An Interview with Lowri Morgan

Lowri Morgan is a BAFTA and multi award winning television presenter, a World Class Ultra endurance marathon runner, having races in some of the most extreme races in the World and an Adventurer.

Lowri is one of only six to ever complete one of the notoriously difficult 350 mile non-stop footrace – 6633 Ultra in the Arctic and the challenging Jungle Ultra Marathon in the Amazon Forest.

She also forms part of the Visit Wales Year of Adventure dream team alongside Bear Grylls,  Maria Leijerstam, Richard Parks and Tori James. Who all believe that this year Wales will firmly position itself as the UK’s top adventure destination.

I recently had the privilege of working closely with Lowri Morgan on the 2nd series of ‘Ar Y Dibyn’ – an adventure series for S4C (Channel 4 Wales). Whilst we had a few minutes to spare I caught up with her and had a chat about how different her life and training schedules have been since having Gwilym, her first child back in 2015. I also got to hear a little more about the exciting challenges she has coming up this year…

lowri morgan
How did you feel before your first race after having Gwilym?
I was very nervous before my first race after having Gwilym. I hadn’t raced in 2 years and I had no idea where I was fitness wise – physically, mentally and emotionally actually. When I started the race, I told myself before I started that I was going to take it slow but the minute the gun went off and the race started I just felt at home. I just pushed my boundaries and I kept thinking if I get hurt or feel tired the only thing I have to do it stop, but I felt really strong.

Since having Gwilym I think I’m even more passionate about what I do because I want him to see ‘mam’ doing things like this. I know I’m not the fastest person or the only person who’s done races like these but at least I’m giving them a go. I know I’ve had a lot of success in these races and adventures but the thing that makes me feel proud is that I never gave up. Having Gwilym has made me realise that I want him to learn that it doesn’t matter if you’re a tortoise plodding along, because plodders can get there in the end, like me – because I’m not a sprinter at all!

Through taking part in adventures its opened my eyes to a completely new world. I was brought having adventures with the family, spending time in caravans and mam and dad always telling us to take chances and give things a go. Sometimes you’re good at things and sometimes you’re not, but it’s important to give things a go. I’ve always remembered that and used it as my motto in life. So, that’s what I want Gwilym to do, give things a go and take risks. There have been so many times where I wanted to give up during races, especially when I was in the Amazon. But every time I felt like that I had this little voice at the back of my mind saying “just give it one more day” and I did.

Lowri was the sole person to cross the finish line of the 2010 6633 Arctic Ultra - The Toughest, Coldest Ultra on Earth
Lowri was the sole person to cross the finish line of the 2010 6633 Arctic Ultra – The Toughest, Coldest Ultra on Earth.

Photo credit: madmack66 via Interior Design / CC BY

How different are your training sessions now you have Gwilym?

Training is completely different now that I have a baby, well not a baby anymore, he’s a young boy by now. Before having Gwilym I used to run 80 odd miles on the mountains, I had plenty of time, but now I don’t have those hours. By now I usually do 3 hard hours during the morning and another 3 hard hours in the evening after I’ve put Gwilym to bed. Sometimes I’ve ran a marathon before 7:30am and made sure that I’m back by the time Gwilym wakes up!

Some days are hard and sometimes I think to myself why am I doing this but then I remember my goal, and the reasons why I love doing what I do – I love being in the outdoors. I’ve had so many amazing opportunities, visited so many countries and met so many people. You meet so many people in the outdoors industry who just motivate you and make you believe in yourself. A lot of these races are very humbling, they strip the soul bare and they rebuild it.

I believe that being an adventurer has made me a better person and being a mother and an adventurer has made me a different person. I’m really enjoying being a mother and taking him out with me, sometimes I’ll go out training in the afternoon with Gwilym in his Baby Jogger and the dog and I really enjoy that, it’s like our own mini adventure.

lowri morgan jungle marathon

Photo used with permission – http://www.lowrimorgan.com/

What challenges do you have coming up this year?

This year I’m back on it! I’m being sponsored by Scott Sports and I have a few challenges planned…

I’m doing the Three Peaks Yacht race in an all female crew. So there’s 3 females – Elin Haf who’s also Welsh, three girls from England and myself. Elin, Nicky and Pip are very strong sailors, they’ve been around the world on the Mini Transat’s. Then Jo, who now lives in Australia has rowed across the pacific ocean, so we have a very strong team regardless of the gender.

I’m also hoping to run with Stephen Edwards around the Isle of Anglesey in August – this will be done in 24 hours.

I’ll also be running a 75 mile ultra marathon race around the Llyn Peninsula this year too.

And then another challenge I’ll be doing this year is the three peaks, three ultra marathons in three days and this will be filmed for S4C. That’s going to be really tough! I’m hoping people can join me on the way because that’s one of the reasons why I’m doing it. I believe that running isn’t just an elite thing these days, it’s something that everyone can do and enjoy.  I’ve had so much support recently from the running community and it’s so nice to have some company on races because I spend some much time on my own in the mountains.

If I get the funding I’m also hoping to do 7 Ultra’s in seven days in 7 different continents but that one’s further down the line. Then that’s it until the end of the year, it’s a lot to do. Then bring on 2017…! Maybe Gwilym can come with me and sit in the pulk next year or on a bike maybe, side by side! He hasn’t got much of a choice – poor dab!

Nia Jenkins

Nia is a keen mountaineer and loves spending any spare time in the hills. She is a member of the Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue team since 2015 and there she has gained numerous qualifications and training. She summited Mt Kilimanjaro in 2014 and reached Everest Basecamp in 2015. She will be going on an expedition to Mt Blanc in 2017 and is hoping to reach Everest summit one day!

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