Photo by Roy Schott
Spring Energy is proud to announce the addition of Ruth Croft to the team! Ruth has had an impeccable year with multiple podium finishes, including the unforgettable win at the Western States 100-miler. Ruth resides in New Zealand, but travels all over the world to race in the most competitive ultras. She has big goals in 2023 of toeing the line at both UTMB and MIUT (Madeira Island Ultra Trail).
Ruth grew up in New Zealand with a more traditional track and field, cross country and mountain running background. She never trained on the roads and her Sunday long runs were always on the trails. She later got into ultra running while living in Taipei, Taiwan, with the Taiwan North Face 50k being her first ultra.
If you check out Ruth’s racing resume on ultrasignup, it displays mostly top 5 finishes, which makes one ponder, has she ever had a bad race? When asked, Ruth gave the perfect response:
“I suppose the more important question is what do you consider a bad race? For me a bad race is not about getting on the podium or not, more about having a race where mind and body are not cooperating and the enjoyment isn’t there. And for longevity and joy in a sport I believe it is important to not be outcome dependent.”
Photo by Roy Schott
In June of this year, Ruth had a phenomenal performance at Western States, crossing the finish line with a time of 17:21:30. Her training consisted of a road block during the summer in New Zealand, followed by a month of training in Flagstaff, then finished the prep in Tahoe. Unfortunately during training Ruth experienced a couple of injuries along with COVID that lowered her confidence in the last five weeks before the big dance, which increased the importance of mental training. “It was really about reminding myself why I do this, not being outcome dependent, but still racing hard and having fun with my crew – which we definitely did!”
When it comes to a nutrition strategy, Ruth doesn’t follow any specific, strict diet. Her strategy for racing ultras is to aim to consume 75 grams of carbs per hour. Training-wise, Ruth believes and suggests to always fuel during long runs and harder sessions to assist and speed up recovery. And in the 30-minute window after big sessions she always takes in 30 grams of protein combined with 1-2 grams of leucine, and follows this up with a proper meal within 90 minutes.
Photo by Dom Channon
Trail running along with consistent strength and conditioning are Ruth’s primary focus, with a little mountain and road biking thrown in here and there. When Ruth isn’t training or racing, she enjoys packrafting and fastpacking. Another fun fact about Ruth is that she is currently studying to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Naturopathy and herbal medicine. “I’m really interested in holistic health and understanding the emotional state and how it often presents itself in the physical.”
Along with Ruth’s 2023 goals of racing UTMB and MIUT, she also is hoping to hike the South Island section of the Te Araroa trail, which runs from the tip to the bottom of New Zealand. Some of the beauty on this route includes the Mavora Lakes, Takitimu Forest and the spectacular coast. We know Ruth is just as stoked as we are about her upcoming challenges and goals and we can’t wait to follow along on this exciting journey and support her nutrition needs along the way. Welcome to the Team!
Rapid Fire Questions:
Current go-to shoe: Adidas TERREX Speed Ultra
Favorite distance to run: 50 miles
Favorite place to run/explore: Nepal
Favorite non-running thing to do: Love a sauna and ice plunge - hotcoldhotcoldhotcold combo
Favorite Spring Gels: Speed Nut and Wolf Pack