Running

 

My name is Anna Hughes, ambitious ultra runner, crazy adventurer, passionate coach and mindful entrepreneur.

After years of successively racing ultra marathons I decided to focus solely on coaching other ambitious off-road ultra runners and help them create distinguished results reaching out to fulfill their deepest dream and visions. I´m maintaining a balanced running routine which keeps me sane and fit.

I was born in Germany and grew up in a small rural village near the city of Dortmund. As a child I spent the days mostly outside cycling or walking to farms nearby. Whether it was raining or sunny, I would always be active in nature running around, climbing trees or playing with other kids my age.

From an early age, I was given the opportunity to participate in many other activities such as ballet which has actually helped me to maintain a good body posture up to this day. Soon I moved on to playing table tennis, tennis, basketball, volleyball and even did horse-riding in my teenage years.

It was at the age of 14 that I discovered running, now twenty odd years ago. One day my mother asked me to join her for a run on a six-mile lap in the woods. I didn’t even own running shoes back then and put on a grey pair of jogging trousers and indoor trainers. Little did I know about what would happen when I got back to the car completely out of breath.

All I can remember is that I had felt totally engaged with myself whilst running and that it came naturally and effortless to me. From that moment on, it simply made sense to me to continue running.

It was some time later that I realized that the mind has a profound influence on performance and using mental strength was exactly the part that I needed to turn my focus towards to.

After my first marathon in 1998 and a few shorter races as well as taking a look around the triathlon scene I felt the urge to one day run the Marathon des Sables. This dream came true and I went beyond anything I could have possibly imagined happening.

The experience in the Sahara desert was THE milestone in my life as a runner. Why?
Because covering a total distance 153 miles or 245 kilometres in six stages was more an issue of battling the mind to put one foot in front of the other and rise above the physical pains that naturally occured.

I had decided to give this race a really good shot and turned myself inside out. In those moments of total surrender to your deepest thoughts and feelings is the place where change and development truly happens.

Ultra running is barely a battle against oneself but a silent agreement between mind, body and soul.

After returning from the Sahara and being thrown back into civilization I was hooked on running ultra marathon running and rocketed my way up to top race finishes that year and the years after.

 

My achievements over the years include:

Marathon des Sables (Sahara Desert): 245 km – 6 stages – 39hrs:52mins. – 22nd female

Baerenfels – Ultratrail (Germany): 65.5 km / 41 mi. – 1800 Hm / 5900 ft. – 7hrs:09mins. – 2nd female

Brugg 12-hour run (Switzerland): 103.780 km / 65 mi. – 1st female / 3rd overall

Maennlichen mountain half-marathon (Switzerland): 21,1,km / 1600 Hm / 5250 ft. – 2hrs:31mins. – 4th female – 3rd age group

Swiss Jura Marathon (Switzerland): 350 km – 7 stages – 11000 Hm / 36000 ft. – 44hrs:36mins. – 2nd female

Jungfrau mountain marathon (Switzerland):  42,2 km / 1800 Hm / 5900 ft. – 4hrs:12mins. – 26th female

Belchen mountain run (Black Forest, Germany): 11.4 km / 7.1 miles – 824 Hm / 2700 ft. – 1hr:06mins – 4th female – 1st age group

Swabian Alb ultramarathon (Southern Germany): 50K – 1025 Hm / 3363 ft. – 4hrs:23.47mins. – 4th female – 2nd age group

Chiemgauer 100 (Ruhpolding, Germany): 100K – 4400 Hm / 14435 ft. – 14hrs:08 – 2nd female / 11th overall