“Beyond the Singlet”, September 2023, edition #2 with Jo Noesgaard

After a much-anticipated debut launch of our new member series and great Harriers reception, following our first interview with (Sam Galvin) we are stoked to welcome Jo Noesgaard (strava: @jnoesgaard) to the mic and to put her under the microscope.

Jo joined the Harriers around April 2022 and word quickly got around, about a strong new addition to our female relay teams, for the upcoming 2022 AV XCR season.

Jo is a very impressive all-round runner with the ability to adapt her talents to road and XCR distances. However, it is over trails where Jo comes into her own and has notched up some pretty impressive distances. Her last big event was at the pristine 50km Tarawera Ultramarathon in New Zealand, where she placed 12th in her age group.

Jo is a regular at our Wednesday, Sunday morning (Lystie or Ferny), and Fitzroy lap runs. She can often be heard encouraging other Harriers to give the longer (& challenging) ‘trail events’ a go…(hard pass from me)

Thanks for joining me today, Jo:

How and when did you get into running?

I probably first started running at school, doing the school cross country and track events. My dad also did a bit of running in his younger years, so when I wanted to start training for cross country’s he would give me some training tips and encouragement. I then continued running as a cross trainer when I started rowing (both still water and surf boat rowing). Unfortunately, I hurt my back rowing so running then become front and centre, and I haven’t looked back since.

How did you come to join Richmond Harriers?

I lived in Richmond for about 7 years and saw the Harriers running around the streets and I always thought I should suss the club out, but never did. After COVID-19 lockdowns and with increased work from home, I needed to connect with people more. I had also had a year of running injuries so was lacking motivation and a clear training agenda. I joined a Wednesday run, then added the Tuesday and Sunday run, and the occasional race with the club. I have been involved in a lot of clubs over the years, however I love how inclusive the Harriers are as well as the depth of knowledge and history there is across the members.

You run various formats (road, XCR and trails) and on different surfaces, what is your preferred distance and surface?

This is easy… 50km trail. Hands down most fun race. You have to train, but not too much. You have to push through some barriers both physically and mentally, but you are done by lunch time. Trail running has taken me to some beautiful places. The trail community are also super relaxed and friendly, ready to help anyone out along the race. You have to run with a pack full of first aid and warm gear, but also all your favourite snacks to munch on as you hike the hills.

You have notched up some impressive results over the years, what has been your biggest running goal of achievement to date?

I don’t think I have impressive results… I run because I enjoy getting outside with friends and pushing my body and mind. I think the hardest race that I have had to do this in was the Larapinta Stage Race. This race is 128km over 4 days in the MacDonnell Ranges near Alice Springs. Absolutely beautiful terrain however by day 4 it was all down to a head game to keep moving forward. – Totally recommend people to do this race. There is a shorter version as well. 

What are you preferred running shoes (or currently wearing). Anything different about trail shoes?

Similar to Sam – my road shoes are whatever Neil at Runners World Kew recommends. I am currently in the Brooks Ghost. When it comes to trail shoes, you can get super specific shoes for each type of terrain. I don’t bother with this, rather I stick to the shoes that I feel the most confident going down hills, in mud, and through gravel which are the Saucony Peregrines. 

Besides running, what other forms of exercise/physical activity do you enjoy?

I do Pilates twice a week to help with strength and stretching. I am contemplating getting back into a rowing boat over summer. Otherwise, my partner and I occasionally get on our bikes and do some bike packing.

What does a weekly training schedule currently look like for you?

Hmmm… my running motto this year was consistency, and this hasn’t really happened! So my ideal training schedule is around 80km per week. I follow the Neil/Joji program so one faster session, one long run, then easy runs for the rest of the sessions. I aim to have 1-2 no running days a week.

Do you have a running idol/mentor you that inspires you?

Lucy Bartholomew – Australia’s best female trail runner. She also gives so much back to the trail community.

Courtney Dauwalter – International best female trail runner. Absolute machine. I also love her relaxed vibe to running, which is often finished off with beer and nachos.

There are so many great female runners doing fabulous things across trail, road, and multi-day adventures. My Instagram feed is full of inspiration!

This can be a bit of a debated question in running circles…headphones or no headphones when running?

No headphones on trails – enjoy the natural environment. Sometimes headphones when running the streets solo.

Your favourite running books/podcasts?

I have just finished reading Good for a Girl by Lauren Fleshman. I loved this book and would recommend everyone read it. It’s about the difference between men and women, their bodies, training, and training loads.

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – this book will inspire you to run trails and ultras!

Run the Lydiard Way by Arthur Lydiard – my dad gave me this book to help me with my running training many years ago. It still takes a prime spot on the shelf.

Running event or place in the world that is the top of your bucket list?

There are so many places that I want to go and run – it’s a great way to have holidays! As New Zealand is my homeland, I would have to say any trail races in NZ are on my bucket list! I am hoping to go back in 2024 and run the 60km Kepler Trail and drag a few of my family members along the trails with me.

Favourite place to run (can be anywhere in the world)?

I really love running around Melbourne and up in the Dandenong’s… while I do it every week, we are pretty lucky with our local options!

Do you have any target races coming up?

My next main race for the year is GPT100. I have signed up for the stage race, which covers the full Grampians Peaks Trail (160km) over four days. I didn’t check the elevation before I signed up to this one… so will need to really work the hills at Ferny over the next couple of months!

… Cheers for joining us today Jo and stay tuned to see who out next member under the spotlight will be next month.

Categories: Beyond the singlet