Name: Alastair Higgins
Occupation: All things whisk(e)y and booze related. Currently generating online content, videos and tasting notes while studying distilling.
Home Town: Dublin but from Dumfries.
What is your running background?
I started about eight or nine years ago, just casually running to try and fix a knee ligament injury. I began moving up to marathons then quickly into ultras and became a bit of a specialist at 100 mile races. Around 2016 I started to train ‘properly’ and slowly saw some improvements. I’ve done Spartathlon twice and did alright both times.
When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why?
I ran my first Ultra in 2014 and really enjoyed it so decided to try and concentrate on the longer distances. I was already too old to do well in 5k races!
When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you?
Anto Lee’s Donadea 50km Irish Champs where you get the best fookin abuse and best finisher shirt every year.
What are your personal key running achievements to date?
A 5:1 win ratio in 100 miles, one top 10 Spartathlon finish and top 5 last year.
What was your hardest race experience?
Transgrancanaria a few years ago. I was woefully under prepared in terms of training. The elevation changes killed me. I dnfd.
What is your typical race strategy for an ultra?
I don’t have one. It depends on the race, the weather and the terrain. Nothing beats a strong finish though.
What does a typical training week look like?
Usually around 100 miles or a little higher with two quality sessions and quite a few strides.
What one tip would you pass onto people running an Ultra marathon for the first time?
Don’t give up unless you’re injured or in danger!
Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?
I just quit the music business last year after about 30 years of varying success. Looks like I picked the right time!
Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?
What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race?
That finish line and hanging out with the Brits, Irish and Filipinos.
What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race?
The strangeness that comes with the Covid-19 situation, having to socially distance and the uncertainty of the whole thing.
How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race?
All my training this year has been prep for the race. I’ll throw in some heat training 2-3 weeks in advance.
Will you be bringing any support crew to the race?
No. The great thing about Spartathlon is that you don’t need them.