Success story of Nicolette Griffioen
Success story of Nicolette Griffioen
A short introduction to yourself?
I am a dog lover, mountain runner, birder and wild flower enthusiast. I also enjoy mountain biking, triathlon, hiking and just being surrounded by the peace of nature. I’m a qualified veterinarian but work primarily as a running coach, nutritionist and mountain guide under the name Mountain Abandon. In my spare time I’m working on improving my photography skills.
How did you develop your fondness for your sport and at what age did you start learning?
At the age of 18 when all school sports were coming to an end and final exams were looming I realized I still needed movement in my life. I decided to start running, just 3km per day until I could go further. At the time I lived on a plot in a nature reserve, so my options to run were dirt roads and game trails. This is how I ended up being a trail runner!
What is your style and what rank do you currently hold in?
I am most passionate about mountain, trail and ultra running. I have been both long and ultra distance national champion, but these titles are less significant than the purity of the sport for me
Are you a member of any sports team? if not have you ever been?
At the moment trail running is a very free sport with team membership not yet a requirement. I will enjoy this while it lasts! 🙂
Do you have a favorite sports teacher?
The mountains are the best teacher. They always surprise you, challenge you and humble you, while still allowing you to make and learn from your own mistakes…
Describe your major highlights and achievements in sports in the past.
Skyrun 100km win 2016; Ultra Trail Cape Town 100km win 2014 and 4th in 2019; 5th in the World Mountain Running Champs in Slovenia in 2016.
Do you take sports as a profession or is it just a hobby?
For me it’s both. I train and race seriously, but it’s not easy to find sponsorship in trail running so I still work part time as well. And even if I couldn’t race I would still run for enjoyment alone.
What challenges have you faced in getting to where you are now? You can also share any injury story.
I studied Veterinary Science for 7 years and during that time it was really difficult to keep my running at a professional level. When I was able to travel and race more freely again I probably did a bit too much and ended up with ITBS. This was a struggle for most of 2020 and 2021, and only now am I feeling 100% again!
What motivates you most about your profession?
The solitude, mental challenges and pure beauty of running long distances on mountain trails is what really motivates me. But I am also very competitive and that’s what drives me to run races as well.
Do you think everybody should practise sports or do you want everyone to learn?: Absolutely. I believe movement is an integral component of a healthy lifestyle, both mentally and physically. Running is probably one of the easiest, most natural and most affordable forms of movement and I feel everybody should be able to run a comfortable 10km at any time.
What tournament or match you have won are you most proud of and why?
The Skyrun 100km in 2016 – I set a new female course record that year (still the best South African female time) and also loved the run.
Are there any short-term goals you’d like to accomplish in the next few months to a couple of years?
My partner and I are going to attempt a new mixed FKT (fastest known time) on the Drakensberg Grand Traverse in the near future. This is a 210km self-navigation, unsupported effort along the Drakensberg escarpment and Lesotho border. Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel have the current men’s record of 41 hours 49 min. Ryno and Linda Doke have the current mixed record of 63 hours 40 min.
Your Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Social Media: https://www.mountainabandon.com/coaching
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