Your Name: Alastair Higgins
Occupation: Musician and Whisky Trader
Home Town: Dublin
Twitter Account: @mostlydrinking
What is your running background?
I was a rubbish x-country runner at school and gave up when I hit my late teens. A cycling accident in my late 30s led me to take up running again and I half-heartedly entered a few 5k and 10k races before deciding to try for longer distances.
When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why?
I ran the Connemara 40 mile ultra in 2014 and I was hooked right away. About a year later I started taking things a bit more seriously and started to plan for bigger races.
When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you?
My running club DBRC are affiliated with the East of Ireland Marathon series. I’ve ran a good few of their race which are good prep for the more testing events.
What are your personal key running achievements to date?
1st Place Vartry 100 Mile, Ireland 2016,
1st Place West County Ultra 100 Mile 2016 (CR),
1st Place Dublin2Belfast 107 Mile 2017 (CR),
2nd Place Robin Hood 100 Mile 2016 (beaten by some guy called Nathan Flear),
1st Place Flitch Way 100k 2017 (AQ for Sparta 2018!).
What was your hardest race experience?
They are all hard, right? Having said that a horrible DNF at TransGrancanaria 125k last year had me questioning my sanity.
What events do you have planned for 2018 up to Spartathlon?
Easter 2018, Belfast2Dublin 107 Mile
June 2018, Belfast 24 Hrs
Probably a few local marathons when my schedule permits.
What is your typical race strategy for an ultra?
Start slow, finish slower.
What does a typical training week look like?
I try to get about 80-120 miles done. Almost all of that is done in Dublin’s Phoenix Park with my toddler son in a running buggy. I generally go for a standard marathon training plan but with increased mileage overall.
What one tip would you pass onto people running an Ultra marathon for the first time?
Don’t get intimidated by the runners with all the fancy gear and fancy shoes. Run your own race. Train hard, race easy.
Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?
I’m a drummer in a popular Irish Electro Dance band called Le Galaxie. That occasionally takes me to exotic places like Austin Texas, Cannes, New York and Bishop Stortford. I’ll usually have a good crack at local Strava segments when out on tour, so watch out if you live near a Travelodge!
Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?
What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race?
Some good camaraderie with the UK Team and my Irish buddies. Oh, and finishing.
What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race?
Coming down the mountain. Ouch.
How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race?
Some heat sessions in the final two weeks beforehand and a good few more hill sessions than usual.
Will you be bringing any support crew to the race?