Name: Ali Young, 43 yrs
Occupation: Personal Trainer and run ParkFit which is a fitness class in the park.
Hometown/Family: Live in Amersham, Bucks. Married and have 2 girls who are 12 & 14yrs
Running Background & Current Plans
Always kept fit through lots of hockey and a bit of running when I was growing up. The running took a step up after I had my children – guess because I wasn’t partying so much! Joined Chiltern Harriers running club and ran my first marathon in 2008 in a time of 3.20.
To celebrate my 40th birthday I entered the Marathon Des Sables which I completed in April 2013. Solely because I was doing the MDS I entered some ultras to help prepare. My first Ultra was The Druids in 2012. I didn’t intend doing any more Ultras after the MDS!!
The ultra bug is easily caught though and found myself entering Endure 24 as a solo competitor 2014. I came 1st lady and again in Endure15. Next step was Tooting 24hr track race in 2015 where I came 2nd overall covering 135miles. Following Tooting I was invited to run in a 24hr event in China and that was a great trip courtesy of the organsiers. To cut a long story short I qualified for the GB squad and competed in the 24hr European Championships Oct 2016 and came 1st GB lady and 18th lady overall.
This year I’ve been training for London Marathon again (although I did do a cheeky ‘Country to Capital’ Ultra in January and came 1st lady), so have been a regular at Parkrun (I love love love Parkrun!!) and ran Watford and Reading half marathons. It’s VLM17 on the 23rd April – fingers crossed! My PB is 3.01.
I wouldn’t say you would find me at one particular distance, as along with Parkruns up to Ultras I also enjoy doing the 800m on the track – so quite a variety.
The GB squad is awaiting selection news for the 24hr World Championships which takes place July 1st/2nd in July. We will hear on the 10th April. If I am selected this will be the ‘A’ race for the year as running for your country has to be the biggest honor of them all.
Planned as a fun trip with friends is the 3Peaks 24hr challenge which we are doing in May. I have also been asked to go back to China and run in their International 24hr event in November 2017.
Key to my training is being the ‘fittest that I can be’ at the start line. This to me does not mean tonnes of running miles a week. I keep strong lifting weights and have been a keen member of the Crossfit community since Sep ’16. I don’t really have a typical training week, really depends what is going on with work. Nearer to an ultra I will be doing more slow miles than the focused speed sessions I do for the marathons.
Tip for 1st Ultra runners is to not overthink it. There is lots less pressure on you when doing Ultras than marathons, where everyone wants to know what ‘time you are going to get’!! And again my message would be ‘just be as generally fit as you can possibly be’ as the rest is mental strength anyway.
I have never attempted the Spartathlon before.