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Jane Austen’s Mr Darcy famously said that an accomplished woman must have a ‘thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing and modern languages’ to truly earn this title.

However Pride & Prejudice’s romantic lead may have granted an exception to ultramarathon runner Jasmin Paris.

Over the weekend, the mother-of-two, 40, from the Peak District, became the first woman in history to complete the 100-mile Barkley Marathons race in Tennessee.

Jasmin’s remarkable achievement was sealed with a finish time of 59 hours, 58 minutes, and 21 seconds – meaning she only narrowly beat the 60-hour cut-off by 99 seconds.

As well as being an extremely accomplished athlete, Jasmin is also the proud holder of a PhD in blood cancer research, a lecturer at The University of Edinburgh and a qualified vet.

Pictured: British runner Jasmin Paris and her baby daughter in 2018. Over the weekend, Jasmin made history when she became the first woman to finish the 100-mile Barkley Marathons race in Tennessee

Pictured: British runner Jasmin Paris and her baby daughter in 2018. Over the weekend, Jasmin made history when she became the first woman to finish the 100-mile Barkley Marathons race in Tennessee

Five years ago, Jasmin also became the first woman to win the 268-mile Spine Race in 2019 – and even stopped along the way to express breast milk. 

What’s more, the mother-of-two has previously explained how she only started running when she left university and gets up at 5am to squeeze in her workouts around her full-time job.

Here FEMAIL delves into the story of one of Britain’s most accomplished women.

Upbringing in Peak District

Jasmin grew up in the small town of Hadfield in the Peak District with her parents Jeff Paris and Alena Vencovska and three brothers. 

In an interview with I Run Far in 2020, the mother explained how she was raised to believe she could achieve anything she set her mind to and wasn’t made to feel any different from her brothers.

She told the publication: ‘I feel very lucky to have had that upbringing and to have this platform now, to get a message out to other women. 

‘The story about taking part in sport, about breastfeeding, and those kinds of issues, I strongly believe in them. I just try to lead by example.’ 

Pictured: Jasmin Paris competing in the Barkley Marathons in the Tennessee. In an interview with the BBC afterwards, Jasmin detailed being covered in scratches from brambles

Pictured: Jasmin Paris competing in the Barkley Marathons in the Tennessee. In an interview with the BBC afterwards, Jasmin detailed being covered in scratches from brambles

Jasmin and her husband Konrad with their daughter Rowan in 2018 - after competing in a fell run together

Jasmin and her husband Konrad with their daughter Rowan in 2018 – after competing in a fell run together

As a child, Jasmin loved exploring the Peak District and the family would also visit the Czech Republic for up to eight weeks every year – where she would spend hours playing in the mountains with her brothers, only returning home when they were hungry.

When she was 17 years old, Jasmin tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her knee, which meant she could no longer play football. However, she says it has never given her any issues with running. 

Speaking to Runner’s World ahead of the Barkley Marathons, Jasmin revealed she only took up running seriously as an adult in 2008.

After graduating from the University of Liverpool with a degree in Veterinary Sciences, Jasmin returned home to the town of Glossop in Derbyshire.

While working as a vet, her colleague Richard Patton suggested Jasmin compete in a fell race and fell in love with the sport. She told the publication: ‘I was hooked.’ 

In an interview with Inov8, she added: ‘I fell in love with the sport, and the people. I joined a local club (Glossopdale Harriers) and fell-running quickly became an integral part of my life.’ 

In her early days as a vet (pictured), her colleague Richard Patton suggested Jasmin compete in a fell race and fell in love with the sport.

In her early days as a vet (pictured), her colleague Richard Patton suggested Jasmin compete in a fell race and fell in love with the sport.

Jasmin pictured competing in the Spine Race in 2019, where she stopped to express breastmilk along the way

Jasmin pictured competing in the Spine Race in 2019, where she stopped to express breastmilk along the way

Not long after this, Jasmin completed an internship at the University of Minnesota before relocating to Scotland to complete a three-year residency in Small Animal Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. 

Elsewhere in her interview with I Run Far, Jasmin said she wanted to return to the UK because of how much she missed fell running.

She added: ‘I was working super hard [in the US]. I ran when I could, usually on concrete. It was the main reason I wanted to come back to the UK, to run on the fells again.’ 

Gaining fame and running while pregnant 

While in Edinburgh, Jasmin began competing in more fell races and creating a name for herself in the sporting world.

She went on to win the Three Peaks Race, the Langdale Horseshoe and the Scottish Hill Running Championships. 

In an interview with Runner’s World, Jasmin revealed that she doesn’t have a set training plan – instead opting to get up and exercise from 5am onwards.

Giving insight into her her exercise regime, the mother explained: ‘On weekdays I tend to go out for 60-90 minutes each day; sometimes I cycle to work; and I swim a few times a week too.’

Jasmin Paris (pictured at the finish line) completed the Barkley Marathons in Tennessee with just one minute 39 seconds to spare of the 60-hour cut off

Jasmin Paris (pictured at the finish line) completed the Barkley Marathons in Tennessee with just one minute 39 seconds to spare of the 60-hour cut off

Jasmin also revealed that she hasn’t particularly adapted her diet since she started running long distances. She added: ‘I don’t avoid treats – cake is part of fell running culture – and neither do I avoid the occasional glass of wine.’ 

In 2015, Jasmin finished fourth in the 60-mile Fellsman fell race and set a new women’s record and also became the first female participant to finish the five-day Dragon’s Back Race.

The following year, Jasmin married fellow runner Konrad Rawlik – after meeting at a fell race in 2011 and competing in the Original Mountain Marathon together.

Although a lot of couples are known to ‘argue too much’ when they run together, Jasmin said she works well with Konrad – as he normally takes the lead on the navigation.

In November 2017, the couple welcomed their daughter Rowan 10 days after her last fell race. On the day of her daughter’s birth, she also ran eight kilometers.

She told I Run Far: ‘I was quite lucky with pregnancy. I didn’t feel too bad. Everyone’s pregnancy is different and I don’t want people to think they’re not doing well if they’re not able to run.’ 

Six weeks after Rowan’s birth, Jasmin returned to running – describing it as her ‘precious time’ to just focus on herself. 

Battling hallucinatons during competitions

In January 2019, Jasmin achieved global recognition when she won the gruelling 268-mile Montane Spine Race.

The new mother beat all of her male and female rivals in the race from Derbyshire to the Scottish borders, battling fatigue, plunging temperatures  and hallucinations. 

Pictured: Jasmin with her daughter Rowan after finishing the Montane Spine in 2019. During the race, she also experienced hallucinations

Pictured: Jasmin with her daughter Rowan after finishing the Montane Spine in 2019. During the race, she also experienced hallucinations 

The experienced endurance runner completed the course in 83 hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds, beating the previous record by 12 hours.

Paris, who like the other competitors carried all her own kit, ran almost non-stop, taking a total of just seven hours for rest breaks and sleeping for three hours total.

These were spent sleeping, eating, dealing with kit and expressing milk, which was then taken to her 14-month-old daughter, Rowan.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Paris said at the time: ‘It is really tough. Two thirds of the time it is dark and it is completely different from any race I’ve run before because it is non-stop.

‘You have the whole challenge of when to sleep and that becomes very tactical, and then you’re sleep-deprived.

‘When I was on the final section I kept seeing animals appearing out of every rock and kept forgetting what I was doing – hallucinations.

‘Every so often I’d come to with a start. On top of that it’s very cold and I was wearing all of my clothes by the time I finished.’

This year was Jasmin's third attempt to complete the Barkley Marathons in Tennessee. Pictured on a run

This year was Jasmin’s third attempt to complete the Barkley Marathons in Tennessee. Pictured on a run

What’s more, Jasmin told the University of Liverpool’s website that being a new mother actually worked to her advantage in the competition.

She said: ‘I think my daughter was an advantage in terms of sleep deprivation training – I only slept for three hours during the race, but I’m guessing I was better prepared for that than any of the other competitors! 

The accomplishment was widely praised online, with British marathon runner Aly Dixon writing: ‘I don’t understand why anyone would want to race 268 miles across the Pennine Way, in the winter.

‘But I do know how enormous a woman winning the Spine Race overall and SMASHING the outright record is. It’s HUGE!!!’

Speaking to Inov8, Jasmin said one of her strengths as an athlete is her self-confessed stubbornness.

She explained: ‘I think I am determined (one could also say stubborn!) and competitive, besides having reasonable stamina. Probably more importantly though, is that I run for the love of it.’ 

Making history at Barkley Marathons 

Pictured: Jasmin seen holding her Montane Spine award in 2019. The mother-of-two beat her male counterparts to first place

Pictured: Jasmin seen holding her Montane Spine award in 2019. The mother-of-two beat her male counterparts to first place

Dubbed ‘the race that eats its young,’ Barkley Marathons stands as one of the world’s most formidable ultramarathons. This year was Jasmin’s third attempt to complete the race.

Conceived by Gary ‘Lazarus Lake’ Cantrell in 1986, the race commences with Cantrell lighting a ceremonial cigarette and only 20 people have ever completed it in its 35 year history.

The ever-changing race features 60,000 ft ascents and descents, which is twice the height of Mount Everest from sea level. 

Notably unconventional, the event features a bugler signalling runner withdrawals and maintains a minimal online presence. 

Speaking to BBC News, Jasmin described the moment she realised she only had minutes left to cross the finish line.

Jasmin said of the final minutes of the Barkely Marathons: 'I ended up sprinting at the end of the end of 60 hours of burning through the forest, which felt really hard.'

Jasmin said of the final minutes of the Barkely Marathons: ‘I ended up sprinting at the end of the end of 60 hours of burning through the forest, which felt really hard.’

She explained: ‘I ended up sprinting at the end of the end of 60 hours of burning through the forest, which felt really hard.

‘Brambles would get you and it was like having somebody cut you and that would happen loop after loop and it was like doing it back over the same scars.

‘But I’m glad that I kind of did it for women worldwide as well – not just runners – but any woman that wants to take on a challenge and maybe doesn’t have the confidence.

‘The idea that I might have inspired them to believe in themselves… that’s huge, especially all the young girls – you know how hard it is to keep young girls in sports.’ 

Moments after crossing the finish line, Yasmin – who was struggling for breath – told the Run Single Track podcast: ‘[I was telling myself] If you don’t finish it now, you’ll have to do it again. I was channelling all that like, all that effort over the last five days.

‘I couldn’t believe I was still going. Everything was screaming for oxygen and I was just making it go harder and harder.

‘And I guess I thought, “I’ll either pass out or I’ll finish.” 



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This post first appeared on Daily mail

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