A British ultra-marathoner is getting kudos from athletes and parents around the world after photos of her breastfeeding her 3-month-old while pumping during a rest stop 16 hours into the 107-mile race surfaced online. Sophie Power, who completed the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) in 43 hours and 33 minutes, said she feeds baby Cormac every 3 hours at home.
“Oh my god I was in agony!” the mother of two told Runner’s World. “Cormac usually feeds every 3 hours and it took me 16 to get to Courmayeur where he could first meet me so I was hand expressing everywhere I could en route. I was so relieved he was hungry!”
She had her husband meet her at various aid stops along the course so that she could pump milk for him to bring back for Cormac. Power shared on Instagram that she had stopped running five months into her pregnancy, but kept working out her arms and quads until two weeks prior to giving birth. She credited staying active throughout her pregnancy with helping her to finish the race, and said that she changed the way she approached the course to protect her health.
“I couldn’t raise my heart rate too much as my body isn’t primed to burn fat and I couldn’t fully run downhills to protect my pelvis,” she told Runner’s World. “In a typical race I would get in and out of the aid stations as quickly as possible but here I had to focus on keeping down enough food for me and for Cormac, and resting.”
On Sunday, Power shared a touching photo on Instagram of her holding her 3-month-old and the hand of her 3-year-old while crossing the finish line along with some details of her race.
“A week ago I was at the top of Flegere about to run down the mountain into Chamonix and finish UTMB. I’d about 20 minutes sleep over 2 nights – my body was tired and I was hallucinating,” she wrote. “What kept me going was how excited I knew [daughter] Donnacha was about running with me to the finish. He’d done his race earlier in the week and had waited so patiently to help me on mine. This captures the picture in my mind so beautifully I did have to tell him to slow down though!”
In a previous interview with The Evening Standard, Power had shared that she took up running in 2009, and had learned to fit her exercise regime around her life.
“I run to work after nursery drop off and do relay intervals in the park at weekends with my husband as Donnacha plays,” she had told the news outlet.