Interview Nr. 11 · mit Sandra Jacob

When and where did you began running?

My first memory of running a race was when I was 5 years old. It was the interschool sports and I came last in the 50 yard dash – so, at the grand old age of 5 I decided I was not a runner.

However, I was always outside and played many sports, therefore also running in some way or another. I was a good sheepdog on the farm where I grew up – nothing better than running across rough fields to develop the proprioception! My main sports were golf and swimming, and I did a bit of running in fun runs and triathlons before I left Australia 30 years ago. Since then it was mainly tennis, but a tennis elbow prompted me to start running to keep fit. That was about 8 years ago.


Which were your personal highlights in running / at competitions?

What I like about running is the freedom you have – you can go anywhere at any time and in any weather. In addition, in contrast to sports like tennis where there is a lot of competitive and sometimes not very friendly behavior, all runners are happy for each other whether you are fast or slow – it’s great when people you know do their personal best or even just participate. Team events are also great. It’s been a motivating to keep improving my times – that’s the advantage of starting to run when you are already older because you don’t have PBs from the younger years! I guess my best recent result was the second place in my age group in the Basler Stadtlauf – a big surprise for me!


Please tell us about your goals in running concerning events/runs and/or running times.

My goals are rather to enjoy running and to try out different things. Although I’ve done a lot of trail running with friends I’m yet to do a trail race, so that’s a goal for next year. And of course I’d like to keep improving my times, especially for a longer distance like a marathon.


How did you get to the BRC? Why did you join this running club?

I first heard about the BRC at a lecture that Rainer gave as part of a “Be healthy” campaign at work in 2017. This was the introduction to a weekly series of training sessions by Rainer, Gudrun, Francois and Fernando for Novartis participants in the Firmenlauf, which I really enjoyed. I would never have joined a running club without that because I thought I was not a runner – they showed me that running in a club is about being with people that enjoy running rather than having to be a natural talent to be accepted.


What do you like most about the BRC?

Everything! The friendly and engaged people, the variety of the training sessions and the novelty of the different events that are organized.


What’s your favorite competition distance and why?

I don’t have a favorite distance, yet. So let’s just say “Variety is the spice of life”.


Which other sports do you practice and how often?

Swimming and biking mainly. I’d like to get back into triathlons (the last was 3 years ago), but time for training is lacking. Hiking is another passion and that’s what I do with my husband (and kids when they’re around) most Sundays and during the holidays.


What about running in Australia? Is it a common national sport?

Running is a very popular sport in Australia. I had forgotten that as kids we used to run barefoot until I saw the videos of my nieces running in the school sports recently. There are some really interesting runs in Australia including the ultratrail Australia – a 100km race through the beautiful Blue Mountains, marathons in the major cities of course (ask Rainer about Sydney) and even races in the desert: the outback marathon or the big red desert run (250km). There are plenty of amazing coastal runs too.


My final question to you: Which is your favourite running trail in Switzerland and why?

Well, that’s a hard question to answer. Recently we had 3 days trail running around Engelberg (from Melchsee-Frutt, Attinghausen and Bannalpsee to Engelberg) and it was just perfect. But it was also perfect around Scuol, Habkern (although rather steep) and everywhere else I’ve been running in Switzerland. The trails are good and the views are amazing. It really is a runner’s paradise!