A MODEL who turned to ultrarunning to help cope with the grief of losing his mum to cancer has launched an online running community to help him become a World Champion.
London-based Will Goodge last month qualified for the Ultra X World Championships which are set to take place in Slovenia in June. His fellow Pure Sport run coach Ben Parker also qualified.
Over five days, competitors will push themselves to the limit on a gruelling 250km mountain course nestled between the towering Julian Alps and the Adriatic Coast.
Determined Will, 26, overcame the impact of lockdown restrictions to achieve the qualifying time virtually by pounding the streets of London, completing the 50km run in just 3 hours 59 minutes and 22 seconds.
Facing a long, arduous and lonely training regimen – designed with help from professional runner Lloyd Kempson – Will set up an online running community to help keep him motivated.
Just weeks after launch, more than 700 people from the UK to the US and as far as New Zealand have already signed up to Will’s virtual Pure Sport CBD run club on Strava, with the fitness expert also providing hints, tips and feedback to members on how to get the most from their training.
Through the club, members take on a range of challenges, contributing kilometres to team goals and sharing their experiences whether on the road, track or trail.
Will, a brand ambassador and Head of Running at Pure Sport CBD, said: “Training effectively and remaining dedicated for this event in lockdown will be extremely tough. Fine margins will make a big difference and having a group of like-minded runners of all abilities to feed off will help provide the edge.
“Seeing membership numbers grow so quickly, and having so many people engage in the challenge, is amazing. It’s very easy to feel isolated during this time, so seeing how quickly we can grow an online community has really spurred me on.
“Wherever anyone is in the world, they don’t have to be alone. We’ve had runners connect from all over the UK, Europe and North America. It’s great to see how far our community is spreading.”
Will is following a training plan developed by some of the world’s top running coaches: short-distance specialist Lloyd Kempson, Olympian and 50km World Champion Ally Dixon, Olympian Ross Murray and Tom Evans – who is widely considered as Britain’s greatest ever ultrarunner.
Each week the athlete invites his 90,000 Instagram followers, Pure Sport CBD’s community and runners of all ages and abilities to join him on Strava.
Weekly sessions involve a varied mix of distance and elevation sessions, with slightly more emphasis on speed work right now.
Will has turned to Pure Sport CBD’s rigorously tested products to help recover from the pain and inflammation caused by his gruelling training and competition schedule.
He continued: “CBD is now a part of my life. It helps me to recover from heavy training blocks and ensures I’m rested for multi-stage events. It calms me and levels me out whenever I feel stressed or anxious.”
Will lost his mother Amanda, 53, to cancer just over three years ago and turned to extreme long-distance running to process his grief.
It also inspired the model and Instagram star to raise more than £20,000 for charity through a 315-mile 12 Marathons of Christmas challenge in December last year.
Will, who lives in London but is originally from Ampthill, Bedfordshire, previously ran the 875 miles from John O’Groats to Lands’ End in just 16 days in 2019. In April, Will hopes to record a sub-three-hour time in the Zurich Marathon.
Pure Sport CBD was launched by Scotland rugby internationals Grayson Hart and Adam Ashe as a way to provide a fully batch-tested, WADA-approved natural alternative to painkillers for professional athletes.
However, it has quickly grown a community of people who use the products to help with a range of issues, including pain, anxiety, insomnia and arthritis. The brand has experienced a rapid rise in sales as a result of “Covid anxiety” and lack of sleep due to broken routine caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Pure Sport’s Run Club was launched to give Pure Sport’s community the chance to connect with others during lockdown and get the motivation needed to stay active by sharing workouts and competing in challenges.
Pure Sport CBD co-founder Grayson Hart added: “We are driven by our community, and we want to help people feel connected, better themselves and shift their mindset and lifestyle. Will’s our Head of Running because he embodies that.
“It would be easy for people like Will to wait till next year, until lockdown’s over, to follow his dreams. But he’s out there making the very best of the situation and so is everyone who uses our products and has joined the run club. Running is an amazing way to get not just body fit, but mind fit. Our mission is to support both aspects of life.”
To get involved, join the Pure Sport Run Club on Strava and follow @puresportcbd on Instagram. You can even compete in challenges to win running gear at puresportcbd.com.