Simone Castro - Ultra Trail Runner #findyouradventure
At kora, we are adventure seekers. We love to explore and travel - uncovering hidden gems as we go. In a world where a plane ticket can be bought so easily, it’s easy to push aside the adventures closer to home.
Who else has stumbled upon an amazing new hike, climbing spot or cycling route, right on their doorstep?
This month we’re exploring adventure and what it means to each of us.
We’ll be interviewing a series of our favourite adventurers to find out their hidden gems, top tips for exploring and more.
To kick things off, we caught up with ultra trail runner Simone Castro. Simone is a former road and marathon runner who discovered a new love for trail running. Simone currently lives in Switzerland - however she has lived (and run) all over the world.
As a brand obsessed with adventure, we couldn’t wait to find out more about Simone’s journey into ultra trail running, and how she has adapted her training methods over time.
Tell us a little bit about ultra trail running and how you got into it?
"I switched from road running to trail in 2015. I was moving back to Brazil after almost 8 years of living in The Netherlands and I got in touch with a group of friends who were into running in the mountains. To be honest, I never thought it was possible to run in such conditions, all that I knew was the flat roads. Suddenly a new word came up during the same conversations: ultra races. I was already familiar with marathon distances, but ultra marathons, what were these people doing?
"A few months later, together with this same group, I signed up for my first ultra - 55km with 3,500 altimetry in the mountains of Rio de Janeiro. I had no idea how I would finish this race but in the end, everything worked out. I can honestly say crossing that finish line was a highlight in my running life - it was the best feeling. That was 5 years ago, and the moment I officially fell in love with the sport."
How do you unwind after an event - do you have any rituals?
"To be honest, I don't have any specific rituals, only to relax! I try to rest for the remainder of the day so I can bounce back and feel like a normal person again. A beer doesn’t hurt either..."
You’re based in Zurich but you run all over the world - do you have a favourite country you’ve run in?
"I moved to Zurich at the beginning of this year, last year I was living in Chamonix, which is no doubt the mecca of the trail running. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to live there. I also love the wild trails in South America, particularly in Argentina, Chile, and Peru. Peru was also the place where I had my first and only DNF (did not finish), so I definitely want to go back to finish what I left."
Our new campaign is all about finding your adventures closer to home, have you discovered any hidden gems close to you?
"Since the beginning of this year I have been running in Switzerland and I must say I can't get enough of these unbelievably diverse landscapes!
"Running with a view of the Matterhorn, blue lakes, or a glacier brings a real ‘pinch me’ moment. I couldn't wish to be anywhere else right now. I ran a race in Zermatt a few weeks ago which was amazing, and I have a further bucket list of places I still want to visit this summer.
"Sometimes we are so eager to travel to new places that we miss out on our own local gems. This year has highlighted the importance of rediscovery for me - especially local trails."
A lot of us have discovered a new love for running this summer, what advice would you have for someone wanting to take up ultra trail running for the first time?
"Train, learn, and listen to what your body is telling you - you are your best coach. Finishing an ultramarathon is much more about the size of your willpower than the size of your muscles. Let go of expectations, and just focus on going into your first ultra race with confidence. Not confidence in how you are going to do it, but the confidence in your heart that you’re going to finish. The sense of achievement at the end is like no other and makes it all worthwhile!"