Meet Our In-Store Expert:
Kerry, our in-store expert, loves to share passion, knowledge and experience with others. From hiking summits to completing ultra-marathons, she's never without a new challenge. And her inspiring nature helps push others past boundaries and meet epic new goals. Being part of our outdoor expert community, she uses her experience to find the right gear for customers to have a better time outdoors.
We caught up with Kerry to learn more about the inspiration behind her all-female running group, her unique motivators and why it’s so important to gain advice before you head out on new adventures.
Do you feel going outdoors makes you happier?
Going outdoors definitely makes me happier. Just being out, seeing different areas and meeting new people. I often escape outdoors with my friends, explore new hiking trails and enjoy all our favourite places together. It's incredible how different an area can look in the early morning compared to late afternoon. I love to take photos of the wild places we visit when I'm out and about, but my camera never does these places justice.
What have your favourite outdoor activities helped you achieve physically?
I could not cope without hiking and running. Being out there, clocking miles and reaching summits allows me to push the limits of what's possible. Initially, I aimed to complete 50 marathons before I turned 50. However, I finished my 100th one before my 50th birthday this January. Plus, I ran 52 marathons in 52 weeks and achieved my personal best.
I haven't always been this physically fit, so I hope my achievements inspire others to get out there - it's never too late to start an outdoor activity.
What inspired you to start trail running?
After my best friend died from breast cancer, her husband ran 10k races yearly to raise money for cancer research. I said the same thing each year, “One day, I'll join you”. And because I used to smoke, it took me 5 long years to commit. Finally, six weeks before my race, I ditched the cigarettes and ran my first ever 10k race. After that event, I had to keep running, or I'd pick up smoking again. And I can't think of my life without my daily dose of running or hiking now.
What motivated you to lead an all-female running group?
It's all about inspiring people to get outside and achieve something new. That's all it is. Of course, most of our female runners turn up to make friends and have a chat but mostly to feel motivated to keep going - to push past boundaries.
Being outside in the elements does wonders for physical and mental health. And, hanging out with fellow women, for some, helps build confidence to run further and faster than you thought you could.
Plus, I love being part of other people's achievements because I know how much change it can create.
Why is it important to be outside together?
We motivate each other. Depending on your drive, putting new challenges off when alone is tempting. You might say, “I'll go later”, and get distracted. Whereas if you're in it together, you've made a commitment. Nothing stops you from reaching that goal when someone else believes in you.
Many female athletes in my running group have been inspired by me to enter a race, and I don't even realise I have that effect on them. Plus, for a few, a trail race is a new challenge. So, to hear them saying, “I've just put my name forward, Kerry”. It's a good feeling.
Do you believe the outdoors is accessible to everyone?
It is, but you often need the drive to get out there. I haven’t always had access and I wasn't raised as an outdoor person, but as I got older, I discovered it doesn't matter where you live; there's always somewhere to explore. Even in central London, there are parks to run and walk in. And with your smartphone, locating the green spaces on your map is much easier.
Why is it important to get gear advice from an in-store expert?
I’m out there exploring the outdoors all the time. So, when I engage with customers, the passion is there.
You can't fake experience because it comes naturally, and when you know so much about an activity, the conversation flows – you can share tried-and-tested gear experiences with your customers. If someone visits the store with zero outdoor knowledge, we can guide them to the right gear for their experience level. For example, if you're taking more accessible hiking routes, investing in the highest-end jacket or mountaineering boots is unnecessary at this stage.
We aim to ensure you walk away with the right gear. We want it to fit, and we want it to last. Everyone's journey is different; we're here to ensure our customers have the best time.
What do you consider when buying your outdoor gear?
When I invest in new gear, I research, check online reviews about the item, and ensure it will work for my needs. Durability is essential for me because I need it to last; for my benefit and the planet. When you hike and run such long distances, you need your gear to fit well and feel comfortable, so it doesn't hinder performance.
For clarification on a product, book an appointment with one of our experts so you can try it on and get your questions answered.
Thanks to Kerry for sharing her story with us. If, like Kerry, you're ready for your next outdoor adventure, visit your closest Snow+Rock store and talk to our in-store experts for advice on finding the perfect gear.
Let us know you agree to cookies
We use marketing, analytical and functional cookies as well as similar technologies to give you the best experience. Third parties, including social media platforms, often place tracking cookies on our site to show you personalised adverts outside of our website.