Gemma Bridge - Runner and Race Walker

I have been sporty for as long as I can remember, but as I was growing up I didn’t do traditional sports- opting instead for fencing, kayaking and ice skating!  But, no matter what I did, I was always determined to do my best- and that is something that helps me even now.
It wasn’t until I was about 15 that I started to run for school in XC and track races. When I started college I started to take running seriously. Since then I have run competitively in XC, on the track and on the road.
Running has given me the opportunity to travel- which is one thing I love about the sport. Most recently I spent two years in the US at McNeese State University where I was awarded an athletic scholarship.
In America I competed in a number of NCAA div 1 races, and loved being about to compete against some of the best college runners in the world. My racing highlights included the Mt Sac relays in LA, California and the NCAA regional XC championships in College Station, TX. Thanks to the high level races I was able to make big progress, and got PB’s across almost every distance.
Racing the 5km (in the blue)
McNeese was in the Southland Conference, and I really enjoyed competing in the championships because of the team spirit and support. My best performances included 2nd place in the track 10km, 5th place in the 5km, and 6th place in the XC championships.
Since coming back to the UK earlier this year I have done a couple of half marathons- most notably winning the Derby Ramathon with a PB of over 6 minutes compared to the year before!
I have also decided to try out a slightly different sport- Race walking for a new challenge. I am still very much a novice, and so I am learning as I go as it is a very technical sport. However, thanks to my strong running background I have managed to already come 2nd in the British and English 10km road race walking championships. I hope that in the next few years there is much more to come.
When I am not running, or walking, I currently work as a freelance writer. However in September I will be starting as a Medical Writing intern at Porterhouse Medical in Reading. Outside of work/ training- I love to travel and am always planning new adventures!
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