Strides Forward

STRIDES FORWARD  |  Podcast , ±18 min episodes every 3 weeks, 3 days  | 
A documentary-style podcast about female marathon and ultra-marathon running; our first season focuses on experiences at Comrades Marathon. Host and narrator Cherie Louise Turner takes you into this fascinating endurance sport to discover what compels women from around the world to run far. From world record setters to mid-life fitness seekers, the stories vary as much as the women who share them. Discover what facing impossible challenges looks like, and the lessons you walk away with. You may be even be inspired to follow in their footsteps.

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Anjali Saraogi + Comrades Marathon: Facing Firsts

Indian ultra runner Anjali Saraogi shares her Comrades first-timer experience, and why this race is so special to her. Anjali came to running in her 40s, and is now one of India’s best ultra racers.

When Anjali entered a half-marathon, with no training, in 2015, she had no idea about the running talents she’d discover. Shortly thereafter, she learned about the Comrades and decided she had to run; when she registered for Comrades, she’d never even run a marathon.

Since her 2017 Comrades experience, Anjali has gone on to become one of India’s top ultra runners. Most recently, in November 2019, Anjali competed for India in the Asia and Oceania 100km Championships in Jordan, where she was the 4th place woman and, with a finishing time of 9 hours 22 minutes, set an Indian national record for women at that distance.

This episode is part of our first season, and the theme of this season is experiences in and around the Comrades Marathon, which is a 90-kilometer, or roughly 56-mile, road race that takes place each year in South Africa. It is the oldest and largest ultra-distance foot race in the world. In addition to Anjali’s story, you’ll also learn about the beloved startline traditions at Comrades in this episode.

The recommended resource for this episode is the Fast Women newsletter, which comprehensively covers highlights of women’s competitive distance running, with a heavy US focus; and in this context, distance means longer track events, all the way through to the marathon, with a dose of some of the top news in ultra racing. This newsletter is thoughtful, smart, fair, and insightful, and is itself packed with resources. Every single week. There’s also a Fast Women Facebook group where you’ll find a great community of runners.

Book mentioned in this episode: Dare to Run by Amit Sheth

Additional audio for this episode comes from SABC Sport's 2017 live race coverage, as well as online video footage of the startline cock’s crow and Shosholoza.

Devon Yanko + Comrades Marathon: Facing Her White Whale

US runner Devon Yanko discusses why Comrades means so much to her and why she has unfinished business there: even with three top-10 finishes, Devon says Comrades is her her biggest challenge, her white whale. She also shares what running brings to her life.

Devon is an elite ultramarathon and marathon runner. She excels on the trail and road, an uncommon achievement. Of her many accomplishments, Devon has qualified twice for the US Olympic trials marathon, and she has also won and set course records in trail and road ultra races up to 100 miles long.

Strides Forward: Introduction to Season 1

In this introduction, host and producer Cherie Louise Turner shares what to expect in upcoming episodes. The first season, which focuses on experiences in and around the Comrades Marathon, features a wide range of runners from around the world.

3 episodes