On this episode of Between Two Beers we talk to Ruth Croft.
Ruth is New Zealand’s trail running queen. In 2021 she made headlines winning the 102km Tarawera Ultra outright – the top man or woman – and then finished second at Western States in her first attempt at running 100 miles. She returned this year, to win the race (referred to as one of the toughest races on the planet) conquering the 161km race in blistering California heat in 17 hours.
In this episode we talk about the mentality of navigating a 100 mile challenge, where the 'race really only starts after 100km', her journey through meditation to multi-day silent retreats - and why she has started doing them in the dark, why she walked away from running after college in the US, moving to Taiwan by herself when she knew no one and couldn’t speak their language, the most exotic locations she’s run in, coming back to NZ, media exposure and so much more.
This ep will blow your mind. Ruth might be the mentally strongest athlete we’ve talked to. She’s won 10 of the last 12 races she’s competed in, against the best ultra-athletes in the world. And after listening to this, you’ll understand why. Such a thoughtful, disciplined, inspiring Kiwi legend. You’re gonna love this.
Listen on iheart or wherever you get your podcasts from, and check your podcast app for show notes. A huge thanks to those supporting the show on Patreon for the cost of a cup of coffee a month, to get involved head to Between Two Beers.com.
This episode was brought to you from the Export Beer garden studio. Enjoy.
Show notes | Episode 106 | Ruth Croft
2:00: “Easing” back into running in Taiwan with a casual 20km run
5:50: Short runs: “Oh, no that’s a different curry story!”
8:47: Jumping off Brunner Bridge as an initiation
11:16: Meditation and silent retreats
16:28: Darkness retreats!
20:45: Mastering the mind
24:52: Ruth’s West Coast competitiveness
27:54: The origin story: Growing up on the West Coast
31:07: The US college experience
39:11: Walking away from running and the importance of Taiwan
43:17: The journey to professional running and the nuances of distance running
50:04: “The race starts at 100km”: The Western States 100 mile race
57:35: The support crew at a trail race
1:02:32: Coaches: Jono Wyatt and Eddie Gray
1:05:48: The support of a good partner (with a dinosaur suit)
1:08:55: Having fun in a 100 mile race
1:10:16: Thoughts on winning the Tarawera Ultra
1:12:35: Life as a professional runner
1:17:42: The lure of the Olympics?
1:19:38: Some of the exotic running locations on the circuit
1:23:10: Coming home to New Zealand and thoughts on the running community
1:28:03: Last words from Steven, Seamus and Ruth