How Record-Breaking Mum-of-Three Sophie Power Wants To Inspire Others - The Running Channel Advertisement

How Record-Breaking Mum-of-Three Sophie Power Wants To Inspire Others

BY: Mark Dredge
04 June 2024

Sophie Power, who last week broke the world record to became the fastest woman to run the length of Ireland, wasn’t an athlete in school.

“I feel like I missed out on decades of sport and this incredible ability to move my body and to achieve things,” she said, “and I don’t want any woman to miss out.” But as a trustee of Women in Sport, she sees girls from as young as five through to older women not being as active as they want to be. “Inspiring other women is my guiding star now.” 

The mum-of-three’s record-breaking 347-mile run across Ireland wasn’t about saying “look at me do this,” she said. It was about setting the example of how others can find challenges which are meaningful to them, and having the confidence to take them on. This is something Sophie champions through SheRACES.

“We’re runners, we all know the power of crossing a finish line, and how that can empower ourselves and the rest of our lives,” she said. 

A big part of this is helping women to find their ‘why,’ “which is what will help keep them going when they want to achieve that challenge.” For Sophie, her ‘why’ and her motivation crystalised during the three-and-a-half days that she took to run from Malin Head to Mizen Head. 

“Chasing the record wasn’t what kept me going. I knew that would never be enough to overcome the pain!” Sophie shared to Instagram after completing her run. “It was just the hope that other women and girls might see me striving and reconsider their own limits. Get a sprinkling of confidence to take on a challenge. Try something they might fail at to gain strength throughout their lives,” she wrote. 

“I knew that if I kept going, and if I finished, that there was potentially a platform to be able to talk to women,” said Sophie after the run. “As the run progressed I realised how far the message was going, and people were standing by the sides of the roads at random times of day, and whole schools were out on the streets cheering, and the girls were saying how they wanted to run.” And she had many women come and run with her, with each sharing what it meant to them to see women setting themselves these goals.

“I challenge anyone not to have that amazing motivation to keep going when you know there are so many people rooting so hard for you. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I possibly won’t again. With that kind of support, anybody can do anything.”

Photo by Phil Hill @the_phbalance

“I was fully prepared to fail,” said Sophie. “Failure is great. Failure is where we learn,” she said. “To go through that and not know the outcome, and then to succeed, is such a powerful thing to have and be part of.” 

Now she hopes that the message can reach more women that “there’s more in all of us than we know, and we can all achieve more than we think we can,” she said. But, she’s realised, “the older we get, we set these self-imposed limits on ourselves, and we become quite scared to fail. When we become scared to fail then maybe we don’t stretch ourselves and see what we’re really capable of.”

It’s an the idea that goes way beyond big personal challenges, and leads all the way through our lives, into our work and home, looking at where we may have set perceived limits for ourselves – and how we can change that.

“Be prepared to fail, go and push yourself, take on something that’s scary, because you never know what’s going to happen. If you fail, you learn, and if you don’t fail you might then rethink what you can achieve elsewhere,” said Sophie. 

Whether it’s a girl in school or a women in retirement, “for me to play any part in inspiring even just one woman to cross a finish line and find the strength in her life, it’s a phenomenal thing for me to be able to do.”

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