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Episode 16: HILLARY ALLEN | When Strength Is More Than Just A Physical Attribute

Posted by Hugo Mendez on

This week’s guest is super badass ultrarunner Hillary Allen, a.k.a. HILLYGOAT.

Hillary is a competitive ultra-trail runner. Her specialty is sky running, which basically means that you go up and down all the time, running on very steep and technical terrain..hence the nickname Hillygoat.

She is also very smart; she calls herself “a science nerd”..because of her passion for chemistry, insects and also teaching.

Hillary wasn’t always a runner.  She started running in 2013 and a year later she began winning important and difficult races, like the US Skyrunning Championships (2014), the very challenging Speedgoat 50K in Utah (2015), and a bunch of tough races in Europe. Talk about talent!

But in 2017, Hillary almost lost her life.

She was racing a 50K ultra trail run in Norway and while running on a narrow and exposed ridge, a loose rock slipped out from under her foot, and Hillary fell not only a few yards, but a total of 150 feet. She broke several bones and ligaments.

And a new journey started for her. A very hard one.

Simple tasks such as taking a shower or lifting a cup of coffee became a big deal. She had to learn to do a lot of things all over again

And running? Forget about running! That was out of the question, right?

I remember following Hillary's path to recovery on Instagram. It was not easy. It was very raw at times. There were times when she felt like she'd lost a big part of her identity.

But then, Hillary started jogging and hiking again, slowly, but she was doing it. She would then run more and more miles, and would go on much longer hikes and runs.

One day, a few weeks before I interviewed her, I saw of photo of her winning a trail race in Italy, called the Cortina 48K.

My first reaction was…” it’s been less than a year since her accident and she’s already winning races?!!  An incredible and inspiring story. 

Follow Hillary on Instagram (@hillygoat_climbs and on twitter (hillygoatclimbs)

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