JO THOMAE

What's your story? Where did you grow up? When and why did you start running?

I've lived in my home town Toowoomba all my life.  I haven't moved far and I actually work where I was born..I started running when I worked in palliative care as a nurse as a way to escape the stress of watching people leave this world. It was tough then and it's still tough to think about the beautiful people who died on my watch. Running was great therapy. Loud music and the gentle rhythm of the run was soothing to the soul and a great way to process the day.

When I changed roles and didn't have the same mental pressures I began to run for me. During this time I got my Cert 4 in Personal Training and gathered a collection of friends together to train. One of those friends was my now MOJO team mate  and co race director Erren who, when I asked him what he wanted to achieve with training, told me he wanted to try an "adventure race". Somehow we ended up doing a race at Mt Crosby near Ipswich and I was totally hooked.

I had never ridden a bike much before at that point or kayaked, but I learned fast and soon enough Team MOJO became adventure racers. It was and still is exciting days!

What's your favourite distance / terrain / type of event? what about your least favourite?

I love racing.  I'm not fast and tend to do races for the experience, so location is pretty important to me.  My favourite race length is 24-48 hours, I think that's where you learn the most about yourself, your team and what your body can do. Geoquest is amazing and well run race and always brings the awesome out in people. But Godzone is on my bucket list, as is Wildside and XPD.

A few years ago I would have said running was my favourite discipline, but now I love riding and some of the most awesome outside in nature moments for me have been on a kayak at sunset. I guess the beauty about multisport is when you get a bit sick of training in one you swap over, always good for someone like me with the attention span of a gnat!

My least favourite discipline? Probably none - but caving if it was part of a race would be challenging for me as I appear to be quite claustrophobic.. But I'd overcome it somehow if I had to.

What are you most proud of?

I'm proud of the things I've achieved in racing. I raced two weeks after breaking my tail bone in what could only be described as the race "we don't talk about" at the Sunshine Coast. I'm proud of having a go at Geoquest each year. I'm proud of the skills I've gained to race better, like ocean kayaking. But most of all I'm proud of how many people who I now call great friends have started this life changing sport because I encouraged them to!

Who inspires you? Why?

I am always inspired by the people who go outside the box to achieve a goal or dream. Those who society votes "least likely" who go and do it anyway. There are some amazing women in the world of racing, it would be remiss of me to name them because I would miss someone who is totally awesome. Kudos to anyone who sets such high level goals and achieves them!

Who would you like to inspire? Why?

One of my biggest goals in life is to get people outside and active.  I work as a cardiac nurse now, so daily I see lifestyle related illness impacting on people's life's. I love to see people racing and excited and I love seeing them finish their first race. I don't think people realise what their bodies can actually do, even for me that is still a journey.. I want to inspire people to adventure outside the box.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

You will never feel fit enough.
You will never have enough time to train the schedule you planned.
Races never go how you plan in your head.
But...
Find a good team and do it anyway.
The journey is as rewarding as the outcome in adventure racing..
Oh and get a kick butt bike that looks totally hot and rides like a dream..

What has been your biggest obstacle / challenge? How did you / are going to overcome it?

I guess I don't tend to look at things as obstacles. I'm fairly practical and a realist but I am also the first to have a go anyways. I actually really like challenges..

Getting rescued from the ocean and getting hypothermia in my last race; or getting chased by a wild pig while course setting could maybe be viewed as challenges but hey, they add the 'awesome' to the MOJO story!

 Do you have a blog / website / page you would like us to share with others?

https://www.facebook.com/pages/MOJO-Adventure/259153344118633