Profile: Alan Oliver

Runner Origin Story
I used to hate any sort of distance running at school (I was a sprinter as well as doing every other sport I could) but a few years on, after putting on weight, I took up weight training and triathlon but funnily enough, running was the part I still disliked the most. That was over 30 years ago but shiftwork and life got in the way and I stopped most regular sports. I started running in January 2018 and couldn’t run 5k! I signed up for the 2018 Great East Run and trained for that with the aim of doing at least the same time as my previous half over 30 years before. I managed to get a better time so spurred on I went for a marathon in the December of 2018 before running 2 marathons and 10 Ultras in 2019.

Greatest Running Achievement
Completing 8 Ultra marathons of 100km each in 4 months in memory of my mum for Alzheimer’s and pushing through the pain to complete them.

Cherished Running Anecdote
Anyone can be a hero at the start of an Ultra but it’s being a hero at the end that counts!

Favourite Distance
Ultra marathons.

I Run Because…
for many reasons. I want to keep fit as I get older, I enjoy running trails and getting out in to nature, I enjoy pushing myself to see what limits I can reach and it helps with my mental health.

When Not Running
I like cycling and swimming but also baking and wood working.

Favourite Run Related Moment
Pacing a friend to a Half Marathon PB in Cambridge. Got as much joy from that as my own PBs.

The London Landmarks Half Marathon was also one of the most fun runs I have done with Kev, Helen and Carl. No pressure, just enjoyed the atmosphere.

Favourite Race
Brighton Marathon. My first road marathon so will always hold a special place for me plus it is a fantastic event having done it 3 times now!

Favourite Shoe
The ones that are on sale!

Favourite Local Route
Anywhere along the River Deben or the Boardwalks. We are spoilt locally!

Favourite Food/Drink/Snacks
Before I eat pizza or pasta, during an ultra I will eat what I can as it’s not always easy to force food down. After I try to eat ice cream and cold beer.

Crave While Running
Ice cream and cold beer.

Best Coaching Advice
Don’t worry about how other people are running, concentrate on your own runs. Smile and enjoy it, even when it hurts!

Favourite Music/Podcast
US Marine cadence or Techno music.

Race Most Wanted
Athens marathon, the race where it all began! The UTMB CCC ultra as well.

Like About Running
The choice of solitude or company, of pushing yourself or relaxing and it’s free (apart from the trainers, kit, race fees and travel/accommodation at races!!)

Hate About Running
The feeling when missing a run!

Must Read Running Book
The Rise of the Ultra Runners: A Journey to the Edge of Human Endurance by Adharanand Finn. That should then lead you on to his others!

Gear Can’t Run Without
My phone so I can take pictures to capture the memories and my Fenix 6x Pro Solar because if it’s not on Strava, it hasn’t happened! 😂

Future Goals
I want to complete all 6 marathon majors and complete the CCC / UTMB Ultra. Would also love to get back to my sub 1:30 HM pace and sub 3:30 Marathon but it is difficult balancing speed versus ultra pace training.