Angela Mudge

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Angela Mudge
Mudge carnethy colours.jpg
Angela Mudge, photographed after winning the 2008 Ben Nevis Race, part of the Skyrunner World Series.
Born (1970-07-08) 8 July 1970 (age 44)
Tavistock, Devon, United Kingdom
Known for Skyrunning, Fell running
Website
angelamudge.co.uk

Angela Mudge (born Tavistock, Devon, 8 July 1970) is a champion hill runner and skyrunner. Despite being born with birth defects in both legs, and finding track athletics not to her liking, she discovered her sport while a postgraduate student in Scotland in the mid-1990s, and developed rapidly.

She has won the Scottish Hill Running Championships three times (1997, 1998, 2006),[1] the British Fell Running Championship five times (1997–2000, 2008),[2] and holds the women's record on more than thirteen courses in Scotland alone.[3] On the international stage she won the Women's World Mountain Running Trophy in 2000,[4] the World Masters Mountain Running Championship in 2005,[5] and the Buff Skyrunner World Series in 2006 and 2007.[6][7] She was named on a list of "100 things we still love about sport" by The Observer newspaper in June 2008.[8]

Early years[edit]

Mudge's start in life did not augur well for a future in endurance running, after she was born with pedal defects; both of Angela's feet and one of her twin sister Janice's were pointing backwards. She has commented that "[w]e got a bit squashed in the womb", and for the first few years of their lives both girls were required to have their legs in braces and plaster in order to rectify this.[9]

When she was a teenager she raced on the track, but gave it up out of dissatisfaction with "running in circles".[10] Even cross-country courses were insufficiently challenging, and it was only following her graduation from the University of Leicester with a B.Sc. in chemistry, when she moved north to the University of Stirling to obtain her Master's degree, that she discovered hill running and began to fulfil her potential.[11] When she subsequently moved to the University of Edinburgh to study for her PhD, she joined the Carnethy Hill Running Club, where she remains an active member and competitor. She obtained her doctorate in 2000.[3]

Although born and raised in Devon, Mudge has only ever represented Scotland at international level, commenting that "[i]t would've been tough to have gone back down south and tried to gain selection there. Once I started running for Scotland there seemed no point in changing because they gave me my opportunity."[12]

National and international career[edit]

Mudge came late to hill running by comparison with more mainstream athletics competitors, not recording results until her mid-twenties, but developed quickly thereafter. Placed only 49th in the British Fell Running Championship in 1995, she won the event four times in succession from 1997–2000.[2] In between times, she scored a fourth place finish in the 1997 European Mountain Running Trophy, and also won the Scottish Hill Running Championships in 1997 and 1998,[1] and the Scottish Cross Country Championship in 1999.[13] She showed equally rapid development on the international stage, placing 46th in the 11th World Mountain Running Trophy when it was held in Scotland in 1995, five years prior to winning the event outright in 2000.[14]

She continued her international success in 1999, the year she broke the course record for the prestigious 4,100 metres (13,500 ft) Mount Kinabalu Climbathon in Sabah, Malaysia, as she won the race and the US$2,500 prize.[15] Mudge also triumphed in similar record-breaking style in the 2001 Cinq 4,000s in Sierre-Zinal, Switzerland, becoming the first woman to achieve a sub-three hour time on the 31 kilometres (19 mi) course.[16]

Angela Mudge, competing at the 2007 "Whangie Whizz" race in Scotland, when she set a course record for women. She is wearing her usual colours, a red shirt with yellow horizontal band, representing Carnethy Running Club.

In the European Mountain Running Trophy, her best results have been as runner up in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Carinthia, Austria in 1999,[17] which she repeated in 2001 in Slovenia, finishing behind Russian Svetlana Demidenko,[18] and again in 2003 in Trento, Italy, when Belgium's Catherine Lallemand won.[19] She won the women's World Mountain Running Trophy in Bergen, Germany against expectations in 2000;[4] as with all even-numbered years, the Trophy race followed the international style, which typically only involves an ascent. Mudge is more experienced in British fell-running, which includes running up and down hills, but found success despite being unable to exploit her greater descending experience.[citation needed] Mudge herself described the WMRT win as "the pinnacle of my career" in a June 2008 interview.[20]

Following her World Mountain Running Trophy win, she was one of only five Britons nominated at the 2001 Laureus World Sports Awards, alongside footballer David Beckham, rower Steve Redgrave, triple jumper Jonathan Edwards and boxer Lennox Lewis.[11] However, she was unable to attend the ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London because she had already booked a long-planned holiday to the Antipodes and, she claimed, "...didn't possess a little black dress, and would only have wandered around collecting autographs."[10]

She finished second behind New Zealand's Melissa Moon in the 2003 World Mountain Running Trophy, held in Girdwood, Alaska. Compatriots Tracey Brindley finished third and Lyn Wilson eighteenth, and these combined results meant Scotland won the Women's Team championship.[21] She also won the 2003 Pikes Peak Marathon, which she only entered as a warm up for the Alaska race.[22] Her victory in 4h 19m 38s not only set a course record for the 4,300 metres (14,100 ft) peak, it marked the only defeat in six years for Los Alamos, New Mexico runner Erica Larson, the most successful woman in the event's history.[23]

2005 injuries[edit]

Mudge missed much of the 2005 season, first recuperating from an operation to rehabilitate a damaged knee which left her on crutches, and then succumbing to a bout of plantar fasciitis between May and July. Of her surgery, Mudge said: "I'd worn away all my knee cartilage – more to do with my running style than the sport itself. I was running on the bare bone of my femur, so the surgeon drilled a lot of holes, which stimulates scar tissue, and eventually, I could run again. My knee was more painful afterwards than before. I was prepared for that, but was allowed to run for only ten minutes even months after the operation. I deliberately did not ask about the success or failure rate in order to keep a positive frame of mind. It was only six months later that a physiotherapist told me there were lots of people for whom the operation did not work."[10]

On her return from injury, she won three races in Switzerland and placed second in their National Championship. Her prizes included a large raclette cheese and a CHF50 voucher for a local florist. She had to decline the latter, as she had no place for a vase of flowers—she lives in a tent when touring the circuit, cooking over a gas stove and travelling to events by bicycle.[10]

Although she missed most of the summer, she recovered sufficiently to win the fifth World Masters Mountain Running Championship in England's Lake District in September.[5]

Skyrunning[edit]

Angela Mudge participating in post-race interviews following her victory in the 2008 Ben Nevis Race.

For 2006 Mudge became a member of the Team SaabSalomon Adventure Running Team, and competed in the Buff Skyrunner World Series, a grand prix of eight high altitude endurance races around the globe.[24] She did not participate in the opening race in Hidalgo, Mexico, but was victorious in four successive subsequent rounds in Zegama, Spain,[25] Valposchiavo, Switzerland,[26] Nagano, Japan,[27] and Canazei, the Dolomites, Italy,[28] breaking the course record on each occasion. She missed two subsequent events following the loss of her twin sister to cancer,[9][29] but her third place in the 20th Mount Kinabalu Climbathon in Malaysia in the final event of the season ensured she won the Series overall,[6][30] along with the 3000 prize. She also regained her Scottish Hill Running Championship title in 2006, winning all four of the events she entered.[1]

Team SaabSalomon retained Mudge's services for the 2007 Skyrunner Series, and she subsequently won the first three races in which she competed, in Berga, Berguedà, in the Catalan region of Spain,[31] Vallnord in Andorra,[32] and the Dolomites in Italy.[33] A second place finish in te Zegama-Aizkorri Alpine Marathon was enough to see her retain her title in 2007.[7]

After her skyrunning success, Mudge travelled to Nepal in November 2007 to participate in the twelfth Everest Marathon, the world's highest marathon which starts only two hours from Everest Base Camp, at an altitude of 5,200 metres (17,100 ft).[34] She finished eighth overall, the first woman and the second westerner out of 80 participants, setting a course record of 5h 3m, thirteen minutes ahead of the previous mark.[35][36]

She was an occasional competitor in the 2008 series, winning in Valposchiavo, Switzerland,[37] and her home event in Fort William, Scotland.[38] She also finished second in the other two races she entered, the WMRA Grand Prix in Saillon-Ovronaz, Switzerland,[39] and the Sky Marathon de la Grigne in Italy.[40] However, a record-breaking performance by rival Corinne Favre in the latter denied Mudge a third successive championship.[40]

In domestic competition, she became the British Fell Running Champion for the fifth time in 2008,[2][41] after winning all four races in which she competed.[42]

Selected results[edit]

Year Event Location Result
1997 European Mountain Running Trophy Ebensee, Austria 4th
British Fell Running Championship 1st
Scottish Hill Running Championship 1st
1998 British Fell Running Championship (2) 1st
Scottish Hill Running Championship (2) 1st
1999 European Mountain Running Trophy Bad Kleinkirchheim, Carinthia, Austria 2nd
British Fell Running Championship (3) 1st
Inter-Counties Cross Country Championship Wollaton Park, Nottingham, United Kingdom 1st
World Mountain Running Trophy Individual championship Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia 7th
Team championship 3rd
Mount Kinabalu Climbathon Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia 1st
2000 European Mountain Running Trophy Miedzygorze, Poland 5th
World Mountain Running Trophy Bergen, Germany 1st
British Fell Running Championship (4) 1st
2001 Cinq 4,000s Sierre-Zinal, Switzerland 1st
European Mountain Running Trophy Cerklje, Slovenia 2nd
World Mountain Running Trophy Arta Terme, Italy 5th
2002 European Mountain Running Trophy Individual championship Câmara de LobosMadeira, Portugal 5th
Team championship 3rd
World Mountain Running Trophy Innsbruck, Austria 2nd
2003 European Mountain Running Trophy Trento, Italy 2nd
Pikes Peak marathon Pikes Peak, Colorado 1st
World Mountain Running Trophy Individual championship Girdwood, Alaska 2nd
Women's team championship 1st
Team championship 3rd
2004 Mount Kinabalu Climbathon (2) Sabah, Malaysia 1st
Scottish Cross Country Championship 3rd
2005 World Mountain Running Trophy Individual championship Wellington, New Zealand 20th
Over-35 championship 1st
World Masters Mountain Running Championship Keswick, Cumbria, United Kingdom 1st
2006 Buff Skyrunner Series Zegama-Aizkorri Mendi Maratoia Zegama, Spain 1st
5^ SkyRace Internaz. Valmalenco/Valposchiavo Valposchiavo, Switzerland 1st
OSB Mount Ontake SkyRace Nagano, Japan 1st
Dolomites SkyRace Canazei, Italy 1st
20th Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon Sabah, Malaysia 3rd
2006 Female World Championship 1st
Scottish Hill Running Championship (3) 1st
2007 Buff Skyrunner Series IV Marató de Muntaya de Berga Berga, Berguedà, Spain 1st
III Sky Race Vallnord Vallnord, Andorra 1st
Dolomites SkyRace Canazei, Italy 1st
Maratòn Alpina Zegama-Aizkorri Zegama, Spain 2nd
2007 Female World Championship (2) 1st
Everest Marathon Gorak Shep–Namche, Nepal 1st
2008 Buff Skyrunner Series 7^ SkyRace Internaz. Valmalenco/Valposchiavo Valposchiavo, Switzerland 1st
WMRA Grand Prix Saillon-Ovronaz, Switzerland 2nd
Ben Nevis Race Fort William, Scotland 1st
Sky Marathon de la Grigne Sentiero delle Grigne, Pasturo, Italy 2nd
2008 Female World Championship 2nd
British Fell Running Championship (5) 1st

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c SHR championships page, SHR.UK.com
  2. ^ a b c List of British Champions, British Fellrunning Association website
  3. ^ a b Profile at scottishhillracing.co.uk
  4. ^ a b "16th World Mountain Running Trophy 2000", WMRA website
  5. ^ a b "Munich Olympian finds Masters touch", Mike Addison, Westmoreland Gazette, 16 September 2005
  6. ^ a b "Mejía and Mudge, new 2006 World Champions", Buff Skyrunner World Series website news, 1 October 2006
  7. ^ a b "Kilian Jornet and Angela Mundge, champions of the Buff Skyrunner 2007", Buff Skyrunner World Series website news, 24 September 2007
  8. ^ "100 things we still love about sport", The Observer, 1 June 2008
  9. ^ a b "Left to climb her own very lonely mountain", Fiona Russell, The Sunday Times, 1 October 2006
  10. ^ a b c d "A mountain to climb? Mudge now at her peak", Doug Gillon, The Herald, 23 September 2005
  11. ^ a b "Mudge makes Albert Hall date", BBC Sport, 15 January 2001
  12. ^ "Champion Mudge remains down to earth", Simon Buckland, The Sunday Times, 7 January 2001
  13. ^ Profile at scottishathletics.org.uk
  14. ^ Statistics for Angela Mudge, World Mountain Running Association website
  15. ^ 1999 Mount Kinabalu climbathon report, Douglas Barry
  16. ^ Sierre-Zinal 2001 results (French)
  17. ^ British Medallists/Placings in World and European Mountain Running Trophies, gbrathletics.com website
  18. ^ 2001 European Mountain Running Trophy results, WMRA website
  19. ^ 2003 European Mountain Running Trophy results, WMRA website
  20. ^ "Run for the hills", Iain Clark, In the Winning Zone, June 2008
  21. ^ World Mountain Running Trophy 2003 results, WMRT website
  22. ^ "On the Trail With... Angela Mudge", Running Times article written by Mudge, published December 2003
  23. ^ "Race gets ugly after women reach summit", Odeen Domingo, Colorado Springs Gazette, 18 August 2003
  24. ^ Team SaabSalomon website
  25. ^ "Mexico’s Mejia does it again", Buff Skyrunner World Series website news, 30 May 2006
  26. ^ "Schiessl and Mudge, winners in Valposchiavo", Buff Skyrunner World Series website news, 11 June 2006
  27. ^ "Japan - winners Dapit and Mudge", Buff Skyrunner World Series website news, 26 June 2006
  28. ^ "Dolomites SkyRace. Victory and record for Agustí Roc and Angela Mudge", Buff Skyrunner World Series website news, 24 July 2006
  29. ^ "The Sky's the Limit", interview with Angela Mudge, Fiona Russell, Daily Record, 15 January 2007
  30. ^ "Anna Pichtrova Clinches Fifth Crown At Mt Kinabalu Climbathon", Malaysian National News Agency, 30 September 2006
  31. ^ "Raúl García and Angela Mudge, winners in Berga", Buff Skyrunner World Series website news, 20 May 2007
  32. ^ "Kilian Jornet and Angela Mudge won in Andorra", Buff Skyrunner World Series website news, 22 July 2007
  33. ^ "Mitja Kosovelj and Angela Mudge win the Dolomites SkyRace", Buff Skyrunner World Series website news, 30 July 2007
  34. ^ "Peak performance", Bryn Palmer, BBC Sport, 8 December 2007
  35. ^ "Mudge: toughest race ever", Kevin Ferrie, The Herald, 11 December 2007
  36. ^ "Scottish woman on top of world", Melanie Reid, The Times, 14 January 2008
  37. ^ "Jornet and Mudge, win at Valmalenco-Valposchiavo", Buff Skyrunner World Series website news, 6 June 2008
  38. ^ "Agusti Roc and Angela Mudge winners of the Ben Nevis Race in Fort William", Buff Skyrunner World Series website news, 6 September 2008
  39. ^ "The world-wide èlit of the Skyrunning met in Sierre Zinal", Buff Skyrunner World Series website news, 13 August 2008
  40. ^ a b "Kilian Jornet and Corinne Favre winners of World Series 2008", Buff Skyrunner World Series website news, 23 September 2008
  41. ^ "Sam Murphy Joins Angela Mudge On A Fell-Running Adventure", Sam Murphy, Financial Times, December 2008
  42. ^ "2008 Championships", Fellrunner.org.uk

External links[edit]