Beginner's Guide to Wild Running
An introduction to Wild Running by Jen and Sim Benson, authors of the Wild Running guidebook.
#GetOutside Champion Lizzie Carr is a marketing consultant from London. She believes adventures don’t need to be pioneering or on a global scale – they can be found in the everyday.
Lizzie’s pledge is to continue uncovering hidden gems in the UK and revealing the incredible adventures people can have on their doorstep. She says: “The world of adventure is broken. It can be an elitist environment dictating that unless an adventure is of epic proportions then it’s not really an adventure at all.”
How does it feel to have been chosen as a #GetOutside Champion?
I feel very lucky to have this opportunity and to be recognised among some incredible like-minded people all striving to achieve a common goal – getting more people outdoors.
What does being a #GetOutside champion mean to you?
Adventure isn’t just about reaching polar ice caps and crossing remote jungles – these are of course incredible achievements, but they shouldn’t set the standard for everyone. It’s important that people with different levels of skill and experience are recognised and encouraged to #GetOutside. I’m neither a wildlife expert, nor a mountain guide but I do have a genuine love of the outdoors and adventure so I’m thrilled that OS is joining me on my journey to #GetOutside.
What are the benefits to you of being outside?
For me it’s the opportunity to reconnect with nature and remove myself physically and mentally from the hustle and bustle of life. Living in a busy city means very little time to switch off and appreciate the beauty of what’s around you so I try to get outside as often as possible to re-establish my grounding.
What do you most enjoy about being outside?
I think it gives a sense of freedom and closeness with nature that you can’t get from anything else. The idea of taking on an adventure – no matter how near or far from home – just going somewhere and trying new things but not really knowing the outcome is the joy of being outside.
What’s your favourite terrain to get out in? (Mountain / coast / woodland etc.)
It really depends what my purpose is outdoors, but generally I find myself most comfortable in woodland. I do a lot of trail running and hiking and always try to find beautiful wood and heathland for this.
What’s your best memory of being outside?
I grew up in the foothills of Mount Teide in Tenerife and this largely unconventional childhood gave me a taste for adventure, nature and the outdoors. It’s here that my love for being outside developed and I have so many fond memories exploring the area with my friends and siblings.
What’s your worst?
Probably when I went snowboarding in Chamonix a few years ago and very almost lost my board down the side of a black slope in the midst of a whiteout and ferocious winds. I was lucky to be with a very experienced climber friend who retrieved the board – and I’ve never taken it off on the slopes again!
What do you like about Great Britain?
People generally underestimate the challenging terrain and unpredictable conditions this country throws at you. It’s by no means a soft option – it’s got landscapes to compete with almost anywhere in the world, incredible wildlife and it’s so beautiful. Britain really is Great.
Where is your favourite place in Great Britain to be outside?
It’s without a doubt the Isles of Scilly. It’s got everything you could want in terms of landscapes and terrain mixed with a quintessentially British charm and its own unique, subtropical microclimate that allows rare species to thrive. I spend a lot of time on the island and it’s a place I see myself going back to time and time again.
In one line, how would you describe the feeling being outside gives you?
Unrestrained by modern life.
When you’re outside – how do you change as a person?
I adapt to earth’s natural rhythm and slow my pace down. I’m more aware and alert, taking and appreciating the beauty and detail of what’s around me. It’s not just a physical experience but also a mental one.
Why should people #GetOutside more often?
Firstly to break away from the pub culture that is ingrained in our society, which helps with the obvious health reasons, but it’s also a great way to learn more about yourself and the world around you. Plus, if you’re with good friends it’s a great way of socialising in an interesting and, sometimes, challenging setting.
What would you say to someone who never goes outside to get them outside?
Come outside on a little adventure with me… if you don’t like it you don’t have to do it again!
Why as a nation are we not getting outside as much as we could?
I think it’s down to a perceived lack of time, money and accessibility.
What are the most important things a person should do or take when they #GetOutside?
Plan your routes and take a map. That simple.
What tips or pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to get more out of being #Outside?
Spend time with like-minded people who inspire and push you.
Before you became a #GetOutside Champion, describe your relationship with Ordnance Survey?
My OS relationship was using the printed maps for planning trips and being out on the hills but since becoming involved with the champions it’s made me more aware of other services such as the apps.
What are your backpack essentials?
The things I never leave without are; my Merrell hiking boots, map, camera, jerky and trail snacks, spare socks (I hate having cold feet!), sun block. Depending on what I’m doing I’d leave a few other essentials back at base.
What’s your favourite food when you are outside?
I love jerky so you’ll always find a packet in my bag!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you for this opportunity
Find out more at www.lizzieoutside.co.uk.