The England international’s London Marathon finish line fall featured in the world’s media but that was only part of her journey. In a new documentary featuring honest reflection and emotion, Stéphanie Garstin follows her highs and lows during a transition to the track before an autumn marathon

Words by Hayley Carruthers

When my friend Stéphanie first suggested making a film I was a little reluctant. There had been a lot of general media attention after the Virgin Money London Marathon, which was enjoyable but also made me feel a bit uncomfortable. I was aware that other people had performed better but that my fall was getting more coverage. I didn’t really understand that at the time.

READ MORE | Resilience rewarded: Interview with Hayley Carruthers

In addition to this, like so many people, I can get quite anxious when things change unexpectedly. However, once we had time to chat about it properly, and Stéphanie explained that we would be trying to give an unvarnished view of training and racing, it seemed like a good idea.

When I first got into the sport I imagined that people were at the front because they were really talented and that they must find things relatively easy. The biggest lesson up to now has been that is far from the case. Nobody at the sharp end of races isn’t working incredibly hard. Once I realised that I relaxed a little bit and running seemed an even more rewarding sport to me. You really do get out what you put in, not always when you’d choose, but persistence does pay off.

“Nobody at the sharp end of races isn’t working incredibly hard”

Above all, we wanted to make something authentic. Running can be a tough sport but it allows you to learn so much about yourself. We agreed at the outset that Stéphanie would keep filming, no matter what was going wrong. As a result we definitely captured some difficult moments. All of these were really the product of the freak occurrence at the end of the London Marathon, something that nobody could have predicted.

At times I was really struggling to manage my anxiety and I was also experiencing imposter syndrome. I benefitted from a lot of support from family and friends to help me stick at it but I also had to learn to be more resilient myself. Like most people I am pretty self-conscious about seeing and hearing myself. If I look beyond that I think Stéphanie has done an amazing job and I just hope people enjoy the film.

Follow me on Instagram @hayleycarruthers26.2 and see Stéphanie’s website and Instagram @stephaniegarstin for other pieces of work.

» Read more from Stéphanie Garstin on the film here

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