From worry to freedom – a runner’s courageous story


This story was initially revealed on by LockerRoom on Newsroom.co.nz and is republished with permission.

Desperately alone, depressed and “overwhelmed down”, Tanya Bottomley was trapped in a damaging, abusive relationship. 

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At dwelling together with her kids, she felt remoted. Managed.

However a throw-away line from her sister – to assist raise her out of despair and get her away from bed – led Bottomley to her native library, the place she borrowed books on run a marathon.

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Operating grew to become her escape, her secure place. Someplace she lastly felt assured and free.

Even then, it wasn’t pure liberation. She wasn’t allowed to run with different folks.

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Ultra Marathon runner Tanya Bottomley pictured at the Centre of New Zealand.

Braden Fastier/Stuff

Extremely Marathon runner Tanya Bottomley pictured on the Centre of New Zealand.

She was permitted to run on the roads, so long as she was by herself, and she or he was dwelling in time to place meals on the desk.

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Now, 5 years after leaving her accomplice, Bottomley is a unique girl. Her life, she says, is “limitless”. 

After a brief stint within the police power, she’s a customs officer dwelling in Nelson. And he or she nonetheless runs, however now on trails, and with different folks. A really good distance.

“Again then I had a grim willpower with my working, however now it is only a pure love,” Bottomley tells the Dirt Church Radio podcast.  “It is one thing I do as a result of it makes me actually, actually pleased. It is seen me by way of onerous instances, to now, which is essentially the most wonderful time.”

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Tanya Bottomley, running downhill in the Krazy Kapers 100-miler, loves the freedom of running.

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Tanya Bottomley, working downhill within the Krazy Kapers 100-miler, loves the liberty of working.

At this time, Bottomley is an ultramarathon runner, who’s 100 miles shy of finishing an unbelievable feat.

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Earlier this 12 months, “to have fun my new life free from violence”, she took on the Southern Seasons Problem – to complete 4 100-mile (161km) races, run throughout the South Island, within the house of 12 months.

To this point, she’s run three of them – in Christchurch, Hanmer and Naseby – with the ultimate leg the soul-destroying Northburn Station mountain run in Cromwell.

If she finishes that race in March, she would be the first girl to knock off the problem.

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As she’s working, she’s additionally raising awareness and funds for Shine, the charity making New Zealand properties violence-free, which as soon as helped her.

And he or she additionally hopes to arrange a bunch to assist ladies who’ve skilled home violence to find path working.

Ultra Marathon runner Tanya Bottomley pictured at the Centre of New Zealand.

Braden Fastier/Stuff

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Extremely Marathon runner Tanya Bottomley pictured on the Centre of New Zealand.

“A part of why I adore it a lot is as a result of I do really feel that freedom,” Bottomley says of working. “I really feel limitless now. It is such a distinction to the place I used to be 5 years in the past.

“Operating has been a large catalyst. Do not get me incorrect, there’s heaps of non-public work that goes on too. Operating is not all the things, however it performs a component and helps construct that confidence. And it encourages you to exit and study extra and be extra.”

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So how did she discover working? It was 12 years in the past, when Bottomley was at one of many lowest ebbs in her relationship. A heavy smoker, she additionally needed to give up for her daughter, be an excellent instance to her.

“However I actually struggled with quitting smoking. I used to be depressed, I used to be in mattress. Life was all fairly onerous,” she remembers.

“I used to be speaking to my sister one morning and she or he stated: ‘Why do not you run a marathon?’ I used to be like, ‘You’re loopy!’ It was winter, and she or he was speaking concerning the Auckland marathon three months away.”

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Nonetheless, the thought struck a chord with Bottomley, who borrowed library books on run a marathon.

“I did not handle a complete marathon; I managed the half,” she remembers. “However that was the beginning of my love affair with working.

“It was one thing I might get out and do, that I used to be allowed to get out and do. It was my pleased place in what was a reasonably robust time.”

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However there have been sure issues Bottomley wasn’t capable of do as a runner. She was forbidden to run with folks.

“I truly skilled my most wonderful path run throughout that point. I went out with a working group … the primary time I had run on a path. However I wasn’t allowed to do this once more. It was years earlier than I hit a path once more,” she says.

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“Highway working I might do; I might stand up earlier than the children awoke. I might do a race, so long as I used to be again to place lunch and dinner on the desk.”

However then Bottomley’s working journey hit a stumbling block. She was at a job interview for a gymnasium teacher, when she fell on her knee and tore a ligament. She did not run for 18 months.

“It was actually onerous. I spent a lot time crying on the telephone to my sister. I might sort of misplaced my identification, the factor that stored me sane,” she admits. “I attempted physique constructing, however nothing changed working, my past love,” she says.

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But, there was an surprising silver lining in that darkish cloud. Bottomley ended up taking a company job, the place she met a lady who gave her help to lastly depart her relationship.

“Issues occur for a motive,” she says.

Five years after leaving an abusive relationship, runner Tanya Bottomley is focused on setting an ultramarathon first for women, while raising awareness of family violence.

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5 years after leaving an abusive relationship, runner Tanya Bottomley is targeted on setting an ultramarathon first for ladies, whereas elevating consciousness of household violence.

After her harm break, Bottomley bought again into working whereas she was coaching to turn into a police officer – one other factor she’d at all times needed to do. That is when she bought hooked on path working.

That love for trails deepened when she moved to Nelson two years in the past. When she could not get a job switch, she left the police, and now works as a customs officer on the area’s ports.

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She’s beloved the three 100-miler races she’s tackled prior to now six months – the newest, the Krayzie Kapers in Christchurch final month.

“I did not realise how a lot focus I might must placed on my well being,” she says. “That I might must dial in diet, and common blood checks as effectively. It takes all the things – mentally, bodily, emotionally – to get by way of it.”

She sees a hypnotherapist, who helps her physique get better by way of sleep. Whereas she’s working, she sings songs to herself, and does not take into consideration so much, or fear about something: “I am simply being within the second”.

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“As a runner, I really feel extra like an athlete now. I am a lot stronger, and I perceive my physique a bit extra. As an individual, the boldness that has come from it has been wonderful.”

She admits it is taken a few years for her to learn to be round folks once more, however that is the place the working group has helped her. “Everybody’s so welcoming, and now we have this frequent factor that you would be able to discuss and bond over,” she says.

Now she desires to share that reference to others.

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“I am trying on the thought of organising a group for ladies who’ve skilled home violence to offer coaching and training to get them into path working. By our sport you may acquire confidence, study self-discipline and acquire well being, and there is a tremendous group connecting ladies who’ve been remoted,” she says.

“I have been actually fortunate to have had folks there to raise me up and assist me out. However not everybody will get that.”

Her sister Vanessa, who first satisfied her to run, is her “rock”, who crews for her at ultramarathons, and has simply began path working.

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Bottomley admits she was initially reluctant to share the story of her life outdoors working.

“I felt I needed to edit my life; I did not wish to share that a part of me. There’s a lot disgrace and a lot stigma, I assumed I do not wish to put myself on the market for that,” she says.

“After which that was precisely the rationale I did.”

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* Filth Church Radio is a Kiwi path working podcast hosted by Eugene Bingham and Matt Rayment. Study extra at dirtchurchradio.com

This story was initially revealed on by LockerRoom on Newsroom.co.nz and is republished with permission.

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