Lucy Bartholomew is 21 years old and lives in Melbourne, Australia. She started running at 15 years old as a way to spend time with her dad who was training for the UTA 100k, formally the TNF 100k. Lucy went up to the event with him and was so inspired that she wanted to achieve this goal herself. The following year, at 16 years old she ran the Surf Coast century 100k side by side with her Dad and her passion really began. She has run all over the world completing everything from a 250k multistage race in the Simpson desert to vertical races in Chamonix, France. She is proudly sponsored by Salomon, Suunto, Le Bent, CLIF bar and Julbo.
After all that you accomplished, what drives you to continue running?
For me, running is a great equalizer in life. It is a time of meditation and a time where I can completely feel strong, free and centered. I started running with my dad and to spend time with him then I saw how physically it was making me strong, then running provided me with confidence to dare to dream and since then I have traveled the world with running exploring new areas, meeting new people and always learning. I guess, there is so much to learn through the movement of running and I am curious to see what happens after each step.
How do you motivate yourself on days when you don't feel like running?
It can be tough for sure! People think top athletes don’t have these days but I do! Sometimes I will find a friend to run with and make me accountable, sometimes just some music in my ears can do the trick and sometimes…I just tell my self to harden up and get the job done; it’s usually a good decision!
On average, how many times and miles do you run a month?
I think for 2017 I averaged around 110 kilometers (around 70 miles) of running training and then I added this with cross training, strength work and yoga.
All of your races seem to be at a 50K distance or higher, do you not like shorter distances than that? If so, why not?
I do! I love the challenge of both but these past few months I have certainly found myself drawn towards the longer races. I am not super fast but I have a strong mind and body so I am more suited to the longer stuff. Having said that, I am really interested to do shorter races and get better at this type of running. It's a lot of fun to mix it up.
With almost all of your training runs and races being longer than the average runner, how do you keep yourself focused and not bored during runs?
When I run normally the first 30 to 60 minutes are hard and then I find myself totally absorbed in what I am doing (on a good day) and time just passes. I always get asked what I think about when I am running and I always say “I don’t think I thought out there"..haha. Some days I keep entertained with the surroundings, listening to my body, or singing along. Always towards the end I think about what I will eat after of course.
You've trained and raced in many parts of the world, is there any in particular that you enjoy the most? If so, which ones and why?
I have loved every adventure I have been on! I really loved Norway for the snow capped summits leading down to the Fjords and reindeer's on the road. I will always have a special place for Chamonix as it was the first place I arrived to with big mountains and just being blown away by the power in this valley. Finally I love running in Spain and the vibe and atmosphere there. The passion is real and the people make me smile all the time!
Have you considered running the Barkley's Marathon? Why or why not?
No! I think it’s crazy. I get lost in a supermarket let alone out in that bush!
What does your weight training consist of and which exercise do you feel helps your running the most?
I try to do weight training around 3 times a week with general strength exercises of squats, lunges, dead lifts. I think the most important training is core training, it gives you good form when you run which allows you to breathe more and become more efficient!
What's the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to you while running?
Maybe not weird or funny but when I was running with Kilian Jornet in Norway I slipped and skid down a snow slope out of control and he saved my life. I also ended up with 3rd degree snow burns on my bum. It's one way to take a few centimeters off your bum...haha.
Even though they would all be under 50K's, have you considered the World Marathon Challenge? Why or why not?
I don’t know what this race is, so I guess no. I am up for any adventure and any challenge.
What are your favorite types of fuel for running and why?
I am sponsored by CLIF bar so I race with their gels and shotbloks which work really well for me. Aside from the racing food I can’t go past a good slice of watermelon or banana. In fact it doesn’t even have to be for running, I just love these fruits!
What's your favorite cheat food & drink?
I am a big fan of plant based nachos. Mexican food is my favourite! I don’t drink alcohol but I do love a good plant based chocolate and peanut butter smoothie.
Do you like ice baths? Why or why not?
I don’t use them really. I will go into the cold river or sea but I just do that because it feels like I am doing something for my body and I like the feeling after.
In your free time when you’re not running, what other hobby’s do you enjoy?
I love to cook. I am currently writing a cook book so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I also run trail running retreats with a focus on food, yoga and the mental aspects. I spend a lot of time making these the best they can be!
What's the most important tip you like to give new runners?
Have fun. It's not necessary to worry about pace, kilometer/miles or what someone else is doing. You are on your own journey, make it a good one and smile.
What is your favorite running accomplishment so far?
I am very proud of my win at the Ultra Trail Australia 100k in 2017. It was my 21st birthday, I had my brother crew me and my dad running behind me along with 1000’s of other runners who partied with me through the blue mountains. I won the race and set a new course record. It was a day I will never forget.
What's in your running future to look forward to?
I recently got awarded a bib into the Western States 100 mile event in the USA so I will be heading there as my big race for 2018. It will be first 100 miler and first time to the USA so I am sure there will be a lot of learning along the way!
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