Sandra Schoenenberger

Q1. Which event are you training for?
Fire and Ice Ultra (250km multistage race in Iceland) with London to Brighton 100km and Race to the King Ultramarathon entered as training events.

Q2. How are the preparations and training going?
Training was going really well until a stress fracture in my hip (femoral neck) a week ago brought everything to a screeching halt. I’m currently on strict rest and crutches but… all events have been deferred to next year and I will be back in 2017 !!!!

Q3. What is motivating you to;
A) train
Training provides a structure to my day and I enjoy seeing how I improve week by week. And the dog doesn’t seem to mind either…
B) do the event
The race is simply the icing on the cake….oh, and of course the bling!!!

Q4. How did it come about that you’re doing this event?
After having completed several 100km events I was looking for the next big thing and stumbled across Fire and Ice by accident. After researching it a little more and sweet- talking (they call it bullying but hey-ho) my two friends into it, I just had to sign up.

Q5. Tell us more about your training.
In the past I followed training plans but then I became a bit complacent and my training was all over the place. This ‘strategy’ nearly backfired at L2B 2014 when I was ready to quit the race at the 80km mark. Thanks to the phenomenal support I had that night I didn’t but… this year I knew there was no way I could wing a 6 day multi stage event so I put together a sensible plan, including biking and Bikram yoga, and followed it religiously.

Q6. What is going to be the toughest part of doing this event for you?
NOT doing it 🙁

Q7. Confident for the big day(s)?
If I hadn’t gotten injured, I know I would have felt pretty confident in my mental strength to see me through the event. However, Fire and Ice is a huge unknown taking place in a very remote area of Iceland and it has everything to test you to the limit, physically and mentally. I have a huge respect for this race and there will be an element of trepidation and self-doubt.

Q8. How have family and friends reacted to your doing this event?
Hahaaa, I mostly get an eye roll and ‘here we go again’. My family is very supportive and lets me get on with it. Having friends that share what I love to do is invaluable. Following their progress and passion inspires and motivates me every day and makes me want to push myself even further. mw

Q9. How much do you hope to raise?
£1000 will be my initial target when I’m back in action but hopefully I’ll be able to raise much more.

Q10. How would like the donations from your efforts to make a difference?
I trust the O2e committee to make the right decisions. I support all the chosen causes 100%.

Q11. Do you have any fundraising ideas?
I usually just beg for donations but I know I’ll have to come up with some ideas. Watch this space.

Q12. What is it about O2e that resonates with you?
That O2e is a small charity run exclusively by volunteers who give up a considerable chunk of their own time. The whole ethos of pushing the comfort zone and getting out of it and raising funds in doing so resonates hugely with me.

Q13. What type of event would really get you out of your comfort zone?
Right now, getting off my sofa and WALK !!!
Joking aside, probably an MTB event as I’m pretty new at it and still have a lot to learn and a Triathlon as I kept telling people ‘I don’t DO swimming, biking and running’ until not all that long ago !!! (ha ha ha)

Q14. Do you have any suggestions of how we could evolve O2e and what would you like to see more of?
You will regret having asked this question to someone cooped up on the sofa with far too much time to think 😉
I’d love to see more online presence such as the weekly emails shared on social media. It’s so inspiring to see people doing their thing. I love the weekly emails and reading what everybody is up to but it seems to gets lost in my email box. Being able to ‘share’ content is such a great tool to bring O2e to new people and hopefully new supporters.
I would love to be able to purchase merchandise such as buffs, caps, arms warmers…. you name it, I’ll wear it, as I love flying my charity’s flag whenever I can.
And finally, how cool would it be to branch out Kev’s bike ride and organize an off road 5k/10k/marathon and/or ultra for all the walkers/runner out there?
I know this is a lot to suggest but since you asked ;)…

Q15. Finally, what advice do you have for any would-be O2eer?
Just go for it! The best charity and team you could ever support. Get out there, find your comfort zone and obliterate it. But mostly, believe in yourself and your abilities. You’ll be surprised how far you can go.