Joasia Zakrzewski: Poland was a real surprise win for me

What's your sports plans for 2020?

I have a 45km trail race in the Blue Mountains of Australia in March and then I am thinking about running a longer race in the UK in April - after that I have no set plans for 2020. I confess that I had forgotten about Wings for Life World Run this year but I do thinik that it is a great fun event to be part of.

In 2014 you was first in Silverstone, 2015 runner up in Cape Town, 2016 runner up in Cambridge, 2017 local winner in Poznań, and 2018 You was in Kakheti. Your best memories?

I really enjoyed taking part in the first event in Silverstone, running alongside a friend for a lot of the time, and even pulling her along by the hand on occasion near the end. It was lovely to go out and see the winery area near Cape Town but unfortunately I did not have the best experience after the catcher car passed me, having to walk a long way along a busy road with traffic. Poland was a real surprise win for me - I had entered my parents into the event as a present for them as they had just been down to Krakow to watch me run the marathon there (the weekend before)...and I was going to run alongside one of them, but at the last minute they suggested I go and run my own speed....and so I did. There was some amazing scenery and carvings/windmills to look at on the course and I absolutely loved it! I went to Kakheti but I did not really run the event there - I alternated jogging and walking as I had actually been knocked down at the Krakow marathon in 2017 and developed a fracture in the front of my shin (the tibia), which had not healed despite me actually stopping running entirely. I did, however, love visiting Georgia :-)

In 2019 you haven't show up at the start line, why?

I did not do the event in 2019 as I was taking part in a multiday event running across the Namibian Desert, carrying all my food/sleeping bag etc for 6 days (which I actually somehow won, despite only having just restarted running regularly again).

What's your biggest motivation that allows you to go out running for so long time already?

I run purely because I love running - long distances just let me see more of places! I find running a great stress-relief from the rigours of work, and so I really missed it for the many months when I could not do it. I also love to travel and see new places, and running has enabled me to both do this, and meet many interesting people.

You are cosidered as a ultra and trail runner, but you are also parkrunner (this is free 5km run happening every sutarday in many localisations). What's the role of 5 km run in your ultramarathoner training?

I run parkruns as a challenge to myself - it's good to get out of your comfort zone for a short fast run....if I decided to run 5K fast by myself, I would probably stop after just 1K. It is also a very friendly sociable event, so I take part for this reason too (as I do most of my running alone due to where I live and the hours I work). This is also partly why I volunteer, but it is also to be able to give something back to the sport I love :-)

Have you considered being volounteer in Wings for Life World Run or organising Organised Wings for Life World Run App Run with friends?

I did not know that you could volunteer at Wings for Life World Run.

Oh, yes you can. You can join volounteers or create Organized App Run (more info here). Your results in Wings for Life World Run are astonishing. Are there many people that are asking you to help them prepeare to this run? What are you telling them?

Every year that I have taken part, I have introduced more people to Wings for Life World Run and all of them have enjoyed it - I think it is a great event as it is suitable for all standards and ages - you run/walk as fast/far as you want to and set your own target! Whilst not running, I did some coaching qualifications, but I have helped people with training for races over various distances from short track sessions, road runs right through to Ultramarathons, but not to the Wings for Life World Run.