile run that spans the Alps in Switzerland and France – presented itself with some very different challenges for the mum-of-two.
The athlete from London was candidly photographed breastfeeding her young son, Cormac, 16 hours into the race, adding that she “was so relieved he was hungry.”
“I was in agony. Cormac usually feed every three hours and it took me 16 to get to Courmayeur, where he could first meet me so I was hand expressing everywhere I could en route.”
Sophie had stopped at every aid station along the way, where her husband would meet her with a breast pump so she could express, and he would ferry back the milk to their son.
“I couldn’t raise my heart rate too much as my body isn’t primed to burn fat and I couldn’t fully run down hills to protect my pelvis.”
“In a typical race, I would get in and out of the aid stations as quickly as possible, but here, I had to focus on keeping down enough food for me and Cormac, and for resting.”
If a candid photo that gives confidence to women is my favourite race photo – this is probably my second. 20 minutes sleep over 2 nights driven on by the look I knew would be on Donnacha’s face running to the finish with me. pic.twitter.com/zxFAQqqiz9
— Sophie Power (@ultra_sophie) September 9, 2018
Five months into her pregnancy with Cormac, Sophie stopped running but continued with other exercise to ensure she kept her fitness levels up. “During pregnancy, I felt like all the advice was to put your feet up and get fat, as everything else was a risk.”
“This is not the best way to prepare for motherhood – staying fit, healthy and strong is so important and how you can safely do that needs to be talked about more.”
The runner kept fit by using stair climbers and doing pull-ups and dips throughout her pregnancy, even continuing to do so a month before her due date.
And her spectacular finish at the Mont Blanc run is certainly proof that anything is achievable – regardless of whether you’re breastfeeding.
After the race, Sarah later tweeted: “107 miles done. Took a while but reckon I was still fastest mum of a 3 month old baby. And possibly the only runner on the supply side at aid stations.”
#UTMB @UTMBMontBlanc 107 miles done. Took a while but reckon I was still fastest mum of a 3 month old baby. And possibly the only runner on the supply side at aid stations. Big thanks to my amazing coach @suttonelc for getting me there! pic.twitter.com/JMiBZUpGU6
— Sophie Power (@ultra_sophie) September 3, 2018
“It was the most complicated race I’ll ever likely do, but running to the finish line with both my boys is something I’ll never forget.”