Lucy Bartholomew, ultrarunning legend from Melbourne, Australia, has had an epic year. From winning Ultra-Trail Australia on her 21st birthday to finishing in third place in her first 100-mile race, you could say it’s been a wild ride.
2018 has been a pretty big year. What was the highlight for you?
There have been so many highlights of this year. Staying healthy was a big one! Race wise I would say that competing in the Western States 100mile in the USA was my proudest moment. More than the race itself, the lead up and the community that got behind me for this event made it such a special race. I could have come last and I would have felt like I won. It was my first 100miles and it was so special to have my dad by my side.
You’ve travelled a lot this year. Where are you at the moment and what are you up to?
I am home, in Melbourne, Australia!! People always ask me where I live because I travel so much and I always answer “at airports these days”. It’s been a huge year of travel so I am very much enjoying staying close to home and slowing down a bit!
Where and what was your most recent race, and what was a highlight for you?
My most recent race was the Lantau 50k in Hong Kong. I was there for a Salomon running camp where I was a coach and it finished with a race so I thought I might as well jump in too since I was there. It was a lot of fun to run around and experience the race vibes of Hong Kong. The highlight was just making it to the start line after being bitten by a dog the day before.
What do you have planned for 2019 and what are you most excited about?
I am excited for any opportunities that might evolve but already planned is to head to Costa Rica for the Costa Rica coastal challenge multi-day race. I went to Costa Rica in year 10 for school community service and I can’t wait to return as an athlete. Also, I plan to return to Western States 100 with my family by my side.
What has been your greatest running achievement so far?
I think my biggest running achievement is that I have managed to stay mostly injury free and enjoyed the ups and downs. I want to be in this sport for a long time and a good time and that’s my biggest focus always.
What has been your greatest running challenge so far?
I think the challenges came early in my career. I ran my first 100km when I was 15 and the criticism I received as a young, female girl took a thick-skin to believe that I could do it – and do it with a smile. After completing that and loving the journey I was then constantly battling my dad to sign race waivers to let me run when he was trying to keep me balanced. Now it all feels too easy!
You’re well known for your plant-based diet. What do you love to eat after long runs and races?
Smoothie bowls! I love fruit and my favourite post-run meal is a big frozen banana and greens smoothie bowl topped with berries, nuts, seeds, granola! I just love it!
I understand you’ve been working on trying to eat more during longer events. How is that going, and what types of foods are you using?
My race day nutrition is maybe my biggest area for improvement. When I run, it’s like meditation and time passes without my awareness and so I forget to eat. I’m setting alarms on my watch to bring me back to the present and eating. I am sponsored by CLIF and I love their shot blocks and gels but also real foods of dates, nuts, fruit… anything!
Do you have any advice for runners considering a plant-based diet?
Keep it simple, read up and play in the kitchen. It doesn’t have to be about super foods that cost a bomb! Enjoy the process and be kind to yourself.
We love watching your runs on Strava. Do you follow anyone, and if so, who’s workouts do you find most interesting and why?
Thanks! I follow a lot of people, some elites but mainly my family and friends. I love seeing people’s long runs especially when they upload photos to show the area they traversed. It always makes me want to go there!
What’s next on your race calendar?
I will run in the Costa Rica coastal challenge – a 250k 6day stage race!
Thanks so much for the interview Lucy, and best of luck in 2019.
You can follow Lucy using these links: