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The Outsiders: Meet 'Smurph'

September 27, 2018 3 min read

The Outsiders: Meet 'Smurph'

Name: Sarah (AKA “Smurph”)

Environmental Engineer, Cat Lover, Rogainer, Trail Runner. 

Helping the environment. 

My job involves designing things that move water around for the benefit of the environment rather than the benefit of people. I actually sort of fell into it. I started off doing science at uni and eventually ended up doing Civil and Environmental Engineering, and developed a bit of passion for water in particular.


Being “outsidey”

I’ve always been an outsidey person. I was never a good runner. I was a terrible runner - possibly still am. My brother used to drag me out on bush walks and I started rogaining with him and then he got me into trail running. He likes to think he taught me everything I know. I’ve improved quite a bit since then and have even beat his PB at Six Foot Track, but he still takes all the credit.


My first big adventure. 

The first adventure holiday I did was to Everest Base camp which was amazing. I also did a five week road trip around the US going to about 12 national parks. Yellowstone National Park was amazing and Colorado was probably my favourite place although Moab in Utah was great as well.


Coming back from injury.

I haven’t been doing as much of the super long stuff because my body’s packed up a bit but I’d like to get back into travelling around and seeing places I wouldn’t ordinarily go for a holiday. If I can get back to running somewhere between 50 and 80kms I’d be happy. I’ve just run The Federation Trail (25kms), the King of the Mountain (14kms up and down Mt Remarkable) where I came second, and the Wonderland run in the Grampians (36kms) so fingers crossed I’m on my way back.


A non-stinky revelation.

When I started doing long rogaines back in the early 2000’s my brother had a merino top and he raved about it. I didn’t believe him when he told me it was wool and back then it was quite difficult to find locally but I tracked some down and it was a bit of a revelation because when you’re stuck in the same gear for 24 hours it’s nice when you don’t stink at the end of it. And when you’re wet from sweating or raining it still keeps the warmth.



I first heard about ioMerino through friends I was training with and I like that it’s Australian. I like that it’s gone from being purely technical base layer to something you can even wear casually. I wear it all the time, not just when I’m hiking or running. Some days I’ll even wear it to work. I like the feel of it. It’s so soft. I know a lot of people think wool will be scratchy but it’s definitely not.


Favourite item.

My favourite item is a V-neck long sleeve top that is probably an older style now. But by far my favourite piece is the Neck Tube. I wear it as a head warmer because you can pull it on and take it off, wrap it around your wrist, stick it on again if you get cold. I love it and have a few of them in different colours.


What’s next?

I’m not doing as much rogaining because I struggle to find partners to do it with. I’ve actually been state champion a few times. I’m currently getting ready to run my tenth Yurrebilla (A 56km trail ultra through the Adelaide Hills), then next year I’m planning to run my sixth Six Foot Track because I get a special belt buckle for running the event six times. Then I might try some different races because there’s so many new ones around.