Sport: Ultra Trail Running
Sporting Accomplishment: I have been competing for over 30 years in various disciplines many of those at a high level. I have run hundreds of trail ultras. I have represented Australia twice, run several trail 100 milers (including Hardrock and UTMB), a number of SKY races, the Bob Graham Round in the UK, two Rogaining world championships, 10 Oxfam Trailwalker 100kms (8 of them wins) and 19 Six Foot tracks… Additionally; various road marathons including Comrades, two Ironman events, some two-day mountain marathons, multi-sport, MTB events and Ocean Swims.
How did you get into your sport: I started running short road races, moving to road marathons then soon turned to fell (UK’s version of trail) running as I enjoyed the outdoors and did most of my training on trails.
Hardest thing about your sport: Mental strength – In the middle of the night, it’s freezing cold, raining, you are only half way through your event, you have aches and pains and your body has been saying it wants to stop for the last few hours. You arrive at a nice dry, warm aid station, meet your crew, good food and rest. Taking the step out of the comfort zone, leaving that sanctuary can sometimes be very very difficult.
What does your regular training week consist of:
When I am training for long distance event it includes about 15 hours of exercise and about 100 to 120km of running, some cycling and strength work. During the week; intervals and hill work with mid-week-long run. The weekend being a long bush run of 5 or more hours, then a road bike of 50-100km.
How do you keep motivated: I can’t say there is just one motivation more an overall wellbeing which I get from running. I do also like to incorporate variety into my training, whether its trying out a new trail or going for a bike ride.
Goals (Future Plans and Career expectations): Run in stunning locations, there are so many. Try a new event. Stay fit.
Best piece of advice you have been given: From an ultra-event perspective, it’s a mental thing!. Just keep moving forward no matter how bad you feel. Your body has an amazing capacity to keep going.