Inspired by mountains and wilderness since she was a young girl, Lizzy’s journey into the world of ultra-distance running came about more by chance than by design. Endurance was never just a sport for Lizzy but a way of life and it has allowed her to push herself to the absolute limits. Having the courage to take some unexpected opportunities opened doors, and her achievements snowballed both on the road and on the trails. Lizzy went on to set many world records and she became the 100km Women’s World Champion and a five-time winner of The North Face Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc.
Birthdate: March 10, 1976
Hometown: London, UK
Homebase: Nepal and Switzerland
Favourite Book: Clear Waters Rising by Nick Crane is a favourite for reminding me that you can just walk out the door and keep going.
Favourite Music: The Conquest of Paradise by Vangelis because it brings back memories of my very first long mountain ultra races.
Favourite Food: Bread and cheese, outside, with my best friend
Biggest Dream: To share with others the joy that I have had from running. This will come from trying to encourage others of the value of endurance running, trying to encourage more women to try ultra distance running, and particularly in Nepal to encourage girls to run and to realise how sport can empower them.
How do you focus? By questioning my motivation and intention, and then holding that strong.
Best advice every received: Everything is a choice – how we feel and think about what happens in our life is our choice. .
Words to live by: “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Lao Tzu
Favourite other fitness exercise: Anything on foot and in the mountains.
I wouldn’t leave home without my … The North Face Thermoball hoodie – it’s always in my bag!
Beyond the world of competitive sport, Lizzy's enduring passion for the mountains and nature has shaped her professional career as a writer and as a scientist with a PhD in polar oceanography. She has written a book, Runner, and set up her own race, The Ultra Tour Monte Rosa. Her dream is to encourage people to understand the sanctuary and inspiration of the mountains, the richness of our environment and our responsibility to protect it, and the value of challenging yourself both physically and mentally.
Following a prolonged period of injury, she has taken some time to reflect on her future goals and is now looking for new challenges, from hunting Fastest Known Time (FKT) records to plotting a 1000-mile crossing of Nepal. Once again she is running purely for pleasure, building up her endurance and relishing the simple joys of running. In the future she is determined to find new and exciting ways to share this passion for running with others.
- 3-day record for 320km Everest Base Camp to Kathmandu, Nepal (2013)
- 1st Annapurna 100, Nepal (2013)
- 1st woman, 2nd overall, Mansalu Trail Race (277km stage race), Nepal (2012)
- 1st woman at The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, France, the first competitor to win 5 editions (2012)
- 6th woman at the Western States 100 (2012)
- 3rd overall, 1st woman, Spartathlon (2012)
- 1st woman at the Everest Sky Race (9 day, 200km, stage race), Nepal (2011)
- 1st and World Record at the 24hr Commonwealth Championships, UK (2011)
- World record running from Everest Base Camp to Kathmandu (2011)
- 1st woman at The North Face® Ultra Trail Tour du Mont Blanc, France (2011)
- 1st woman at the Gondo Event, Switzerland (2011)
- 1st woman at Swiss Alpine Davos (78km), Switzerland (2011)
- 3rd place, Zermatt Marathon, Switzerland (2011)
- Gold Medal, 7th place in the Comrades Marathon (89km), South Africa (2011)
- Gold Medal, 6th place in the Two Oceans (56km), South Africa (2011)
- 1st woman at 123km TransGranCanaria, Gran Canaria (2011)
- 1st woman at Hong Kong 100, Hong Kong (2011)
- 1st woman at Annapurna 100, Nepal (2011)
- 3rd at the 100km World Championships, representing Great Britain (2010)
- 1st woman at The North Face® Ultra Trail Tour du Mont Blanc, France (2010)
- 3rd at the World Trail Championships, representing Great Britain (2009)
- 2nd at The North Face® Ultra Trail Tour du Mont Blanc, France (2009)
- 1st woman at The North Face® Ultra Trail Tour du Mont Blanc, France (2008)
- 1st at Zermatt Marathon (2008)
- 1st women at inaugural Mountain Marathon Cup (2007)
- 1st at Zermatt Marathon (course record) (2007)
- 1st woman at Swiss Alpine Marathon Davos (78km) (2007)
- 1st at 100km World Championships, representing Great Britain (2006)
- 1st woman at Zermatt Marathon (2006)
- 1st woman at Swiss Alpine Marathon Davos (78km) (course record) (2006)
- 1st woman at The North Face® Ultra Trail Tour du Mont Blanc, France (2005)
- 24hrs (road) 247.076 km WORLD and COMMONWEALTH RECORD
- 100 km 7:29:12 hrs WORLD CHAMPION 2006
- 50 km 3:21:12 hrs (during 2011 Two Oceans 56km race)
- Marathon 2:45:02 hrs (during 2011 Two Oceans 56km race)
- Half-Marathon 77:35 mins
- 10 km 36:26 mins
- Fastest world performance times for 50 km and 100 km in 2006 - road running
- Adventurer of the Year, Natural Geographic, 2013
- Female Athlete of the Year, The North Face®, 2011
- Fell Runners Association (UK) Long Distance Award, 2008
- Road Runners Club (UK) John Jewell Award 2006 for outstanding performance by British Distance Runner
- PhD in Polar Oceanography, 2005