The Long Way: Ultra Marathoner Lizzy Hawker


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What makes some people want to run ultra marathons? For some, grinding out all those miles through dust and mud and huge gains in elevation is nothing short of transformational. Some people were just born to run.


Lizzy on the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc

Inspired by mountains and wilderness Lizzy Hawker ‘fell’ into the world of ultra-distance and endurance running more by chance than by design. She entered the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc on a whim in 2005, a race that gains 31,168 feet in 103 miles through the Alps. Lizzy surprised herself, and the ultra-running world, by winning that race, and then went on to win five more times.

She is a previous world record holder for 24hrs, and was the 2006 100km World Champion. She recently returned from Nepal where she competed in the Mustang Trail Race, an eight-stage race covering 200 kilometers, all done at an elevation of 3-4,000 meters, then, for good measure, added on the Everest


Lizzy Hawker in Kathmandu

Marathon, called the “most adventurous trail run in the world,” setting the new world record running from Everest Base Camp to Kathmandu.

Lizzy’s enduring passion for the mountains and nature has shaped both her life as an endurance athlete, and her professional career as a writer and as a scientist. A Natural Scientist by training, with a PhD in polar oceanography, she has been on many research cruises to the Antarctic and the Southern Ocean. These experiences and studies gave her an even deeper commitment to our responsibility of working towards both social and environmental sustainability in every part of our lives.


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Recently awarded the Nat. Geographic Adventurer of the Year Award in ultra running, Lizzy joins me this week on The Edge Radio where she’ll share what pushes her to run, what she loves about the mountains and why she gave up an elite job as a research scientist in the Antarctic to become a world-class endurance runner. You don’t want to miss this show.

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